Chronological Tour: Stop 137

Fort Wayne Memorial Stadium

Exterior of Memorial Stadium, from the west, Aug-1998.

A rather bland interior.

A tall, thick screen blocks the view from behind home plate, making a down-the-line shot the only reasonable look at the field.

Quick Facts: Rating: 2 baseballs
I had heard nothing but good things about Fort Wayne’s Memorial Stadium, and how the fans were flocking there for Midwest League games. The park attracted what was then the Kenosha Twins from historic but deteriorating Simmons Field for the 1993 season. I tried going on a Sunday in 1996, but I arrived at the wrong time and missed the game.

When I was standing on line to enter the park at 6:00 on a Saturday evening in August 1998, however, one fan said, “It’s just another concrete stadium.” Turns out he wasn’t far from the truth.

While some of the new fields constructed at about the same time as Memorial Stadium had some architectural style, this one doesn’t. It’s pretty much a concrete behemoth, and not a very well designed one, either. The concourse areas are much narrower than one might expect, the seats are nothing spectacular, and there’s no outstanding scenery to recommend the place. In addition, there is a thick mesh screen behind the plate, which makes it nearly impossible to get a straight-on outfield photo.

It’s not a horrible facility, though. And the people there do make it a pleasant presentation, which counts for a lot. The Wizards’ management seems to have cultivated a good feeling among the people of Fort Wayne and its surrounding area, so that they keep returning to the ball game. The stadium is operated by the same people who run the classic Memorial Coliseum, adjacent to the stadium and home to the United Hockey League’s Fort Wayne Komets.

I rated Memorial Stadium a toss-up: a reasonable place to go, but not on any must-see list. But it’s too late to see it now, as it has already been demolished. The newly rechristened Fort Wayne TinCaps have moved into a new baseball stadium at Harrison Square.

Game # Date League Level Result
326 Sat 15-Aug-1998 Midwest A FORT WAYNE 5, Beloit 4
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