Chronological Tour: Stop 143

Yes, Toto, We’re Definitely in Kansas

Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, from the parking lot, Aug-1998.

The press box is on stilts, an unusual feature.

Notice the infield artificial turf and the outfield grass.

Quick Facts: Rating: 1 baseball
There have to be a lot of things wrong with a minor league ballpark for me to only issue it one baseball on my 0-5 scale.

Unfortunately, these factors come together here in the heartland. Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, which looks just wonderful from the outside, turns out to be a horrible place to watch a game.

With the possible exception of premium box seats, the seating is wooden benches (they do rent seat cushions with backs for patrons who desire them). To make things worse, the infield is artificial turf, but the outfield is grass (same as Tim McCarver Stadium in Memphis). I suppose they had trouble maintaining a good infield in the heat, but they don’t seem to have the same problem up in Kansas City or down in Tulsa. Over the years, several correspondents have written to remind me that the National Baseball Congress plays its championship series at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in August, and that a grass infield would never withstand the pounding this field takes in those two weeks.

It just wasn’t the most pleasant baseball experience, which is a shame because Wichita – this old ball yard – deserves better. Unfortunately, “better” is a new park being constructed in Springdale, Ark., for the 2008 season. The independent American Association has placed a team here for 2008, so baseball (aside from the NBC tournament) will not disappear from the yard.

Game # Date League Level Result
335 Sat 22-Aug-1998 Texas AA El Paso 3, WICHITA 2, 12 inn
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This page updated 12-Aug-2009