Chronological Tour: Stop 156

A Hidden Gem Near Boston

The entrance to Fraser Field, Jul-1999. Notice how it is obscured from the street.

Seats were replaced and the cantilevered roof was shored up by Jun-2003.

The park looked out upon Manning Bowl, a 16,000-seat football field; it was recently demolished.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
Somebody on the design team for the renovation of McCormick Field in Asheville, N.C., must have seen Fraser Field in his travels.

Fraser went up in 1940 as a WPA project, tucked away almost invisible from the main drag and facing Manning Bowl, a 1939-vintage football stadium which met the wrecking ball in 2005. Local historian Bob Keaney advises that the first game at Fraser was a 1940 exhibition in which the Pittsburgh Pirates, in the area to visit the Boston Braves, defeated an all-star team of Lynn residents, 10-1.

The most intriguing feature of the park is the cantilevered roof, which was unique for its day. Unfortunately, the roof showed signs of fatigue, and in the late 1990s it was shored up by I-beams and supporting girders, leaving minor obstructions in the view.

In 1999, there was very little vending in the stadium itself, but there were reasonable concessions in trailers just outside the park (only a few steps down from the entrance) as well as a pizza stand near the locker rooms.

The Mad Dogs, the team I saw in 1999, went into hibernation for two seasons and emerged in 2002 as the Berkshire Black Bears. A new independent team, the North Shore Spirit, took up residence at Fraser in 2003, and significant renovations were made to the yard to prepare for the team’s arrival, including additional field-level seats, new concession stands, a restoration of the roof, and a regular baseball scoreboard to replace the barely adequate model that was in place in 1999.

Following the Spirit’s loss to the Nashua Pride in the 2007 Can-Am League championship series, the Spirit suspended operations. A New England Collegiate Baseball League club will take the field at Fraser in 2008.

The seating bowl, prior to the 2003 renovation
The field, in 1999

Game # Date League Level Result
363 Sat 17-Jul-1999 Northeast Ind. Elmira 3, MASSACHUSETTS 1
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This page updated 12-Aug-2009