Chronological Tour: Stop 274

The Wink

Entrance to Alfond Field at Husson College’s Winkin Sports Complex, Jul-2004.

Part of the grandstand and press box.

The artificial-turf facility is also used for football.

Quick Facts: Rating: 2 baseballs
With a million-dollar donation from alumnus Harold Alfond, Husson College upgraded its existing baseball field into the John Winkin Sports Complex in the fall of 2003, allowing the school to play baseball, football, and field hockey on a new FieldTurf facility. Winkin is the longtime coach of the Braves’ baseball team.

The Bangor Lumberjacks, who played a season at the Mahaney Diamond at the University of Maine 15 miles to the east, moved into the new facility for 2004. Bangor is the seat of Penobscot County and its population center.

The stadium is constructed mainly of aluminum stands sitting atop steel members. The center of the spectator area includes molded “bucket” stadium seats, and these are sold as box seats for 2004, at a $3 premium.

While the move makes some sense in terms of making the games more accessible, I fail to see what the move from Orono to Bangor has done for the baseball experience. I understand that artificial turf allows the Braves to play games as soon as the snow melts (in 2004, they had home games at the beginning of April, while the University of Maine did not return home until the end of the month). But with the number of professional parks with artificial turf growing smaller seemingly by the day, and the Northeast League season not beginning until close to Memorial Day, the Lumberjacks did nothing to encourage me to return by moving here.

In September 2004, the Lumberjacks were forced to host their Northeast League playoff games at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor, a smaller facility, because the schedule conflicted with Husson’s homecoming game. That didn’t happen again, as the Lumberjacks failed to return for 2005. They suspended operations four weeks before the season started, necessitating the fielding of a road team by the Can-Am League.

Game # Date League Level Result
680 Sat 31-Jul-2004 Northeast Ind. BANGOR 3, Elmira 0
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