Chronological Tour: Stop 301

Hammons Field

Home-plate entrance to Hammons Field, Aug-2005.

A look at the seating from the outfield concourse.

The view from (roughly) behind home plate.

Quick Facts: Rating: 4 baseballs
Over the years, John Q. Hammons has been a significant benefactor to the school which until August 2005 was known as Southwest Missouri State. Thanks to increasing enrollment and a reach beyond the southwest part of the state, the institution is now known as Missouri State University. The size of the student body is now second in the state to only the University of Missouri.

Hammons decided that he wanted the college to have a new baseball field, but not just any field. His goal was to build a ballpark that would host not only the SMSU baseball team but also professional baseball, which had been absent from Springfield for many years (although an independent team had begun playing at a new park in Ozark, just down Highway 65). His new park, near the heart of town, opened for the Bears in 2004, and the dream was fully realized in 2005, when the El Paso Diablos of the Texas League relocated to Springfield. The team picked up a Cardinals affiliation, just as it had so many years before.

The ballpark features a sizable main seating bowl along with a fairly spacious concourse. There are luxury boxes down the right-field line and behind home plate (the press box is above the plate suites), while the left-field line features a premium party deck. These areas keep the concourse sheltered, along with a few seats in the main bowl. A lower concourse extends partway around the outfield, although it ends at the indoor training facility in right field.

A few blocks of Sherman Avenue near the park bear the alternate designation John Q. Hammons Way in honor of the benefactor. I am also told that O’Reilly Automotive, founded by one Charles H. (Chub) O’Reilly (no relation to the webmaster), began in a warehouse once located directly across Sherman Avenue from the current ballpark site.

Game # Date League Level Result
771 Sun 14-Aug-2005 Texas AA SPRINGFIELD 6, Frisco 0
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This page updated 14-Aug-2009