Chronological Tour: Stop 64

The Closest to Cooperstown

The main entrance to Damaschke Field, Jun-2002.

It's a rustic facility which shows its age in certain spots.

Fans sitting in the main grandstand peer through a maze of fences to watch the game.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
Damaschke Field, built in 1940, held the distinction of hosting the closest minor league club to Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Most seasons, the Oneonta team played a game at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame induction weekend.

From 1966 to 1998, the field hosted a New York Yankees farm club; however, the Yanks’ farm club moved to Staten Island for the 1999 season, and in a series of affiliation shifts, Oneonta wound up with a Detroit Tigers team.

While the left-field line features new aluminum bleachers, the right-field line still sports old wooden bleachers that border on being condemned. Fans in the covered main grandstand have to watch the game through fence bars and chicken wire, though they do stay mainly dry when a thunderstorm passes through. And no alcoholic beverages are sold at the park; nor are fans permitted to bring their own. That’s part of the family atmosphere that has been maintained at Damaschke Field for decades. In addition, the gates are often opened wide at the park for games that are paid for by sponsors and free to all spectators.

The field itself features a lot of foul territory as well as reasonably deep fences. The lighting system was upgraded in the 1990s. A 25-year-old scoreboard featuring no inning scores and bull’s-eyes for the count and outs that are difficult to see during the day was set to be replaced in 2003, according to a team official in 2002.

After 43 years of ownership by the same family, the Oneonta club was sold in 2009. Prior to the 2010 season, the New York-Penn League relocated the Tigers to Norwich, Conn., which had been vacated by the Eastern League.

Game # Date League Level Result
  Sun 3-Jul-1993 Am. Legion   Oneonta 5, Lyndhurst (NJ) 4
145 Sat 13-Aug-1994 NY-Penn A ONEONTA 2, Auburn 1
525 Thu 4-Jul-2002 NY-Penn A ONEONTA 8, Lowell 4
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