Chronological Tour: Stop 308

In the Shadow of Mount Nittany

Main entrance to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, Jul-2006.

From the right-field bleachers, Penn State’s Beaver Stadium looms over the ballpark.

On the other hand, spectators behind the plate get a good look at Mount Nittany.

Quick Facts: Rating: 4 baseballs
For decades, athletic teams playing at the main campus of The Pennsylvania State University have been known as the Nittany Lions. However, in recent years very few fans could see nearby Mount Nittany while they were enjoying a sporting event, due to the expansion of Beaver Stadium, the football facility that now holds over 107,000 fans.

That changed with the 2006 opening of Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The baseball stadium was built thanks in part to a sizable donation from alumnus Anthony Lubrano, who dedicated the field to long-time Penn State baseball coach Chuck Medlar. In addition to the Penn State baseball team, the park also hosts the State College Spikes, a minor-league team moved from Augusta, N.J., for the 2006 season.

The field is located on the edge of the Penn State athletic complex. The entrance is across the street from a gate to Beaver Stadium and a short walk from the Bryce Jordan Center, the indoor arena that serves as the Nittany Lions’ basketball home.

While there is very little unique about the stadium, particularly compared to some of the other new facilities in minor league and independent baseball, the park scores points for a relatively wide concourse, a seating bowl that is pitched steeply enough but not too steeply as to be inaccessible, and the incomparable view. Penn State fans said they were overjoyed to be able to attend a sporting event and actually see Mount Nittany. On the other hand, Beaver Stadium looms over the baseball park when one sits in the right-field bleachers or the left-field picnic pavilion. The right-field bleacher section is actually reminiscent of KeySpan Park in Brooklyn, where the Cyclones, a rival of the Spikes, play their home games.

A friend at the Spikes game I attended noted similarities between the layout of the field at State College and that of PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The owners of the Altoona Curve own the Spikes and were in the process of securing a Pirates affiliation for the club in 2007. In 2006, the Spikes were a Cardinals affiliate, while the Pirates were in Williamsport, 60 miles away.

One problem that arises during day games is the lack of shade in the ballpark. There are very few shaded areas, a problem the park shares with the one in Altoona.

I was a little disappointed in the price structure, which seemed high. A seat behind the plate for a Spikes game cost $11 in 2006, which was even with Staten Island, the most expensive in the New York-Penn League. That is now up to $14 as of 2017. They also get $5 to park, which is a bit on the high side.

Game # Date League Level Result
816 Tue 4-Jul-2006 NY-Penn A STATE COLLEGE 3, Jamestown 1
1328 Sat 2-Aug-2014 NY-Penn A Hudson Valley 5, STATE COLLEGE 2
1605 Mon 4-Sep-2017 NY-Penn A Auburn 4, STATE COLLEGE 1
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This page updated 4-Sep-2017