Chronological Tour: Stop 182

A State of Exhilaration

Spectator entrance to Bowen Field, Aug-2012.

The new seats, installed during a 1998 renovation.

The field is framed by the Bluefield City Park.

Quick Facts: Rating: 4 baseballs
Bowen apparently used to be a more unique facility. It was an all-wood seating bowl from 1939 until a 1974 fire. It was rebuilt as a concrete structure for 1975, with additional improvements in 1990, but until 1997 fans in the main seating area had to provide their own chairs or cushions. That changed in 1998, when stadium seats (appropriately orange) salvaged from the renovation of Anaheim Stadium were installed. However, the box seats (up against the screen, in front of the walkway) still consist of four stacking chairs in each box, propped up against the screen when not in use so they don’t collect rain.

It’s still a picturesque setting, though. The ball park is in a city park about a thousand feet from the West Virginia state line. The field has a West Virginia address but a Virginia phone number; like nearby Bristol, the Bluefields are twin cities. I used to think the park was in West Virginia but the trees were in Virginia; however, thanks to research by Matt Kerr of Pennsylvania, I’ve discovered that Bluefield City Park is administered by the City of Bluefield, W.Va., but the stadium is entirely on the Virginia side of the state line. (Bluefield, Va., the home of Bluefield College, is a town in Tazewell County – and thanks to correspondent Kurt Pickering for correcting me on the county. Bluefield, W.Va., is a city in Mercer County.) A hillside with nothing but trees sits behind the outfield, making this a great setting for baseball.

The Orioles had an affiliation with Bluefield from 1958 to 2010, the longest-standing agreement in all of the minor leagues. But all things come to an end, and for 2011, the club is the Bluefield Blue Jays.

For the 2017 season, the team and the city added the designation “at Peters Park” to Bowen Field in recognition of the efforts of board volunteer Charlie Peters, who along with his wife Dafney made significant contributions toward renovations to the facility, including upgraded clubhouses, that took effect for 2017.

Game # Date League Level Result
422 Sat 5-Aug-2000 Appalachian R Princeton 6, BLUEFIELD 3, 1st
423 Sat 5-Aug-2000 Appalachian R BLUEFIELD 8, Princeton 7, 8 inn, 2d
1597 Mon 28-Aug-2017 Appalachian R Danville 6, BLUEFIELD 3
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This page updated 28-Aug-2017