Chronological Tour: Stop 76

Yakety Yakima

Approaching Yakima Co. Stadium for an Aug-2006 game.

Despite the impressive facade, the interior is constructed entirely of aluminum.

OK, so it isnít Mount Rainier, but at least there is some scenery off in the distance.

Quick Facts: Rating: 1 baseball
My first visit to Yakima was prompted by a sudden need to find a game somewhere. In 1994, I had plans to go to a game in Seattle the day I arrived; unfortunately, the Mariners were ďstruck outĒ, along with the rest of the majors, leaving me scrambling for games. Fortunately, the Yakima Bears were hosting a Northwest League playoff game, and off I went.

At the time, I wrote, ďIt was worth the trip. Yakima County Stadium is one of the better short-season league stadiums Iíve seen (although I havenít seen most of the parks in the Northwest League). The always magnificent Washington scenery only enhances the experience.Ē I gave the park three baseballs on my 0-5 scale.

So why the dramatic shift downward in rating?

Well, at the time I indeed had not seen most of the parks in the Northwest League. I arrived for the playoffs, which always generate a tremendous atmosphere. And since it was late in the season, any ill effects from the sun were absent.

On my 2006 visit, I discovered that the field, which replaced Parker Field two miles west of here, faced north-northeast, rather than the usual and recommended east-northeast. This led to an unusual (and unfortunate for the Bears) opening play. The pitcher made a 20-foot underhand toss to first base, and the first baseman never saw the ball because the setting sun was squarely in his eyes. It hit him and rolled away for an E-3.

The place is a tin box. Iíve seen tin boxes which Iíve given good ratings, like LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass. But this tin box features poor access to the seating bowl, through either long stairwells or longer handicapped access ramps. While I didnít remember it from 1994, exiting the park when it is crowded must be close to impossible.

On top of that, the park is located in the fairgrounds Ė and the fair board charges $4 to park. For a short-season league baseball game! Concessions are also outrageously priced, and Iím told the same fair board is responsible for that.

To the parkís credit, the Bears have installed a new scoreboard complete with video board, all of which was run skillfully. Game operations were all handled well.

All in all, Yakima Co. Stadium did very little for me, especially compared to both classic parks like Civic Stadium in Eugene and newer facilities like Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer. The park has now lost its primary tenant, as the city of Hillsboro, Ore., west of Portland, is building a new park and has acquired the Yakima franchise for the 2013 season.

Game # Date League Level Result
158 Thu 8-Sep-1994 Northwest A YAKIMA 8, Boise 5
844 Wed 23-Aug-2006 Northwest A Tri-City 6, YAKIMA 2
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This page updated 24-Aug-2013