Holman Stadium     Vero Beach, FL
Dimensions:  LF:  340   CF:  400   RF:  340      Capacity: 6500     Opened: 1953

Stadium Minor League History:   Florida State League        1980-present

Current Status:  Home of the Vero Beach Dodgers of the Florida State League (A)

What's Good:  There's a lot to like about Holman Stadium.  For starters, it's located in Dodgertown, the spring training complex used by the Dodgers for nearly fifty years.  The complex -- which includes Holman, several practice fields, a golf course, tennis courts, and many buildings -- in many ways resembles a country club more than a baseball facility.  It's beautifully landscaped, and there are numerous physical reminders that one has arrived in a Dodgercentric world, like street signs named after team greats (from players to coaches to broadcasters).  The stadium itself is a blend of simplicity and intimacy, just 17 rows of individual plastic seats, with the first row about as close to the field as one can sit at a professional ballgame.    In fact, it's hard to imagine being closer to the players, since the seating area goes right down to the field (seperated only by a three-foot fence) and the dugouts consist only of benches set down at the edge of the field.  Like many newer stadia, a concourse runs behind the last row of seats, and there are a few concession stands and a souvenir stand on the concourse behind home.  Better still, the concessions and souvenir shop are staffed by friendly folks (most appear to be of retirement age), a pleasant change of pace from the typically surly and illiterate teens that work at many ballparks.  Though the seats are yellow, red, and blue, and the little structure housing the pressbox and concessions is beige, it's the greenness of the field and the surroundings that's most memorable -- there are no outfield ads, just a small hill running behind the simple chain-link outfield fence, and landscaped with palms and other trees.  Speaking of trees, there were even a few growing out of planters set into the last few rows of the seating area, adding yet more greenery (and some welcome shade).  And though a few sound effects were played at various times during the game they were used judiciously, there were very few promotions, and best of all, no mascot.   Tickets were cheap (all seats -- except for those used by season-ticket holders -- were $4 general admission), the staff was friendly, and the sparse but genial crowd was into the game.  All in all Holman is a relaxing, cozy, beautiful little ballpark.

What's Not So Good:  Almost nothing.  The seats are a little old and faded, there's no real shelter from sun or rain, and some of the seating is pretty far down the lines.  But these are minor complaints, to be sure -- this is a great place to see a game.

This Photo:    June 26, 2000     Vero Beach Dodgers vs. Jupiter Hammerheads

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