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.
June 26, 2000 Vero Beach Dodgers vs. Jupiter Hammerheads
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