Hooker Field    Martinsville, VA
Dimensions:  LF:  330  CF:  402   RF:  330       Capacity:  3,200  (1999)        Opened: 1988

Stadium Minor League History:        Appalachian League        1988-present
Current Status:  Home of the Martinsville Astros of the Appalachian League (rookie)

What's Good:   Well, it's an interesting, unique place.  It's also very small, which has its benefits since whether going to the restroom or grabbing some food or beer, fans are always within a few steps of the field.  There's no actual grandstand -- basically, there's a few individual seats behind home, some benches built into a hill on the third base side, and bleachers on the first base side.  There are also a handful of seats on top of the dugouts, which are not "dug out" of the ground but rather concrete boxes.  There's a nice grassy space between the first row of benches on the third base side and the fence around the field, creating a perfect spot for kids to wait for foul balls or just run around where their parents can keep an eye on them.  The lack of "real" seating also encourages folks to bring lawn chairs and blankets to create their own, and there was a friendly sense of atmosphere here as well, as if eveyone there knew each other.  Regardless of where people choose to sit, however, the very small foul territory ensures that they are very close to the field.

What's Not So Good:  While Hooker Field is certainly one of a kind, there's also not much to it!  It looks much more like a high school or amateur field than a professional ballpark.  There's also no place at all to get some shade or protection from the rain -- on a hot day (like when I was there), many fans showed up with umbrellas to keep out of the hot summer sun.

This Photo:    June 22, 1996    Martinsville Phillies vs. Danville Braves

(back to the index)    (links)