T. R. Hughes Ballpark    O'Fallon, MO
Dimensions:  LF:  320  CF:  382   RF:  299       Capacity:  3,928  (1999)        Opened: 1999

Stadium Minor League History:        Frontier League        1999-present
                                                           
Current Status:  Home of the River City Rascals of the Frontier League (independent)

What's Good:   This is one of the nicer independent league ballparks I've visited.  While the grandstand is relatively small, there's a large grassy area that runs from off of third base all the way to the left field foul pole in which fans sit on blankets or lawn chairs.  The wall separating this area from left field was low and wide enough to sit on -- which I did during the game.  This proved to be a terrific vantage point to watch the game, and I don't remember any other place I've watched baseball where if I raised my left arm it would be in fair territory.  There was a good variety of concessions and beer, and plenty of parking in an adjacent lot.  In terms of atmosphere, attendance, and comfort, this place is better than many stadiums with affiliated teams.

What's Not So Good:  First of all, everything was kind of pricey, especially considering the team only plays in the Frontier League (authentic home jerseys were going for $180 in the slick souvenir store).  Second, the team is marketed as "the way baseball used to be," but the manufactured nostalgia angle comes across as somewhat forced and heavy-handed.  Third is the odd sense (common to many brand new teams) that everything has been designed by some kind of corporate committee which left absolutely nothing to chance -- there's none of the endearing yet honest goofiness one finds in towns that have had teams for decades, no spontaneity or homegrown traditions.

This Photo:    June 18, 1999    River City Rascals vs. Chillicothe Paints
 
 

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