Sam Lynn Ballpark    Bakersfield, CA
Dimensions:  LF:  328  CF:  354   RF:  328      Capacity:  4,200  (1999)        Opened: 1941(field) 1994(grandstand)

Stadium Minor League History:       California League        1941-1942,  1946-1975,  1978-1979,  1982-present
                                                      
Current Status:  Home of the Bakersfield Blaze of the California League

What's Good:  The most interesting thing about this stadium is that it is one of the very few fields where the batter faces west, and therefore right into the setting sun early in night games.  To compensate, the team schedules night games for 7:30 (instead of the typical 7:00 start most clubs use).  In addition, the stadium has an enormous wall built beyond the outfield fence to block the sun, with trees planted on either side of it (for a picture of the wall, click here).  Also of note is the extremely short center field distance of 354 feet -- and the 15 foot outfield fences.  The seating area itself, which was completely redone in 1994, is comfortable enough, with individual seats behind home and first, and bleachers on the third base side.  The folks working here were definitely among the friendliest I've encountered, but it's still the unique field dimensions and orientation that I'll remember most.  Although new ballparks are popping up everywhere, it's comforting to know a place as different as Sam Lynn Ballpark still exists.

What's Not So Good:  The seating area is bare-bones and pretty boring, and a chain-link fence hinders the view from the box seats and the first few rows after that.

This Photo:    July 2, 1999    Bakersfield Blaze vs. High Desert Mavericks
 
 

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