Watt Powell Park    Charleston, WV
Dimensions:  LF:  340  CF:  406   RF:  330      Capacity:  5,400  (1999)        Opened: 1949

Stadium Minor League History:        Central League                1949-1951
                                                            American Association     1952-1960
                                                            International League       1961
                                                            Eastern League               1962-1964
                                                            International League       1971-1983
                                                            South Atlantic League     1987-present
Current Status:  Home of the Charleston Alley Cats of the South Atlantic League (single-A)

What's Good:  Although the stadium here is situated on a busy street, it also faces a large tree-covered hill, providing a peaceful and beautiful setting while still being in the city.  Near the base of the hill, just beyond the outfield fence is a railroad track, and freight trains often lumber by during the games.  When I visited the ballpark I saw a guy sitting up there by the tracks, so I ducked out to investigate.  Sure enough, a guy (probably in his 50s or so) was watching the game only a few feet away from a makeshift memorial (presumably to someone killed by a passing train), and when I went over to talk to him he reached down into the cooler he was sitting on, offered me a beer, and told me about the hundreds of games he's seen here over the years without paying a dime for the privilege.  I spent an inning or two up there (it was a great view), and had a great time.

What's Not So Good:  Aesthetically, the worst part of the place is definitely the two new structures built behind the first and third base seating areas.  Made of cinderblock with aluminum siding, they are ugly and don't fit in at all with the rest of the stadium.  Also, the team has one of the lamest, crummiest-looking mascots I've ever seen.

This Photo:    June 30, 1995    Charleston Alley Cats vs. Augusta Greenjackets

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