There are 203 ballparks currently being used by affiliated, professional baseball teams in the United States: 30 in the Major Leagues, 23 spring training facilities used by the big league clubs and their Rookie League affiliates, and 150 Minor League stadiums spread over six levels of baseball.
Since I first started following Minor League Baseball, there's been this ongoing tension that I've felt at all the games.
On the one hand, you're pretty much surrounded by people who are living their dreams. On the other hand, kind of by definition, none of those people is really happy, is really satisfied where they are.
The Connecticut high school baseball championships will be played this weekend, and some of the playoffs were played on the state’s newest stage. Four high school teams got to play at the brand new minor league stadium in Hartford.
I think the reality is that on Hartford’s whole 25-man roster, there are probably maybe two, maybe three guys who will go on to have Major League careers of any length. Could be a couple more, but it could be a couple fewer too.
I want to get this spoiler out of the way right at the top here: Hartford has baseball, the Yard Goats have a ballpark, and the ballpark — after a 372-day delay — has a fully-functional baseball field where real, live, professional baseball games are actually played.
The Yard Goats completed their first home stand in Hartford with their first home win at Dunkin’ Donuts Park Thursday. They beat Harrisburg 1-0. Hartford failed in its previous five chances to win at home.
The mayor who wanted it is gone. The developer who built it is gone. And the plans to build around it are on hold. But finally, after a year of delay, Hartford’s new minor league baseball stadium is about to have its first minor league game.
The Hartford Yard Goats weren’t playing, but Tuesday night’s collegiate match-up between the University of Hartford and Quinnipiac University was still important for the minor league team’s staff as they get ready for opening day on Thursday. This was a dress rehearsal.
Minor League Baseball was supposed to return to Hartford a year ago, but developers couldn’t complete the stadium on time. Now, with just days to go, Dunkin’ Donuts is pretty much finished, and it seems that only rain can stop the April 13 opener.
The Yard Goats are scheduled to open play on April 13 at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford. But a lawsuit between the city and the ballpark’s former developers has caused problems in the run-up to opening day.
Things may be looking up for Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, as the city and the insurance company for the developer have finally signed an agreement that should get construction at the stalled baseball stadium going again.
The insurance company that will pay to finish Hartford’s minor league baseball stadium is already fighting to get its money back. Arch Insurance is demanding nearly $19 million from the developer and at least one other company.
With the 2016 home season lost and Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park unfinished and shuttered, the minor league Yard Goats have told the city that they need to know what will happen in 2017 -- or they could leave the home that Hartford built.
On Thursday, they got an indication from the city that construction might soon begin again.
A day after Hartford's stadium developer said he was about to put a settlement proposal on the table for the entire $350 million downtown project, the head of the city's stadium authority said he wouldn't trust it if he got it.