One of the most memorable sporting events I’ve ever attended was a Lacrosse (Wisconsin) Loggers game of the Northwoods League a few years ago. My girlfriend and I were making a stop for the night in the middle of a cross-country trip and decided to go to the game on whim for what must have only been $5 a ticket.
The park in LaCrosse is aptly named “The Lumberyard” and has a seating capacity of just over 3,500. It was the first time I had been to a park that small to watch a team that wasn’t affiliated with a high school. The stands were packed, the popcorn was good, the fans seemed to know each other, and the experience was all around wonderful.
Since then I’ve made a point to seek out small sporting events, baseball in particular.
More recently, I’ve had a thought in the back of my mind to make a list of all baseball teams in my own state (Indiana) and attempt to visit a game for each. I currently go to quite a few Indianapolis Indians games and have visited the Fort Wayne TinCaps’ park and my childhood hometown Evansville Otters’ historic Bosse Field. I figured a few more teams existed in some of the other population centers around the state, but I was surprised to find so many teams in my search.
Below is a table of all 14 minor or independent league teams I could locate in Indiana. It was constructed through some basic Google searching and crowd sourcing on Twitter.
|Indianapolis Indians||Victory Field||Indianapolis||International League|
|Evansville Otters||Bosse Field||Evansville||Frontier League|
|Fort Wayne Tin Caps||Parkview Field||Fort Wayne||Midwest League|
|Gary Southshore RailCats||US Steelyard||Gary||American Association of Midwest Baseball|
|South Bend Cubs||Four Winds Field at Covelski Stadium||South Bend||Midwest League|
|NW Indiana Oilmen||Oil City Stadium||Whiting||Northern League|
|Crestwood Panthers||Riverside Park||Hammond||Northern League|
|Southland Vikings||Dowling Park||Hammond||Northern League|
|Lake County Corn Dogs||Legacy Field at Center Ross Park||Crown Point||Northern League|
|Dubois County Bombers||League Stadium||Huntingburg||Ohio Valley League|
|Lafayette Aviators||Loeb Stadium||Lafayette||Prospect League|
|Terre Haute Rex||Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium||Terre Haute||Prospect League|
|Kokomo Jackrabbits||Kokomo Municipal Stadium||Kokomo||Northwoods League|
|Richmond Jazz||MC Bride Stadium||Richmond||Great Lakes League Summer Collegiate|
|1 I've attended games of highlighted Teams so far|
There’s some real gems here. I never would’ve pegged Hammond (pop. 76K) as a two-team town, but that’s what’s great about baseball: you don’t need a lot of space or resources to field a team. Huntingburg (pop. 6,000) not only has a team, but their field was used in the filming of A League of their Own along with Bosse Field in Evansville. I plan to check the remaining 11 teams I’ve yet to visit off the list beginning this summer and write about my experiences at the ballparks here.
The Lake County Corn Dogs are calling my name.