Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Crosley Field in Blue Ash Ohio
I was able to hang out some at the Florence Freedom's exhibition game against the Southern Illinois Miners. This game was played at the Crosley Field in Blue Ash. I really love the Frontier League and the Freedom. This was a fun event at a fun place.
I have to admit that I only recently heard about the "new Crosley Field" in Blue Ash, OH. The original was before my time. I have seen pictures, but I have no personal connection to it in anyway. You would not be able to go to this Crosley Field and pretend that you were at the original. The original had a view of the Cincinnati skyline and held over 25,000. This field is one of several in Blue Ash. A few hundred could watch a game here comfortably. In many ways, it is an appropriate place for high school level play, and it feels like any other lower level amateur field. It is very unique though. I love this sort of thing. Blue Ash put this re-creation together as part of their community sports complex. I read that there are original seats form the original Crosley Field. The seat frames looked original to me. Also, there is an original ticket booth there which seemed it's age. They have a replica scoreboard too. I read that the dimensions of the field are the same as the original. There are plaques displayed with signatures of Reds players.
I really love the idea of trying to recreate an old park. I do know some larger cities have tried to make smaller versions of their big league stadiums for the kids. This is similar. I did find myself thinking about other additions to make the park more authentic, and more like the original. More seats? More replica era ad signs? I quickly abandoned this line of thinking. Without a big league budget you really can't make a Major League park- original or replica. Blue Ash has done the nicest job possible in carrying the Banner of Crosley Field.
The Freedom organization put on a nice show too. They scheduled this and another preseason game here since their regular park is still being prepared. No tickets needed. The game had an extremely casual feel as players and fans mingled. The Freedom played the same team the night before in IL, and that game was shown live on the internet which was cool.