Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It’s a bandbox if there ever was one. Not much with the amenities, but the personal appeal for me is the intimate nature of the fan to player relationship.
The bullpens are nothing to look at - just a spread of grass, no bullpen phones, wooden slotted boards for backing behind the catchers, and so on. The seats for the fans are Spartan at best, and the souvenirs have that local flavor with a two-for-one sale for the cost-minded shopper.
But the best thing that sticks in my mind are the youngsters, leaning over the weather beaten wooden fences, full of expectations of “being there some day.” Then there’s the ball signing by the players that aren’t that far
removed from the youngsters in the bleachers.
The smells of a bandbox are the memories that I like. Gray gravel, cinders and trap rock in the parking lot, that dust that sparkles just above the ground when the cars leave at night, and the smell of mustard that lingers around the 55 gallon trash barrels after a game. I use to sit by myself along the third baseline, on a wooden bench all carved up with initials and graffiti. I knew, there would be a time, when I wouldn’t make it back. I knew the snapshot in my mind would give way to vague memories - and it happened.
I’m sure there are countless Wahconah Parks all over this country. Treasures of an era that found countless moments of emotions and relationships that lasted a life time. It’s sad that time has passed most of them by. Shadows of progress, life goes on, and generations that aged with those parks.