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Fraser Field / North Shore Navigators

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Built in 1940, Fraser Field has hosted Eastern League and independent baseball; it's now home to summer-collegiate ball.

FAST FACTS

Year Built: 1940
Capacity: 3,804
Dimensions: 320L, 400C, 320R
Parking: There is some limited street parking in front of the ballpark, but beware: there are some inconsistent restrictions on parking in the area, and the area is patrolled pretty heavily by the local police.
Address/Directions: 365 Western Av., Lynn. The ballpark is not the easiest to find: it's nestled in the middle of a residential area on the western side of Lynn. Basically, no matter where you're coming from you'll want to make your way onto Route 107, which is also Western Avenue.

The photos and story came during a visit to the ballpark when it housed the now-defunct North Shore Spirit (independent; Can-Am Association). The ballpark was altered after the Spirit shut things down; the scorebpard is done, as is some of the surrounding temporary buildings. Other improvements put in by the Spirit, including seating and artificial turf, remain.

Fraser Field is a historic ballpark, opening in 1940 and built under the auspices of the WPA. Fraser Field has been the home of several professional clubs, including the Lynn Red Sox and the Lynn Tigers of the New England League, as well as the Lynn Sailors of the Class AA Eastern League in 1980-83.

Several years ago Nick Lopardo decided the ballpark needed a little tender loving care -- and about $3 million in improvements. So he put in his own money when launching the North Shore Spirit: a new scoreboard was added in center field, modular dressing rooms were added beyond left field, new seats were installed in the grandstand closer to the field, a picnic area was added to the back of the left-field bleachers, a new kid's play area was constructed in back of the grandstand, and a new concessions booth was added as well.

Did he spend his money well? Absolutely, if you're a ballpark lover; no, if you're a businessperson, as Lopardo ended up folding the Spirit after years of losses. Fraser Field is a nice place to relax and watch a North Shore Navigators (NECBL) ballgame. Newer field-level seats provide a more intimate view of the action, while the unique cantilevered roof was restored (reports are that it had noticeably deteriorated in recent years). The roof is unusual for its era: normally WPA-era stadiums didn't feature such modern-style architectural styling (for the most part you can call most WPA-era grandstand roofs functional), so its restoration was good news for ballpark enthusiasts.