The smallest market in the college wood-bat Northwoods League at 10,000 residents, Alexandria may have the most passionate fans in the league as well. The team regularly draws over 1,000 fans a game. In other words, about 1 in 10 Alexandria residents attends every Beetles game -- a pretty remarkable statistic, and one most minor-league operators would be very happy to reach.
Knute Nelson Memorial Field / Alexandria Beetles
Wake Forest Baseball Park / Wake Forest University
Baseball fans in North Carolina talk reverently about old-time Carolina League ballparks. Ironically, there aren't many old-time Carolina League ballparks still in use as professional-baseball venues; Kinston is about it, really. Wake Forest Baseball Park, the former Ernie Shore Field and home of the Winston-Salem Warthogs, is now home to the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons.
Athletic Park / Wisconsin Woodchucks
Athletic Park is sometimes called the Wrigley Field of the Northwoods League, and the claim has a lot of merit. Like Wrigley, Athletic Park is old: the original grandstand dates back to 1936, and the stone wall surrounding the ballpark came a few years after that. Athletic Park is nestled in a residential area north of downtown Wausau, though the area lacks the bars and restaurants that make Wrigleyville so distinct. It's intimate: the seating is only 3,000 or so, and the entire ballpark site is fairly small. You couldn't get away with the ballpark's field orientation today: home plate is in the southeast corner of the ballpark and the batter must look northwest to the pitchers' mound, which puts the sun directly in the batter's eyes at the beginning of a night game.
Al Lang Field
Though it's not quite the old ballpark it once was, Al Lang Field deserves a special place in the hearts and minds of baseball fans. It will more than likely be torn down in coming years to make way for either parkland or a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark. But if you find yourself in downtown St. Petersburg before then, you owe yourself a visit to the longtime home to spring baseball in Florida.
Future Ballpark: LSU / 2009
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