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Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
One of the largest colleges in Maryland is largely unknown outside of the area. The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) has an annual enrollment of greater than 72,000 students. Created in the 1990s by a merger of Essex Community College, Dundalk Community College and Catonsville Community, the new college kept each of those three main campuses, along with a bevy of extension campuses around the suburban Baltimore area. The three colleges shared a common board of trustees for years but operated independently. Essex, Dundalk and Catonsville have each kept their own distinct athletic identity.
CCBC Essex began in 1957, operating out of nearby Kenwood High School. CCBC Essex has one of the top rated associate nursing programs in the region.
The school mascot is the Knights and they play nine sports. Essex has won nine NJCAA national championships including the 2004 Men's Lacrosse Championship.They are a member of Region XX of the National Junior College Athletic Association and the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference, CCBC Essex has had over 100 NJCAA All-Americans.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There are no food options available at the CCBC Essex Baseball Stadium. There are three food facilities on campus including the Essex Cafe, Late Knight Express and the Cyber Cafe.
There is not much else in terms of atmosphere as it is a JUCO level baseball game. The team does have a PA announcer and plays walkup music for players.
There are three simple metal bleachers around the main part of the field. They offer decent views of the game, although through chain link fencing. One of my favorite places to watch the games is in the shady center field area near the simple, basic scoreboard.
Next to the baseball stadium is the lacrosse stadium. That stadium is also used for track and field and soccer, as well as by a few local high school football teams, especially during playoff times.
CCBC Essex is a suburban community college with its main neighbor being the sprawling Franklin Square Hospital. You will have to venture a bit far from campus for any food or drinks.
Closest to campus is the neighborhood Dellis' Restaurant Bar & Grill. There will be some other options around this area that is referred to as Golden Ring.
One of my favorites is Pizza John which is a bit further away in Middle River. This extremely popular pizza joint has some pretty good, albeit a bit greasy pizza. And greasy does not equate to being a bad thing. Just expect very large crowds on Friday and Saturday nights.
White Marsh Mall and the area around it is not too far away as well. There are numerous options around that area. Red Brick Station Restaurant & Brew Pub is a very good restaurant at the Avenue at White Marsh. Also look at Ledo's Pizza near the Lowe's store. Their square pizza is very good, and a pretty good value.
Mission BBQ is another great option. This small BBQ chain is quite impressive and honors the veterans of America as part of their design.
The attendees at most games are family members or other athletes. There may be a few local residents who attend the games. The fans are knowledgeable and friendly to visitors.
CCBC Essex is located just off of both the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) and I-95. The quickest and best way to access campus is to exit off I-695 at either the Philadelphia Road or US-40 exit and find your way east to Rossville Boulevard. Directions should be easy to follow but also follow signs for Franklin Square Hospital.
There is plenty of free parking on the campus. If classes are in session you may expect to park a bit further away from campus.
The games are free to attend. That, along with the free parking, means that you can attend a good level JUCO program at no cost.
There are a few plaques around the little park-like setting of the athletic fields which honor student athletes from Essex that have passed away.
Walk around campus and see the solar panels that have been added to many parking areas on campus. All of the CCBC campuses have added these and expect to get more than a quarter of its electricity from solar. This 5.1 megawatt project is expected to generate 6.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year and joins the 16.1 megawatt array at Mount St. Mary's University in an effort by local colleges to expand solar usages.
The CCBC Essex Baseball Stadium is a basic pleasant baseball field located in nice park-like setting. Although nothing fancy, it is a nice little stop for a baseball fan traveling along the I-95 corridor.
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113 Back River Neck Rd.
Essex, MD 21221
8149 Honeygo Blvd.
White Marsh, MD 21236
4132 E. Joppa Rd. #114
Nottingham, MD 21236
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