Eastwood Field was built in 1999, when the nearby NY-PENN League franchise in Erie, Pennsylvania got promoted to the AA Eastern League, and the short-season A-ball concern moved further west from Erie to Niles, Ohio. The 6,000-seat Eastwood Field started its life as Cafaro Field, named for Ohio real estate magnate William M. Cafaro. The park name was changed in 2003 to match the Cafaro Company's massive Eastwood Mall, in the back of whose parking lot the stadium lies.
Eastwood Field serves primarily as the home of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the NY-PENN League affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. It also provides a home field for the Youngstown State Penguins college baseball team, and hosts a number of concerts, ranging from the regional Youngstown Symphony Orchestra's POPs at the Ballpark series, to national acts, including the likes of Kenny Rogers, Bad Company, and Nelly.
Despite its bland surroundings in the rear of an eastern-Ohio mall, Eastwood Field makes up for it with a surprisingly wide selection of food and drink at very affordable prices, serving up a good venue for a day out at the ballpark.
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Despite being a short-season A park, Eastwood Field has a surprising breadth of consumable options, with perhaps the widest food and drink selection in the NY-PENN League.
Most of the concessions split up their wares into the "Starting Lineup" (main dishes), "Reserves" (side dishes), and "Closers" (drinks). The variety truly defies a short listing. Two main concessions stands are behind the first and third base stands, offering up four kinds of hot dogs, two types of pizza, four types of chicken (and wings), not to mention a laundry-list of side dishes ranging from side salads to mini-tacos.
The Bullpen Bar in right adds on three types of burgers, two more chicken sandwiches, two types of sausage, and some selections from Guy's BBQ. The aforementioned Guy's Award-Winning BBQ in left serves up two hot dogs, three burgers, two BBQ sandwiches, a turkey leg, and a rib sampler plate.
Pepe Al's on the third base side provides two kinds of tacos and two kinds of burritos, and Quaker Steak & Tube by home plate dishes out some of that chain's signature dishes, including two kinds of wings and nachos. The Shock Top Grill in right provides nine kinds of hot dogs and sausages. And if you want dessert, the nearby Handel's Home Plate scoops out the local hand-made ice cream in various iterations.
Individual tastes vary, and whatever your favorite summer food, you'll likely find it represented here. That said, Guy's pulled pork sandwich ($6.25) is a sloppy treat worth the mess.
Thirsty patrons will find a similarly wide selection to choose from, including an unexpected array of mixed drinks you usually won't find in A-ball parks. Drafts come in 20 and 32 ounce sizes (for $5.75 or $8, respectively). Most stands have the Budweiser family, Corona ($6.50), Yuengling ($6.50), Pabst ($5.50), Shock Top ($5.50), Stella Artois ($4), and Johnny Appleseed ($4), as well as Jack Daniels Country Cocktails ($3.50). The two main concession stands add Labatt ($6.50) and Lime-A-Ritas ($3.50), and Pepe Al's throws in Victoria ($3.50), Negro Modelo ($3.50), Pacifico ($3.50), Tsingtao ($4), Margaritas ($5.50), and Mixed Drinks ($6-$7, with added shots for $3-$5). The Bullpen Bar throws in several Kona-family beers ($4) and wine ($5), and Quaker Steak has SAGA IPA ($5) and the Kona beers ($4).
Take your pick with your drinks, but perhaps take advantage of the variety with a Jack Daniels Country Cocktail ($3.50) for a change of pace on a hot summer night.
Eastwood Field is a fairly standard minor league design, with the seating bowl surrounded by an outer walkway that runs from outfield-to-outfield behind home plate. The right field end of the park is anchored by the picnic garden and the Bullpen Bar & Grill, while the left field end terminates in the kids Fun Zone.
The seating area is split by a wide walkway between the box seats below and the general admission and regular box seats above. There are real seats in the box seat sections behind home plate and metal bleachers in the general admission areas out by first and third base. A row of luxury boxes and the press box tops the general admission seats behind home. And they are the only place to get out of the sun or rain, as the park lacks any cover in the seating areas. All the seats have good views, and face out to the tree line that provides the park's backdrop, and a rather straightforward scoreboard in right-center posts the inning totals and displays some entertainment on the small video screen at its top.
One nice feature not found in most ballparks is the ramp entrance behind home plate. Most parks will pack this real estate with as many seats as will fit, but the Scrappers break up this section with an entrance ramp that immediately puts fans behind home plate and in the game.
Gates open an hour before game time at the one entrance gate behind home plate (1.5 hours for season ticket holders on giveaway days), and autograph seekers can cajole the home players on the first base dugout before and after the game. Scrappy, the Scrappers' tough-dog mascot, leads the on-field fun, which is a standard mix of minor league races, contests, and giveaways.
Eastwood Field is located in a small Ohio suburb in the back of a giant mall, and that is pretty much the beginning and the end of the discussion. The Eastwood Mall is quite an extensive facility, to be sure, even hosting a small aquarium (known as the "Equarium"), with all the generic big-box shopping, entertainment, and eating you could want, but it is a mall, nevertheless. The major attraction in town is the recreated birthplace and presidential library of America's 25th President, William McKinley, beloved in his hometown if not particularly so by history. For more excitement, you'll need to head down the road to Youngstown (20 minutes) or north to Cleveland (1.25 hours).
If you are looking for a chain restaurant or bar, you are in the right place, but non-chain food and drinks are hard to come by in a town dominated by a mall. Some choices do exist. El Jalapeno's, Vernon's Cafe, and Cafe 422 (Italian) serve up food (along with a curious slew of pizza joints and Asian fast food), while Quinlan's, the Stoneyard Tavern, Milo's Lounge, and Gasoline Alley sling drinks.
For sleeping, the brand-new (and pricey) Residence Inn at Eastwood Mall is within sight of the park. A Fairfield Inn and Holiday Inn Express are also very close, with a Days Inn and Econolodge both a short drive (south and north respectively) on 422. A pair of cheaper motels (McKinley & Villa Arms) are further south on 422 on the edge of town.
A little over an hour drive to their parent club playing at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Mahoning Valley does well enough to be solidly in the middle of the pack for NY-PENN League attendance. As with most low A teams, the fans are mostly families, who are catered to quite well. While they may not be the most hardcore baseball cranks, the fans stay involved in the games and the between inning activities.
Niles is located just across the Ohio/PA border, just off I-80 a short distance up US-422 and just east of the Ohio intersection of I-76 and I-80. Tiny Niles lacks a transit system outside of a small residents-only, on-demand bus service, so driving is your only choice to get to the park (unless you are walking from the Residence Inn in the mall). The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is to the northeast of town for air service from the surrounding area.
Situated in a giant mall, Eastwood Field faces the challenge of literal miles of free parking surrounding the park. It solves this by having chain link fences separating the field parking area from the mall, with only two entrance gates. Walking in or driving in, you have to pay $3, so you might as well save yourself a walk and park in the Scrapper's lot, but $3 remains on the steep side for low A ball, where parking is usually gratis.
By car, Niles is surprisingly convenient to many areas in four states, being about 1.25 hours from Cleveland, and 1.5 hours to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is about 2.5 hours to Columbus, 2.75 hours to Toledo, and Morgantown, West Virginia, and 3 hours to Buffalo, NY.
Eastwood Field is a snap to navigate. Inside the seating bowl, a wide walkway separates the lower level box seats from the upper seating areas, and it connects to the outer walkway at various points. The concessions and stores are all along the outer walkway of the park, and helpful signs give directions at regular intervals.
As with most minor league teams, the Scrappers put their affordability out front, and beyond the basics, they offer a laundry list of special events and discounts for their fans.
The most expensive seats in the house are the premium box seats ($12), running from dugout-to-dugout behind home plate. Regular box seats ($10) run near the field out to the outfield and the seating areas behind home plate, and general admission ($8) runs in the bleachers along third base.
While most teams get by with full and partial season ticket plans, party packages, and small mini plans (and the Scrappers have all of those), the Scrappers have many more, including Scouts Nights, Sunday packages, Faith Nights, Bobblehead Packages, and even a special Silver Sluggers club for fans over 50 ($15 for 4 box seats, travel mug with free coffee card, concessions coupons, and exclusive baseball bingo games). There's even an $18 per person Field of Dreams program for at least nine kids that includes a ticket, on-field introductions, food, free admission to the Fun Zone, and a baseball.
On the other end of the spectrum, The Diamond Club (presented by Mr. Rooter Plumbing) gets you in the special seating area behind home plate for every home game, all-you-can-eat food, waiter service, VIP parking, and guaranteed giveaways for $1,064 per ticket.
Food and drink costs are extremely reasonable. The most expensive individual items in the park don't top $8, and that is for a BBQ ribs sampler plate or a 32 ounce draft beer. Everything else is $7 or under, and most are $5 or under. A six wings and beer combo tops out at $10 at the Quaker Steak & Lube Concession, but that gets you food and drink.
The park sports a few notable extras. Commemorations come in the form of a dedication plaque at the front of the park, as well as a reminder of its previous incarnation as Cafaro Field with a photo of Mr. and Mrs. Cafaro behind home plate.
A Hall of Champions lies at the end of the left field seats, a small display case on the first base side holds a modest selection of the team's trophies and memorabilia, and the team's pennants adorn the press box behind home plate. Retired numbers for Wolcott (13) and Robinson (42) adorn the outfield wall.
The Scrappers "Pet Store" resides in the outer walkway behind home plate, and the "Fun Zone" lies in left field, to let the kiddies burn off some energy. Programs are a giveaway at the fan relations booth in the outer walkway towards the first base side and also provide the sign-up for on-field events.
Once you get inside from the mall that Eastwood Field calls home, you can forget the outside while watching an affordable ball game and gorging on the wide variety of food available at the park.
I like Eastwood Field, I have found very few bad seats. The Scrappers management does a very nice job keeping the entertainment level high but not taking away from the game. Tickets range from 5-12 dollars, but the team runs several ticket promotions during the week, including a Thursday buck night, where you can get a box seat for 3 dollars.
The stadium is set up much like Jerry Uht Park in Erie with the low first level box seats, the second level seats go almost the entire way around the infield.
The park is set in the rear of Eastwood Mall, it can be easily reached off of Interstate 80. The only down side is the parking, three dollars but most of the parking spots are in prime foul ball territory, if possible park behind the clubhouse in deep right field. You cannot use the mall parking lot, if you do, it is a three dollar walk-in charge per person.
The food in the park is ok, the exception being Rachel's Place near the left field bleachers, with grilled hot dogs, hamburgers and my favorite the sausage sandwich. Say hi to Rachel and ask for a Bill special(caffine-free Diet Pepsi in a bottle)
With the park in a mall, there are numerous options for a pre or post game meal.
The fans are very knowledgeable, the team draws well from the Shenango and Mahoning Valley areas.
All in all, a good place to go, also handy if you have a day game in Cleveland/Pittsburgh or Lake County/Akron, have done those many times.
Opened in 1999, Eastwood Field is a modest ballpark located in the midst of a stretch of chain hotels and restaurants in eastern Ohio, just about 15 miles from the Pennsylvania border. The ballpark is the home of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York-Penn League, a short season A league in MiLB.
The team was founded the same year as the ballpark opened, and has been affiliated with the Cleveland Indians during all of those years. Cleveland is about an hour drive from Niles, making this a great location for die-hard Indians fans who want to see the next generation of Tribe talent. Over the years, future MLB stars like C.C. Sabathia, Victor Martinez, Jason Kipnis, and many other recognizable major leaguers have worn the Scrapper uniform. In fact, 63 Scrappers have made their way to the Big Show as of the start of the 2013 season, so you are likely to see at least one future MLB player while you’re at a game.
Eastwood Field seats 6,000 fans, but can be expanded to 9,000 for special events such as concerts. The field uses natural Kentucky Bluegrass as its surface, and has a good selection of food. Overall, this is a simple, yet enjoyable ballpark to see a game.
Besides being home to the Scrappers, the western most team in the NY-Penn League, the ballpark also hosts Youngstown State Penguins baseball in the spring. The ballpark has hosted the Horizon League baseball tournament in 2004, 2008, and 2012.
4793 E Market St
Warren, OH 44484
5125 Youngstown Warren Rd
Niles, OH 44446
720 Youngstown Warren Rd
Niles, OH 44446
5154 Youngstown Warren Rd
Niles, OH 44446
5555 Youngstown Warren Rd
Niles, OH 44446