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Official Review by Josh Oakes, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
When history and baseball collide, I get excited. I am a native Virginian, a history major at Asbury University, and huge sports enthusiast. In short, I love my state, baseball, and history. All of these things are manifest in at the rustic Ted Bosiak Field in beautiful Staunton, Virginia. It is not known for certain in what year baseball was first played in Virginia, but many believe baseball was being played in Staunton as early as 1842.
Photos depict the great American pastime being played at the current site of Ted Bosiak Field date back to 1900. The Staunton Braves, originally the Presidents when the league was formed back in 1923, have never known another home. This ballpark has an old-time feel to it that is lost on many of the new, fancy ballparks. The stadium is owned by the city of Staunton and leased by the Braves, as well as the local high school, Lee High. This works out well considering both the Braves and Leemen share the same colors.
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The menu at Ted Bosiak Field holds nothing new or exciting. They have the standard fare one might expect from a local, southern baseball park. The stereotypical hot dogs ($2), pretzels ($1.25), and peanuts all can be purchased at the massive concession stand behind home plate, while cheeseburgers ($3.25) and ice cream ($2.50) are available directly across from the main stand. The fare is by no means extraordinary, but let's face it, hot dogs taste much better when watching baseball. The Braves claim to have the best food in the league, and this may not be far from the truth. The fare is standard but classic.
This place screams baseball. I grew up going to this park with my family, so it does have a bit of sentimental value to me. There is a grass hill along the first base line where kids can play without getting in the way of fans that are there to watch the game. This place just feels right, like baseball should be played here. Everything from the tiny dugouts to the concrete grandstand is baseball and is a must for anyone visiting Virginia.
Ted Bosiak Field is located in the beautiful Gypsy Hill Park, which is just a short (under five minute) car ride to Staunton's charming and historic downtown area. In this area, one can find a plethora of dining options and local shops. The Clocktower Tavern is a must for anyone visiting Staunton, and if you are into theater (which I am), downtown Staunton is home to Blackfriars Playhouse. This is the only recreation of Shakespeare's indoor theater in the world. But you're here for baseball, not theater. There is no alcohol in Ted Bosiak Field, so you will have to look elsewhere for your booze. Again, Clocktower Tavern. For those who do not drink, there is plenty of seating available quite separate from the bar. The interior is spacious and beautiful, the service is friendly, and the food is delicious.
If you are looking for Asian food, Ubon Thai is the place for you. Located on West Frederick Street, Ubon Thai doubles as a restaurant and bed and breakfast. I would suggest visiting for lunch before the game, when they have their lunch specials. Dinner can cost anywhere from $12.99-$20+, but is well worth it. The staff is exceptionally friendly and the food is tremendous. They even have a garden in the back yard where they grow basil, mint leaves, tomatoes, green peppers, and all of their Thai chili peppers.
Fans have been coming out to watch baseball at this location since 1900 -- if not before -- and they are still here. People will arrive hours before the game just to claim their spots with multi-colored lawn chairs. The fans here are incredibly loyal. I'm talking about fans that sit in the same spot, every game, for over 50 years. Officially, there are no assigned seats, it is all general admission. If you are in someone's spot, they will let you know. There is a real sense of community here, as well. Everyone knows everyone else. I guess this should be expected when the fans end up sitting next to the same person for decades.
There is only one parking lot, but it is large and parking is free. The parking lot is located along the first base line and the main gate. There is also parking available on the road outside Gypsy Hill Park and along the third base line, where there is a second gate.
I cannot stress enough the history this place has. This is a place that I find myself returning to time after time. Everything from the neighborhood to the ballpark is historic, charming, and family-friendly. Most people prefer to sit along the third base line, as the sun sets out in center field. The Staunton Braves also have a TV set up in the main concession stand so fans can watch the game while getting their food.
The outfield wall at Ted Bosiak Field is covered with a surplus of 70 sponsors. These sponsors buy tickets in bulk and have them for free at their various locations around town. They also give out prizes nearly every inning.
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515 W Frederick St
Staunton, VA 24401
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