Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium (map it)
King George St
Annapolis, MD 21402
Year Opened: 1962
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Andy Mantsch, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD has many, many proud traditions dating back to 1845 (and beyond) that any visitor should spend time appreciating. College baseball is often overshadowed at universities across the country, but to say that here would be an understatement. All students here earn a scholarship for their service to their country. Although they take the same playing field as their opponents, their similarities do not extend much further. These are truly remarkable young men for far more than their baseball prowess.
That being said, Navy baseball isn't exactly something to scoff at. With six conference titles and four NCAA Tournament appearances in their history, this program is competitive with programs that are far more devoted to athletics.
The home of the Midshipmen is Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium, the latter named for coach Max Bishop who coached the team from 1937 to 1961. Bishop even played for the Philadelphia Athletics in the late 1920s and early 1930s, winning two World Series. Bishop Stadium officially opened in 1962 as the home of the Midshipmen. The Terwilliger brothers were ex-Navy players who funded the 2005 stadium renovation project which modernized the venue. Put all of that together, and you have a historic venue with modern upgrades located in one of the most unique settings in college baseball.
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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".
The food options might not blow you away, but the choices are surprisingly long for such a small venue and the one small concession stand directly behind home plate.
The food is all freshly grilled here, and consists of a hot dog slider ($1), pulled pork sandwich ($6), foot-long hot dog ($6), foot-long chili dog ($6), all-beef hot dog ($3) and burgers ($6). Side items such as candy ($2), pretzels ($4), popcorn ($4), nachos ($4), peanuts ($3), sunflower seeds ($2), Dippin' Dots ($3) and Utz potato chips ($1) are also available. Again, nothing shocking to the menu, but a good selection for a smaller college venue.
Bottled soda and water ($3) and hot chocolate/coffee ($2) make up the drink menu. No alcohol is served here.
It's hard to resist the smells wafting off the grill, so your favorite grilled item will go nicely with the game.
Bishop Stadium may not be the nicest college baseball stadium in the country, but it's also far from the worst. Add the Naval Academy feel and tradition to the mix, and this is an extremely unique and worthwhile experience.
The stadium itself is wide open, with no fencing or ticketed entry (it is free, after all). There is one brick building behind home plate that stretches from first base to third base. The exterior brick facade features arched gateways that enter under the bleachers and modern-looking signage and windows. It may not be a large stadium, but it's definitely nice. Once inside, bleachers line the infield, with the main building, concession stand and press box right behind home plate. Atop the bleachers on both base lines are narrow concourses with picnic tables. This is a pet-friendly park, so you'll likely see fans with dogs taking advantage of the space. Among the cooler features along the third baseline are a pair of patios for standing room. The lower patio is a brick patio with the Navy "N" built into it. To the left is a raised patio for a better view of the field and College Creek behind it.
The field itself is a completely FieldTurf surface, which was installed in 2005. The dimensions are fairly standard with a scoreboard rising above the left field wall and an aptly larger-than-normal US flag in center field. The stadium sits just across College Creek from the Academy campus, which provides a wonderful backdrop.
One of the coolest parts of the experience goes beyond the venue and onto the field. Watching the Navy players and their mannerisms compared to their opponents makes it hard not to root for the Midshipmen. Starting with their rigid attention during the national anthem and extending into the game with the players all coming out of the dugout to greet their teammates after every inning, these teams work as the unit that the Naval Academy expects them to be. No other promotion or entertainment feels needed here, because watching these young men at work is enough.
With seating being free, you can move freely around the park and take in this action from multiple views. The picnic tables on the third baseline give you the best seated views of the water and campus beyond, so that might be the best spot if you want to take in the landscape.
If you've never been to Annapolis, you're missing out. It's a beautiful and historic town which would be worth the visit on its own merit, even without it being the site of the Naval Academy.
There's a myriad of places to eat along Main Street in Annapolis which is either a short drive or a long walk from the ballpark. The good news is the area is very safe and walkable, so if you want to stroll the town and see the beautiful row homes, you can do so. Osteria 177 is a popular upscale dining spot with great Italian food. Closer to the water, you can find Federal House for American dining and occasionally live music. But really, stop in anywhere for good food and atmosphere. And definitely try some crab.
If you're looking to take in the local culture, there's one obvious stop that you should block half a day for. Visiting the US Naval Academy and taking the tour will give you a renewed respect for these young men and what they do, as well as take you across an absolutely beautiful historic campus. You'll even get to see Roger Staubach's Heisman and John Paul Jones' tomb. Other attractions in Annapolis include the Maryland State House and the Paca House & Garden.
Annapolis is full of Bed & Breakfast options, so for an authentic experience in the heart of everything, those will always be options. But easily the best hotel option here is the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel, which resides right on the harbor opposite the Naval Academy.
There's so much to do in Annapolis, and the Naval Academy itself is such a big attraction in comparison, that fans just don't really take much interest in Navy baseball.
Attendance will be generally limited to family and friends of the team with some locals scattered in. It's free, so no real attendance records are out there. But don't expect a capacity crowd or difficulty finding a seat.
The fans in attendance seem to know and support the team. They wear their Navy gear and shout encouragement. But the venue is more tranquil and calming than it is opposing, and you're more likely to hear the players over the fans.
Annapolis lies on the Chesapeake Bay between Baltimore and Washington. The I-95 corridor in this area is notorious for traffic congestion, but Annapolis is slightly removed from all of that to the east along Route 50.
Because it is removed from the Washington and Baltimore areas, there are not really public transit options. But the stadium itself is off the the main roads before you get to the city, so traffic and parking won't be a problem. The stadium is just off of 450, so one direction will take you back to Route 50 and the other will take you across a bridge and right into town.
Parking is all free, and there's plenty of room for it. There is only a small lot right behind the stadium that fills up quickly, but beyond the left field wall and across a small field, there is plenty of parking available.
Games are completely free and you can enter the stadium from all directions, so it couldn't be any easier to get in.
The stadium itself features one main concourse wrapping from first base to third base. it's easy enough to navigate, and the crowds aren't big enough to cause any difficulty. The concession stand and restrooms are located right behind home plate and will almost never have a line.
It couldn't be easier to rate a category than this.
The game and parking are free. Food is fairly priced, and you're getting a unique D1 baseball experience in a quaint and comfortable ballpark on the water. What could be better?
The best extra here is obviously the setting itself. The water, academy and giant flag in center field are things that no other ballpark can offer in terms of atmosphere. While the weight of it overshadows the baseball, it's a positive addition. The players demonstrate the discipline and camaraderie that you'd expect from the Midshipmen at all times. Those things may all be related, but they are what make a game here feel anything but ordinary.
For any baseball fan, this is just a trip that you should make. Make it a weekend to enjoy everything Annapolis has to offer, and appreciate the work and sacrifice of the Midshipmen that begin their service here. It may not be grandiose or wild, but it's an experience like no other in college baseball.
Member Review by Richard Smith on Mar 21, 2014
All students at the Naval Academy receive a full college scholarship that is paid back with service in the Navy or Marines. These scholar athletes are true amateur athletes and deserve the utmost respect. At Navy, the baseball players also get the opportunity to play at a very fine facility that is on par with many levels of professional baseball.
Professional baseball did play here briefly in 1994. The Bowie Baysox played the 1993 season at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore while their home, Prince George's Stadium, was being built. But weather delays caused the need to play a few home games in alternate locations at the start of the 1994 season. Max Bishop Stadium, as well as Shipley Field at the University of Maryland, served this temporary need as well.
The stadium has been around since 1962, although Navy baseball has been played on the same spot with other fields for years before then, and is named after longtime coach Max Bishop. Bishop served as coach from 1937 to 1961 and earned over 300 wins coaching the Midshipmen. Bishop was also a former Major League player, nicknamed “Eagle Eye,” who, while with the Philadelphia Athletics helped his team to three World Series, winning two of them in 1929 and 1930.
After renovations in 2005, the brand new state-of-the-art field was named after brothers Ron, Bruce and George Terwilliger, all of whom were players for Navy in the mid 1960s. Two of the brothers contributed to a significant upgrading of the facility during the renovation process.
Navy competes in the Patriot League, which has only six of the ten member schools participating in baseball. Northeast colleges frankly do not consider baseball as a prime sport, unlike conferences in the south.
Member Review by paul on Apr 06, 2017
Loved my visit to Annapolis and highly recommend a visit for any reason. Catching a Navy baseball game was a nice bonus, and it is a surprisingly nice little place with comfortable seats and plenty of legroom.
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