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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Oakes

Ashton Field - Tappahannock Tides

Photos by Joseph Oakes, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 1.71

Ashton Field

High School Circle

Tappahannock, VA 22560

Year Opened: Unknown Capacity: 500


Baseball Returns to Tappahannock

The Tappahannock Tides play in the NABA (National Adult Baseball Association) Richmond league. The NABA is an 18 and over wood bat competitive league featuring former college and high school baseball players. The NABA Richmond is comprised of teams throughout the city of Richmond and nearby towns Tappahannock and Deltaville. The typical season runs May through August, and each team plays an average of 15 games plus playoffs.

The Tappahannock Tides returned to the NABA Richmond in 2018 after a seven-year hiatus. The Tides play at Aston Field, on the campus of Essex High School.

Food & Beverage 0

There are no concessions of any type available at Tappahannock Tides games. While we understand that this is a small-town team with probably a limited budget, it is somewhat disappointing that not even basic concession items such as soft drinks and peanuts are available. Some fans in attendance do have their own coolers that are filled with various food and drink, a few fans even bring their own “adult beverages.”

Atmosphere 1

Ashton Field is similar to many high school fields with a single building directly behind home plate. The top level is for game operations staff and the bottom level is a concession stand (which is not open for Tides games). Between this building and either dugout, there is a set of bleachers five rows high that is broken into three sections.

There is a single scoreboard in left center field that only gives the score with balls, strikes, and outs. The two dugouts are small brick structures that are above the ground. Unfortunately, there is no PA announcer for Tides games.

If attending an early evening game, be prepared for the sun to be in your eyes until it gets dark. The sun sets directly beyond the outfield and can be extremely hot and uncomfortable on warm days.

Neighborhood 2

Tappahannock is a small town in eastern Virginia, and is located on the Rappahannock River about 45 minutes east of Richmond and an hour south of Fredericksburg. There is little to do in Tappahannock unless you have a boat and water sports are your thing.

Food options are also limited in Tappahannock; however, one restaurant you cannot miss is NN Burger right next to the Downing Bridge. NN Burger features craft burgers, extreme milkshakes, and live local music. It has been voted the “Best Burger in Virginia” by Virginia Living magazine the last six years.

There is also a Holiday Inn Express in Tappahannock, which is our recommendation if you are staying overnight.

Fans 1

During our visit, there were very few fans in attendance. There may have even been more players on the field than fans in the stands. Many fans appeared to be friends and family of players as many knew them by their first name. Despite the small number of fans, they were actively cheering and into the game.

Access 3

Ashton Field is located on the campus of Essex High School just north of Tappahannock about 1 mile off of US 17. A gravel driveway right before you get to the high school will take you past the softball field and to Ashton Field. There is a large grassy lot with plenty of parking right next to the field.

Return on Investment 5

There is no cost to attend a Tides game and parking is free, so we give it a 5/5 for return on investment.

Extras 0

There are no extras to note.

Final Thoughts

The NABA Richmond is a great league that gives former high school and college players the opportunity to continue to play competitive wood bat baseball. Even though the NABA is a pay to play league and teams probably have a limited budget, we came away disappointed with the Tides experience. Without following the team on Facebook, no one would hardly know the team existed or the schedule.

Small towns like Tappahannock should embrace a team such as this. It would be nice to see local businesses support and promote the team; and have signage throughout town letting folks know when games are. While the Tides will never be mistaken for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, adding small things such as concessions at games and a little more promotion would make it a nice, fun, small-town, community supported baseball experience for players and fans alike.

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