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  • Richard Smith

Athey Park – Washington College Shoremen

Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Athey Park 108 Gibson Ave. Chestertown, MD 21620

Year Opened: 2007

Capacity: 500


On The Shore

Washington College is a college in Chestertown, Maryland which was granted its charter in 1782. It is the 10th oldest college in the United States and one of the few to have received support from George Washington to honor him. The original desire was to have this college as the Eastern Shore Campus of a public “University of Maryland” with Annapolis’ St. John’s College the Western Shore counterpart. That obviously did not happen.

Each year, Washington College awards the nation’s largest undergraduate literary prize. Since 1968, the Sophie Kerr Prize has been presented to one graduating senior who demonstrates the greatest literary promise.

Washington has had sports since the 1800s, with the baseball team dating back to the 1870s, likely the oldest team on campus. Men’s teams are known as the Shoremen; women’s teams are known as the Shorewomen.

The facility is named in honor of long-time athletic director and coach Edward L. Athey. A new field was installed in 2007 and the current stadium architecture and press box were completed in 2009.

Food & Beverage 1

There are no permanent food options at the stadium, although it looks like some parents and fans occasionally bring and sell some offerings at some games, especially on weekends.

Atmosphere 4

The field is a very nice low-level college field. The small grandstand fills quickly and many fans sit on their own chairs around all parts of the field. The North Commons student housing lines the outfield view and offers a great view. The actual grandstand does suffer from some obstructed views from the on-the-field press box.

Neighborhood 4

Chestertown is a town and county seat of around 5,000 in Kent County, Maryland, and is located on what is known as Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It is 1.5 hours from Baltimore and Philadelphia.

The nearby downtown district of Chestertown is full of history and sites for visitors, along with some nice shopping and dining. BAD Alfred’s Distilling, the Evergrain Bread Company, and Play It Again Sam are good spots for dining.

Check out the High Street Town Dock and see if there are any charter boat trips through companies such as the Chester River Packet Company. Wilmer Park and the nearby area around the Hodson Boathouse at Washington College make for some nice waterside walking on a nice day.

Fans 3

There was a decent number of fans, but as with most northeast college teams, many of the fans are friends and family of the players. There was a decent number of college students attending the game, although it did seem that their attention was pretty low.

Access 3

The actual town of Chestertown is not an issue getting around and accessing, but the problem is how isolated from major urban areas the town and college are. You will have to go way out of your way to visit Washington College.

There may also not be much parking on campus as it is a historic campus and if there are many events going on, the available spots could be hard to find. Leave yourself plenty of time to find a good spot. The North Commons area may be a good place to start, but make sure to follow parking guidelines, especially for weekday events during regular school semesters.

Return on Investment 5

Games are free to attend at Athey Park. The team does offer free roster sheets behind home plate. For the low cost of attendance, the return on investment is great.

Extras 2

The North Commons student housing view and the ability to walk around the outside of the entire field is a nice extra. The offering of roster sheets is a nice extra as well.

Final Thoughts

Although Athey Park is not worth a long, out-of-the-way drive, if you are on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, stopping in for a game is a fun experience.

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