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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Muncy Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field – Williamsport Crosscutters


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

Muncy Bank Ballpark at Bowman Field 1700 W 4th St Williamsport, PA 17701

Year Opened: 1926 Capacity: 2,366

 

Cutting it in Williamsport

Historic Bowman Field, home to the Williamsport Crosscutters, opened in 1926 and is one of the oldest stadiums in baseball. Prior to the Williamsport Crosscutters losing their affiliated minor league status in 2020, it was the second oldest stadium in minor league baseball, and still claims to be, although of course that depends on how you define "minor league". Baseball has a rich history here at Bowman Field, with numerous teams calling it home over the years in the Eastern League and New York-Penn League. Beginning in 2021, the Crosscutters joined the MLB Draft League along with five other contracted minor league teams. The Draft League consists of draft eligible prospects looking to improve their stock.


The most famous incident ever to take place at Bowman Field is the Great Potato Caper. In 1987, backup catcher Dave Bresnahan of the Williamsport Bills attempted to trick a Reading Phillies player by throwing a peeled and rounded potato over the head of the third baseman to entice the baserunner to run home. Bresnahan then tagged him with the ball that was still in his glove but the umpire was having none of it and ruled the runner safe due to the chicanery. Bresnahan was removed from the game and never played again, but became a hero in Williamsport and has received numerous honors and tributes over the years, many of which can be seen right here at Bowman Field.


Beginning in 2017, Major League Baseball has played one regular season game here a year, the Little League Classic. Played every August while the Little League World Series is in town, the game is open exclusively to participating players, their families, and a small number of locals selected by lottery to attend.


Food & Beverage 4

Walking into the entrance plaza at Bowman Field will put you directly in front of several concession stands. Unless you have a ticket to a picnic or party area, this is where you will get your food. The stadium has all of the usual offerings, including hot dogs, burgers, pizza, chicken tenders, and fries. More unique offerings include pulled pork and brisket sandwiches and turkey and ham subs.


The snack menu is pretty typical as well, with popcorn, cotton candy, chips, Kettle corn, ice cream, and more. beer is available at a separate stand for those of age, and fans have the option of getting it in a souvenir team mug.


Prices vary significantly here. A basic hot dog is $3, although fans can get one with chili and onions for $7. A burger ranges from $11-$13 depending on whether fans want cheese or bacon on it, although it is fairly sizeable for a ballpark burger. Ultimately you get what you pay for - the more unique or fancier food will cost more, and that is to be expected.


Atmosphere 4

Williamsport does a great job of combining the historic and modern here at Bowman Field. Walking in will put you in an entrance plaza surrounded by food options. You will then walk up a ramp to the inner concourse ring surrounding the stadium, and up or down to your seat.


Other than the picnic and party areas, all seats are chairbacks in a grandstand that runs from dugout to dugout. Thanks to recent renovations, all seats are now chairbacks, although they do not fold up. No matter where you sit, you will be up close to the action. All seats are behind a net, and the ones between the inner edge of the dugout and home plate also have netting above, making it impossible to catch a foul ball. The seats above the inner concourse are under an overhang reminiscent of many other old time ballparks.


The team often plays sound effects and music over the PA system to keep fans engaged. After key outs or big defensive plays, they will often play a jingle that goes "Oh, down goes another/By the hands of a man called a Crosscutter". Fans seem to enjoy this song. There are also between inning contests and events, enough to keep fans interested but not so many that it becomes a distraction from the game. The most interesting one occurs at the end of the sixth inning. In honor of the Great Potato Caper, three costumed potatoes wearing hats of various colors will enter in right field and race around the warning track to home plate. They will then enter the crowd and mingle with the fans.


In addition to the Racing Potatoes, the Crosscutters have a mascot named Boomer who is a blue creature of some sort. He is a fan favorite as well, and will ride his cart out on the field before the game to fire up the crowd in a similar manner to the Phillie Phanatic.





Neighborhood 3

Bowman Field is located in a residential area and not much is located in the immediate vicinity other than some houses. Downtown Williamsport is a few miles away and offers the standard options you'd expect from a small town in Central Pennsylvania. New Trail Brewing Company is popular locally, and there are a few other options as well.


What brings this score up significantly is what is across the Susquehanna River in South Williamsport - the world home of Little League Baseball. Although the Crosscutters typically go on the road while the Little League World Series is in town to avoid the massive traffic and crowds that accompany it, the World of Little League Museum is open from 9 AM to 4 PM daily. It is located in the Little League Complex, adjacent to the fields the World Series is played on.


Fans 5

Although Bowman Field only seats a couple thousand fans, Crosscutters fill it to near capacity. They are knowledgeable, loyal, passionate, and boisterous, and the roof over most of the stands helps trap in the sound and make it even louder. Many of them have been coming to Cutters games here for years, but there are also families with small children taking in their first game, in awe of it all. Chants of "Let's Go Cutters" and "Timber" can be heard throughout the game, as can thunderous applause after big plays. Many fans come decked out in Crosscutters gear, but this being the home of Little League Baseball, it is not uncommon to see fans in gear from the Little League World Series as well.





Access 3

Bowman Field is located just off US Route 15, the main north-south road through Williamsport. Fans coming from the east or west can also take US Route 220 and connect to other roads as needed. Parking is available in a lot next to the stadium, with overflow parking nearby as well. The closest spaces cost $3 to park in (cash only) while all other spaces are free.


There is a clear bag policy in effect at the stadium, which is disappointing to see at this level and does bring the score down a bit. Once inside, there is ample room to move around. The ramps down from the seating bowl can get a bit cramped as everyone leaves at once, but they clear out quickly. Restrooms are available on the entrance plaza and are of a sufficient size for the crowd.


Return on Investment 5

Tickets start at just $8 and go up to $10 as you get closer to the field. However, any of these seats will offer a great view of the action. Group seating in the party and picnic area is more expensive than that but includes all you can eat food, so if you are bringing a large group, this is still a good deal. Members of the Senior Loggers Club (open to fans 60 and up) get free tickets and a hot dog at every Sunday home game. Joining this club is $35 and can offer added value if you are going to multiple games. Parking is free if you are willing to walk a bit, and affordable even if you want to park close by. Concessions will vary in price depending on what you buy, but you will get what you pay for. All in all, this makes a Crosscutters game in Williamsport a great value for all baseball fans.


Extras 4

Look for the historical marker outside the stadium explaining the history of baseball here.


The Potato Race is worthy of another extra star as a unique between inning tradition.


Be sure to check out the Bowman Field Hall of Fame on the ramp to the stands on the first base side. This honors baseball legends who have played here or otherwise been involved in Williamsport baseball and their contributions to the history of Bowman Field. One notable inductee is Dave Bresnahan, the mastermind of the Great Potato Caper, who was inducted in 2012 for this "achievement".


Finally, be sure to check out the team store by the entrance, which sells Crosscutters gear, as well as gear from the team's alternate identity, the Potato Capers, which they rebrand as every Friday home game.



Final Thoughts

Baseball has been played at Bowman Field for almost 100 years and you can feel a part of the history when stepping in here. However, this very much feels like a modern ballpark as well, not an old decrepit one that is falling apart. By combining history with everything you'd expect of a ballpark in the modern age, the Williamsport Crosscutters have made Historic Bowman Field one of the best places in the country to watch a game.

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