- Lloyd Brown
Muncy Bank Ballpark at Bowman Field – Williamsport Crosscutters
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Muncy Bank Ballpark at Bowman Field 1700 W 4th St Williamsport, PA 17701
Williamsport Crosscutters website Muncy Bank Ballpark website
Year Opened: 1926 Capacity: 4,200
Baseball…The Way It Used To Be!
Contrary to popular belief, there are TWO historic baseball stadiums located in the Central Pennsylvania town of Williamsport. The first is Lamade Stadium, which has hosted the Little League World Series since 1959. The other is Bowman Field, the fourth oldest minor league baseball stadium still in use. It has hosted baseball since 1926, trailing only Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Bosse Field in Evansville, and Centennial Field in Burlington Vermont in years of service. Over the years, it has been the home field for area colleges, semi-pro teams and its current tenant, the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League. The team is affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies.
This is truly one of the classic old-style ballparks, as it features brick walls, a large grandstand roof, outfield fences covered with the names of local merchants and seats as close to the action as possible. It seats approximately 4,000 people, and it usually is easy to get a ticket. The Crosscutters typically take a long road trip during the two-week period when the Little League World Series is in town.
Food & Beverage 3
Expect the usual ballpark fare of hamburgers, hot dogs and peanuts, AND expect a line at the concession stand also, as there are only two in the ballpark. The good news is that the prices range from $2-$3 for a hamburger or hot dog up to about $4 for a barbecue sandwich. Another reason for the lengthy lines is that several ticket packages include food in the deal. Beers featured include Coors, Labatt’s Blue and Budweiser at $6. Along the third base line, there is a party deck called Cutters Cove to enjoy a cold beverage with your friends.
Expect old-style baseball without a lot of bells and whistles. The game is the central focus, as modern “enhancements” of music, endless advertising on the PA system, and massive scoreboards have not invaded this classic park. Seating is tight on aluminum benches with backs and some box seats. The grandstand roof protects about 50 percent of the seats from the glaring sun or inclement weather. As you enter the stadium through the main gate, you will enter a well laid out plaza with a food court, player autograph booth and the gift shop. The team has done a great job of integrating the logger theme without going overboard (i.e., the souvenir stand is The Sawmill).
Bowman Park is located in a rural area just outside the Williamsport city limits near the banks of Lycoming Creek, which at times has overflowed into the park during floods over the last 90 years. On the other side of the stadium is a small residential neighborhood, with a nice view of the mountains in the distance. Simply said, it is a beautiful place to enjoy a ballgame on a summer day.
The fans here are very supportive of the team. It is a blue-collar town, and both players and fans know each other on a first name basis. They do not have to be prompted electronically to begin stomping their feet or clapping their hands to get a rally going. It is typically a hometown crowd, although the neighboring State College Spikes fans do travel well in a good-natured rivalry. Fans are respectful of their neighbors, waiting until a between inning break to go to the concession stand or restroom. The team also has set aside a family friendly section where no alcohol can be sold.
The home of the Crosscutters is easy to reach, as it is located just off State Highway 15, the main road through Williamsport. There are plenty of directional signs to the Bowman Field once you enter town. Parking is free, and the friendly local police force helps make re-entry onto the highway after the game a snap.
Return on Investment 5
Bowman Field earns the highest rating in this section, as their food prices, tickets and special packages really make it possible for a local family of four on a tight income to attend games on a regular basis. Individual tickets are $9 tops, and several ticket packages will include free admission on specific nights. Just two examples: Members of the “Senior Loggers” (age 60 or older) get free admission to all Sunday home games, a meal voucher and early entry into the stadium, all for a one-time $15 membership fee. Kids in the “knothole gang” receive free admission on all Monday and Thursday games, and a free meal combo in return for their $15 membership fee. Add to that the free parking and the Crosscutters offer a value that is hard to beat.
Even though Bowman Field is a minor league destination, a visit to the nearby Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum is a must-see attraction while you are in town. The museum adjoins the complex where the Little League World Series is held, and you can take a self-guided tour of the facility and relive your own childhood memories of Little League stardom. The museum is $5 for adults and $2 for children, and is well worth it. Just follow the Little League signs (they are everywhere!) to the museum/stadium, which is also on Highway 15.