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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Don Brandon Field – Anderson University Ravens



Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

Don Brandon Field Graceland Ave. Anderson, IN 46012


Year Opened: 1978 Capacity: 500

 

The Boys of Spring in Anderson

Dan Brandon Field is the home of the Anderson University Ravens baseball team. The field features a natural grass outfield and a synthetic turf infield. The grandstand offers seating for 500, along with a grass berm area down the left-field foul line, 80-foot dugouts, a brick press box, and a concession stand.


The field received a new synthetic infield and foul turf for the 2024 season. The new playing field was installed by Maumee Bay Turf and paid for by numerous donations from baseball alumni and other supporters, including lead gifts from two estates. The outfield remains natural grass. The turf hopes to reduce weather delays and cancellations along with less maintenance.


The ballpark was renamed in 2010 after former coach Don Brandon. Three years later, a new brick press box was installed before the start of the 2013 season that also included a brick backstop and dugouts. The old press box was relocated a few yards away to the softball field.


Brandon coached the ball club from 1972-2010. During his 38 seasons, the Ravens amassed 1,110 victories, 13 conference titles, 12 NAIA District titles, 5 NAIA World Series, and one NCAA National Championship in 1991. The Ravens are members of the Division III Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Brandon also played for Anderson under another famous coach, hometown hero Carl Erskine.


Erskine, who passed away less than a week after our visit, was one of the last Boys of Summers of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers World Series championship team. He coached the Ravens for 12 seasons and won the 1965 NAIA World Series. Erskine managed the Ravens when they played at Memorial Stadium, 3 miles from campus.


Food & Beverage 3

Brandon Field has a concession stand. The volunteer staff grills all-beef hot dogs and cook a batch of Spanish sauce (think of a Manwich sauce) in a crock pot for hot dogs and sloppy joes. The sloppy dog is a popular choice among visitors and is spooned over a hot dog. Cans of Coke products, water, chips, and candy are also available.


Atmosphere 3

Don Brandon Field is a simple brick stadium with three sets of wooden bleachers. The grandstand is 10-rows high and separated into three sections with a lower concourse for easy access. The design is ideal for the Ravens and offers everything a fan would need for this level of baseball.


The baseball banter can be heard from the respective dugouts. Fans are close to the action on the field and line up the left and right field foul lines with lawn chairs, blankets, and dogs on leashes. It is a simple atmosphere but reminiscent of other levels of college baseball throughout the Midwest and Northeast.


The outfield fence is lined up with pine trees to provide a pleasant backdrop for the game. Banners hang from the back of the grandstand with images, team history, and mottos. The concession stand sits below the press box. The only complaint might be the scoreboard, which makes it hard to read the score and strikes and outs from the grandstand.


Neighborhood 2

There are no restaurants or retail stores within walking distance of campus, but less than a mile from the ballpark is Gene’s Root Beer Stand. It has been an intuition since 1964 and serves Spanish dogs, burgers, sandwiches, and homemade root beer.


A few miles down the main road towards the interstate are chain restaurants and fast food joints. However, visit The Lemon Drop, a hot spot since 1953 known for its onionburgers, homemade onion rings, chocolate Cokes, and old-fashioned milkshakes.


Fans 3

The fan base consists of family members, friends, and curiosity seekers checking out the game. Parents call out their kids by name when they are at bat, fans clap when there is a hit, and the crowd roars when a run crosses home plate. 


Access 3

The ballpark is a simple structure with easy access to the grandstand by a small staircase and a concession stand in front of the main grandstand. There are port-a-potties located a few yards away from the main entrance and some of the freshest-smelling ones I have used.


Parking can be confusing for the first-time visitor as the only way to access the parking lot is to drive behind the football field grandstand when the gates are open. If that is not available, fans park in front of the football stadium and walk around the perimeter.


Return on Investment 4

All games are free of charge, hot dogs are $2 to $3, chips are $1, and cans of sodas are $2. A weekend game brings a warm crowd into the game, and the dugouts create a lot of noise. The backdrop of pine trees and warm spring days creates an ideal way to spend an afternoon at the ballpark.


Extras 3

The ballpark earns an extra point for its sloppy dogs, which are $3 and well worth the price. The second point is for the fan who hands out free Blow Pops to everyone in the grandstand. The final point is for the synthetic infield that creates fewer rainouts during the spring season.


Final Thoughts

There are some great Division 3 ballparks in Indiana, and Anderson University has one of them. It's a very inexpensive way to spend a spring afternoon watching baseball and perhaps a chance to appreciate the game at a different level than the minor leagues or Division I.



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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on YouTube @ballparkhunter, Twitter @ballparkhunter, and Instagram.

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