E.T. Straw Family Stadium – Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers
Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.29
E.T. Straw Family Stadium College Ln Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Year Opened: 2007 Capacity: 500
Baseball at The Mount
Located in the Catoctin Mountain area of Frederick County, Maryland, in the town of Emmitsburg, Mount St. Mary’s University is one of the oldest Catholic universities in the United States. The Mount’s athletic teams are known as the Mountaineers and compete in the Northeast Conference. Most of these teams play at the PNC Sports Complex, which contains several venues – Knott Arena, home of Mountaineers basketball, Waldron Family Stadium, home of the lacrosse and soccer teams, Our Lady of the Meadows Field, which Mountaineers softball calls home, and E.T. Straw Family Stadium, home of the baseball team.
Although baseball has been played on this site for some time, the stadium as it currently exists opened in 2007 following extensive renovations that added bleachers, a press box, and various improvements to the field itself. It is named after Erv Straw, a 1952 graduate of The Mount.
Food & Beverage 1
There is no concession stand at E.T. Straw Family Stadium. However, if you go next door to Knott Arena, you can find some vending machines which sell vending machine things at vending machine prices, including bottled water, soft drinks, and snacks. They accept credit cards, $1 bills, and coins. Use the lower entrance next across from the softball field, not the upper entrance on the other side of the building like you would for basketball. Fans are free to bring in their own food and drink as well.
E.T. Straw Family Stadium has a basic layout similar to what you see at many college baseball venues in the northeast. There are some seats located behind home plate, with the center section being chairbacks and the other sections being bleachers. However, it is all general admission so you can sit where you want. There is also a hill down the left field line where fans can bring their own chairs and sit in the shade. This is especially helpful on hot days late in the season, as the main stand has almost no shade for early afternoon games. A scoreboard in right-center field shows the linescore and other basic information.
In terms of the atmosphere, there isn’t much going on here other than the game itself. Music is played between batters and during breaks in the action, but that is about it. To a baseball purist, this won’t matter, but fans looking to do more than just watch the game itself will be disappointed.
Emmitsburg is a small town in Maryland just south of the Pennsylvania border, and there is really nothing within walking distance of campus. If you make the short drive into town, you will find a few places to eat and stay, as well as some interesting sites such as the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and various Catholic shrines. Thurmont is a short drive away, about 10 minutes south on Route 15, and offers more options than Emmitsburg itself. However, this is a very rural area, and while it’s scenic, there isn’t a whole lot to do here.
The Mount will typically draw a couple hundred fans a game, at least according to the official attendance numbers. Most of them are friends and family of the players, although you do get some locals turning out as well. The fans do seem knowledgeable about the team and the players and can get quite involved. However, like at most college baseball stadiums in the region, the crowds simply aren’t very large.
The PNC Sports Complex, of which E.T. Straw Family Stadium is a part, is right off US Route 15. The Complex is clearly signed and contains numerous lots which serve the various fields. You will probably have to park on the side of Knott Arena and walk a short distance, but there are a few spots right next to the stadium. These are reserved for rec center staff on weekdays and you will not be able to park there, but on weekends, they are open to anyone.
There are no bathrooms at the stadium itself, but if you head into Knott Arena, you can find some in the lobby. As with the vending machines, use the entrance across from the softball field next door, not the one you would for basketball. Assuming there’s not another event going on in Knott that day, they will be of a more than sufficient size and even though it’s in a different building, the walk takes less time than it would in many large stadiums.
Return on Investment 4
Admission to baseball games at E.T. Straw Family Stadium is free, there’s no charge for parking, and you won’t pay anything for concessions because there aren’t any. Your only cost will be the gas to get here, although you may have to drive quite a bit depending on where you are coming from. However, there isn’t enough here to earn the top score.
Look for the free programs in a mailbox at the top of the bleachers.
College baseball simply isn’t very big in most of the northeast and mid-Atlantic, and Mount St. Mary’s baseball is no exception. This is a basic field and a basic experience, which will be fine for some fans who just want to watch a baseball game. However, fans looking for the kind of experience you get in other parts of the country that can be similar to a minor league game will be sorely disappointed.