Photos by Andrei Ojeda, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29
Goodwin Field 800 N State College Blvd Fullerton, CA 92831
Year Opened: 1992
FULL of Winning
When it comes to college baseball prestige the California State University Fullerton squad seems to always be at the forefront of discussions. While the USC Trojans are college baseball’s all-time leaders in National Titles, the Titans continue to compete for that coveted prize year in and year out. To date, Cal State Fullerton Baseball boasts four National Championships, along with 16 appearances to the College World Series.
Goodwin Field, formerly known as Titan Field, is now the third home field of the baseball program and continues to evolve into one of the premier parks in all of college baseball. The stadium opened in 1992 and was renamed in 2000 after Jerry and Merilyn Goodwin made a sizable donation to help fund many of the renovations to the stadium.
Food & Beverage 4
A single permanent stand that also flows into the school's soccer stadium offers many of the ballpark staples, including beef hot dogs ($4), nachos with cheese ($3.75), soft pretzel ($2.50, add $0.50 for cheese), churros ($2.75), peanuts ($2.25), cheeseburger ($4.50), and a variety of smaller snacks. Pepsi product fountain drinks from 24 to 44 ounces are also reasonably priced ($2.50-$4.50).
The food truck featured during this particular game was Barcelona on the Go. For a food truck, the prices for their offerings are also very reasonable. Some of their choices are the Grilled Chicken Sandwich or Quesadilla ($7.50), Pulled Pork Quesadilla ($8.50) and the Barcelona Paella Bowl ($8.50).
Some of the sweet treats offered are ice cream bars and sandwiches ($3), deep fried oreos and funnel cakes ($5), kettle corn ($3, $5 and $8) and strawberry banana, pina colada and mango orange smoothies ($5 for a small, $8 for a regular and $10 for a tiki, $6 for a tiki refill).
What may go unnoticed is the price of the basic concessions compared to a previous visit actually decreased. It may not mean much to some, but when the cost of stadium food is always on the rise, it’s always good to know when venues, especially one of CSUF’s notoriety, looks after their fans by doing their best to make the stadium dining experience one that won’t put too much of a hole in their pockets.
The moment you walk inside Goodwin Field you get a sense of a deep baseball tradition. Upon entry, fans are greeted along the concourse by the Titans Wall of Honor, featuring names and jersey numbers of past Fullerton greats including Phil Nevin, Justin Turner, Kurt Suzuki, Tim Wallach and legendary manager Augie Garrido who is responsible for three of Fullerton’s four national titles.
Along the first base dugout is the Pierre Nicolas Wall of Champions that pays tributes to Fullerton’s four National Championship teams as well as their past Golden Spikes Award winners. Also along the first base concourse you also get a full glimpse of the Anderson Family Field, home to the lady softball sluggers. No matter where you are in the yard, you feel a strong baseball vibe all the way to the accolades that adorn the walls of the concourses as well as the outfield fences.
The neighborhood around the Cal State Fullerton campus offers a decent amount of off-campus dining, including your standard chains Five Guys Burgers and Panera Bread; Pepe’s Mexican is also a favorite among students for its huge portions and reasonable prices.
Oggi's, a brewhouse that not only specializes in pizza but has a full dining area with multiple screens to view other sporting action, has several chains in Orange and San Diego counties, including Fullerton.
If you have time to kill before a game, the Fullerton Arboretum, located on campus behind the right field fence, provides a nice nature like setting with trees and plants from around the world inside a 25 acre botanical garden.
You will also be glad to know that the House of Mouse is just a short 15-20 minute drive from campus should you and your fellow travelers decide on paying that most famous mouse a visit. Should you happen to do your lodging in Orange County, plenty of options, though some on the pricey side are available surrounding the area around Disneyland and are a short drive from not only the CSUF campus but also Angel Stadium and the Honda Center.
It is difficult to question the commitment of the Fullerton fans as they typically rank in the top 30 of college baseball attendance. Regardless of the opponent or day of the week, the larger capacity venue is often filled.
With four National Championships, 17 College World Series appearances and frequent NCAA Tournament appearances since 1975, it’s no surprise that fans regularly fill the stands. The loyalty of Titan baseball runs true and deep among the Blue and Orange clad fans.
If you get a chance, stop by Section A in the General Admission seats along the right field side. Out there is what fans simply refer to as The Superfan, a bearded fan with a Viking like voice that can be heard throughout the yard, and is at most if not all the games. Stop by and say hi, chances are he’ll not only take a picture with you but he may ask you to help him lead some cheers.
Titan Field is relatively simple to access via the 5, 57, and 91 freeways. In fact, the stadium is only 7 miles from both Angel Stadium and the Honda Center. Depending on when you go, you may even be able to make a baseball or hockey/baseball doubleheader out of your stay on The OC.
Though parking is plentiful, you will want to give yourself ample time to arrive as the lots fill up quickly. Once inside, the concourse above the stands is very pedestrian friendly. The concourse flowing into the soccer stadium where the concession stand serves both venues helps immensely as fans are able to stroll the area there as well. The concourse that flows into the soccer stadium is where fans can purchase their sweet treats as those stands are set up there as well.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets for most games are $18 for box seats, $11 for reserved, $10 adult general admission, senior GA $8, youth GA 8th grade and younger $6.
With a high caliber program and fans regularly filling the stands, Cal State Fullerton is one of the few schools that take advantage of the premium game pricing. The good news is it’s only a $2 price increase.
For games against Stanford, USC, UCLA and 3 game series against UC Irvine, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara, box seats go for $13, reserved for $13. Adult general admission goes for $12, senior GA $10, youth 8th grade and younger $8.
With Fullerton baseball, there are not many down seasons; in fact, there is seldom a losing streak. Rarely do winning traditions equate fans turning away from the value proposition and consequently the stands are often full.
After picking up a ticket to the game at the box office, fans will walk up a palm tree lined walkway, definitely providing a Southern California feel to the venue. At the top of the walkway, fans can look out onto the field and take note of some of the unique items the field offers.
As you walk toward the press box along the concourse, on the third base side is a tall standup board that displays the starting lineups of both teams. Above the starting lineups on the wall is a display featuring Titan All-Americans, National Players of the Year, and other player accolades as well as honoring their four National Champion teams from 1979, 1984, 1995 and 2004. With a title from each decade since 1975 and Fullerton being a regular in the NCAA tournament, it’s only natural to think CSUF is due for another one before this decade ends.
Along the first base concourse is the Pierre Nicolas Wall of Champions, and as you look out to the center field scoreboard, you will see flags of every team in the Big West Conference, presumably in the order of that day’s standings. Along the outfield walls, fans will notice these items:
Circles with the year of National Championship teams in them on the left field wall.
Close to the right field foul pole, the initials "MC" are listed. This is homage to Mike Campbell, a long time equipment manager who passed in 2011 after a long bout with cancer. A former Cal State Fullerton golfer, he was a staple of the Fullerton baseball program for many years, appearing at many games despite living in Santa Cruz.
Lastly, in right-center field is a message that reads "The Saarloos Family says Good Luck Titans; only 1,544 miles to Omaha." This is an obvious nod to past championships and the pursuit of the next with the College World Series taking place in Omaha, NE.
Despite playing in the backyard of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Titans remain one of the hotter tickets in Orange County. With four national championships and a team that is almost always certain to make a post-season run, it’s easy to see why fans here consistently fill up the yard. Of all the college yards I’ve had the chance to visit in Southern California, Goodwin Field, with their loyal fans and fan friendly amenities abound, may arguably be the best.