- Joe Rogers
Kamine Stadium - Lafayette Leopards
Photo courtesy of Lafayette Leopards Athletics
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
3412 Sullivan Trail
Forks Township, PA 18042
Year Opened: 2003
Lafayette Leopards Baseball at Kamine Stadium
Two major renovations over the course of the last 13 years have transformed Hilton Rahn ’51 Field at Kamine Stadium from your typical small northeast college baseball facility into one of the finer complexes found in the Patriot League.
Prior to the opening of the Leopard’s 2003 season, the stadium underwent its first major renovation with the addition of a 500-seat grandstand with chair back seating complete with an ample sized press box, equipped with a permanently installed public address system and phone lines for television, radio, newspaper and internet. A new backstop was attached to the bleacher seating with protective netting and the existing dugouts were extended an additional 20 feet and completely refurbished adding more on-field storage area as well.
In the outfield, a 15-foot wide crushed stone warning track was installed and assists in defining the dimensions of the fence at 403 feet to dead center field, 332 feet and 335 feet down the left and right field lines respectively. Four regulation bullpens were installed along with permanent batting cages for each team’s use.
A few years later in the fall of 2007, the subsurface of the infield was graded, a modern irrigation system was installed along with the placement of new sod and infield mix to create a perfectly finished diamond. The field is one that Hilton ‘Dutch’ Rahn would be proud of. Dutch is a Lafayette alumnus (class of 1951), a serious sports fan, and whom the field is named after.
Food & Beverage 3
Not much to discuss here in terms of quantity of choices, however, the quality of the options is excellent. As with most small venues, the concessions are normally very limited, but trust me when I tell you that #PardProvisions, a mini restaurant on wheels located directly behind the grandstand that serves up fresh selections made with local ingredients is a must visit. The Home Grown Burrito, made with local eggs, local sausage, tater tots, cheddar cheese and house-made salsa cream cheese wrapped in a garlic herb tortilla is heavenly, and for $6 is a steal. The Smoked Swine, shredded smoked pork over macaroni and Gouda cheese with sweet honey barbecue sauce and crispy onions is the most expensive item on the menu, but also looks like the most delicious at $9.
This is the Patriot League and Lafayette has not been to the College World Series in over 50 years, so if you are looking for a great atmosphere, you better come back in the fall when the Leopards take to the gridiron against Lehigh in college football’s oldest rivalry game. What you do get, is the opportunity to take in America’s pastime at a serene setting allowing for a great view of a surprisingly well-played game of baseball.
Lafayette College is located in Easton, Pennsylvania however, Kamine Stadium at the Metzgar Athletic Campus is located in Forks Township, which is approximately a 10-minute car ride from campus. There is not much of note here in this tiny township of 15,000 people so I would seriously suggest visiting downtown Easton if you are in search of lunch or dinner, or looking for some place to grab a cold one. There you will find Two Rivers Brewing Company, located in the 500 block of Northampton Street and home of the Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger. Pair one with an O’Hanlon Irish Stout, a coffee and chocolate flavored brew named after Lafayette basketball coach Fran O’Hanlon and you’ll be sure to return for another.
With the exception of players’ family members and friends, or working staff, there are not many fans who make the short commute out to Metzgar Fields Complex to attend a Leopards baseball game. Small college baseball is not a huge draw in the northeastern part of the United States due largely in part to the sometimes cantankerous weather conditions during the few months of the season and this is evident in the diminutive attendance numbers of schools in this geographical region.
Hilton Rahn ’51 Field is easily accessible on Sullivan Trail no matter from which direction you are traveling. The city of Easton is located at exit 75 off Interstate 78 which is a major interstate in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and is very easily accessible as well. The parking lots are small but adequate and easy to get in and out of, and they are free.
Return on Investment 4
“Remember that time is money” is a famous quote that is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and if that is truly the case, your R.O.I. here is pretty significant as it is time that seems to be your biggest expense considering Lafayette does not charge a penny to park, nor a dime for admission and even issues free game programs to everyone in attendance.
The quality level of play in the Patriot League is improving as was evident last year (2015) when the league had one of its best showings in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft when five players representing four different schools were selected, two going as early as the 10th round. This coupled with the fact that you can see it for virtually free is definitely a bonus.
Athletic Department staff members at Lafayette College are absolutely amazing in their friendliness and eagerness to always assist in any way that they possibly can. It is a genuine characteristic and not one of a spurious nature that you can pick up on a mile away. There is no “big timing” here, and that can go along way with fans, especially this one.
The stadium although diminutive in size, is still state-of-the-art due to the recent renovations and you’d be hard pressed to find one blade of natural grass or a little infield mix out of place. When I tell you that the field is perfect, I mean it is perfect…so an extra point for the grounds crew!
I found Kamine Stadium to be a wonderful place to take in a game. Sure, there were probably only 250 of us in attendance, but the level of play was fantastic and if you can get by the numbers, or lack thereof, you’d probably agree that Patriot League baseball at Rahn Field ’51 is a nice little secret. For now anyway.