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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Tommy Lasorda Field at Meiklejohn Stadium – Penn Quakers


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86

Tommy Lasorda Field at Meiklejohn Stadium 3331 River Fields Dr Philadelphia, PA 08105

Year Opened: 2000 Capacity: 850

 

The Might of the Penn and Lasorda

The University of Pennsylvania's baseball team has called Meiklejohn Stadium home since 2000, although it has been known by several names since it opened. Originally known as Murphy Field, it changed its name to Meiklejohn Stadium in 2006 in honor of a donor who financed a major renovation. Later, it underwent another renovation, and in 2023 formally changed its name to Tommy Lasorda Field at Meiklejohn Stadium. Lasorda has no connection to the school, but Penn alumnus Warren Lichtenstein, who financed the renovation, was close friends with the former Dodgers skipper, who is a native of the area.


Meiklejohn Stadium is tucked away in the River Fields Complex, along with several other Penn athletic facilities. It is surrounded by a power plant, an interstate highway, the Schuylkill River, and some train tracks. There are enough trees to make the setting seem at least somewhat more rustic than it actually is, and despite the unusual setting, Meiklejohn Stadium manages to be a nice place to see a game.


Food & Beverage 0

There is no food or drink for sale to the general public at Meiklejohn Stadium. When Stadium Journey visited, there was a hospitality area for the donors who supported the Tommy Lasorda Field project which provided them with food and beverage, but as we attended the day of the dedication, it is unclear if this will continue. In any case, this area was only open to donors. Some of the parents of the players will bring food to share and may set it up on a table, but again, this is not for the general public. Fans are permitted to bring their own food and drink.


Atmosphere 4

Meiklejohn Field is a unique ballpark in an unusual urban setting. The power plant down the right field line hums throughout the game, trains can occasionally be heard blowing their horn on the tracks, and cars drive by on the Schuylkill Expressway beyond the outfield fence. Despite this, Penn somehow makes the setting work. The field is surrounded by a seating bowl, and surprisingly for this level, all seats are chairbacks. Rather than walking along concrete in the seating area as you would at most stadiums, the ground here consists of white crushed stones, making for a unique visual environment. The public address announcer is passionate but not over the top, and helps get the crowd into it. Music is played during breaks in the action, as is standard. If you didn't know where you were, the atmosphere would seem pretty similar to that of many northeastern college baseball venues, but the fact that it is nestled in the middle of the city in an environment that seems part urban park, part just urban, makes it unique.


Neighborhood 5

Meiklejohn Stadium s located in a park next to several other Penn athletic venues in the University City Neighborhood of Philadelphia. Within a short walk, you can find numerous restaurants ranging from pizza to burgers to chicken to bars, and much more. Most of this can be found north of the stadium, as the university hospital is located directly to the south. The Schuylkill River is directly to the east, but there are plenty of options as you head west along the streets as well. The New Deck Tavern is one favorite, as are the White Dog Café and highly rated Mexican restaurant Cucina Zapata.


Fans 3

Penn baseball attracts several hundred fans a game to this small stadium. While friends and family of the players make their presence known. plenty of alumni and other Penn fans also show up. Going to a game here is a social activity for many of them, and a chance to hang out and talk, but they can be passionate and loud at times as well. The crowd is slightly larger than your typical college baseball crowd in this area, although not necessarily as passionate.


Access 2

Meiklejohn Stadium is located in the River Fields Complex and finding it can be tricky if you are not using a GPS. The Waze app took us right to the stadium when we punched in the name, but others have reported trouble in the past. There is a lot right next to the stadium, and others elsewhere in the River Fields Complex when that fills up. It is not clear if you need to pay for parking and even security was unsure. In the past, fans could park for free at Penn games, but several fans have reported receiving tickets this season, so we were advised to pay just to be on the safe side. Parking is paid in advance at the kiosk, for $4 an hour up to $13 for the whole day. If you are staying for the whole game, you will probably pay the max rate. Remember to put the ticket on your dashboard before you go in to the stadium.


Both a portable restroom and a real one in a trailer are located near the entrance, although there may be a wait at times. To get there from the seating area, you either need to walk all the way around and back, or walk up to the top of the seating bowl and down a steep hill, then do the reverse on your way back.


Return on Investment 4

Admission to to Penn baseball games is free. There is no charge for concessions because there aren't any. This means that the only charge will be for parking, which is quite pricey, assuming there is indeed supposed to be a charge. However, a Penn game is still a good value even with the cost to park.


Extras 2

Free programs are available in a box on the side of the press box.


The Penn batting cages and bullpens are right by the entrance, so fans can watch the players before the game up close.


Final Thoughts

Tommy Lasorda Field at Meiklejohn Stadium is in one of the most unique settings in college baseball. Despite this, and perhaps in part because of it, a visit here is an enjoyable experience for any fan of college baseball.

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