Photos by Steven Kee, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.29
MU Baseball Field Larchwood Ave West Long Branch, NJ 07764
Year Opened: 1984
Monmouth University is Where the Hawks Fly
The Monmouth University baseball team plays in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) that consists of eleven schools from three states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Monmouth is one of the two newest members along with Quinnipiac University to have joined the conference in 2013, but have been a Division I program since 1984 as members of the Northeast Conference.
The Hawks play at MU Baseball Field located at the southwest corner of campus and Larchwood and Palmer Avenues in West Long Branch, New Jersey. The baseball field is part of the athletic complex that consists of various sporting venues including the newly renovated Kessler Stadium where the football team plays and OceanFirst Center that's home to the basketball program.
The private university consists of 4,000 students and class sizes range from 25-30. The small campus is known for many beautiful and historic buildings, but Wilson Hall might just be the centerpiece of campus. The mansion built in 1929 at a cost of $10.5 million as the private residence of former F.W. Woolworth Co. president Hubert Templeton Parson and his wife. It also served as the home of Daddy Warbucks in the 1982 motion picture Annie.
Food & Beverages 1
There are no concession stands located at the stadium. It is advised to grab a bite to eat before or after the game. Don’t worry there are some great places to eat nearby offering beautiful views of the New Jersey coastline.
Rooneys and McLoone’s Pier House are two local favorites that won’t break your bank, offering nice views of the water and even better portions of seafood. Mar Belo has great Spanish cuisine and their paella is among the best in the state. Port Chop is a Portuguese-style BBQ place that has tasty grilled chicken, ribs, and pulled pork dishes that should not be overlooked.
The atmosphere is typical of mid-major college baseball in the Northeast section of the country. The facility is comfortable, the baseball is competitive, and the campus is pleasant to drive through.
The stadium features six rows of seating behind home plate and down each base line, with the first base side being a tad longer. The first two rows of seats are of the blue, plastic bucket variety, while the last four rows are traditional bleacher-style seating. All of the backstop seats are also of the bucket variety style.
The view behind left field is of rows of mature trees and residential homes, while the massive Kessler Stadium dominates the view behind the right field walls. Also in the corner is the impressive home of the Monmouth basketball OceanFirst Center.
The outfield walls are colored dark blue and feature a splattering of local ads and team accomplishments of seasons past. The playing field is a natural grass surface, but there are plans to convert to a synthetic surface in the near future for the rainy spring weather of New Jersey.
The campus is located in West Long Branch and features beautiful and historic buildings including the Wilson House, Guggenheim Library, and Lauren K. Woods Theater. It’s only a short car ride in mileage to the Jersey Shore where there are various points of interest to enjoy while in the area.
Monmouth Park Racetrack features live horse racing every weekend. The Sandy Hook Recreation Center offers beaches, hiking, biking, fishing and more. The Long Branch boardwalk is hurricane proof offering walking lanes, access to beaches and restaurants.
The baseball games attract an average of 175 spectators per game. Obviously, when the weather is warmer, the crowds can swell in numbers. The fans that do attend have a close connection to the team and adequately cheer on their Hawks. Like many high school or collegiate baseball fields in the state, many are friends and family members.
The ballpark is easily accessible by car from the Garden State Parkway to Exit 105 which leads to Route 36 for three miles until you reach Route 71. Larchwood Avenue is the main street that leads you on to the campus. There are multiple signs along the way to lead visitors to the athletic complex on campus. Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately 45-60 minutes north of Monmouth University.
Return on Investment 2
All games are free to attend and park. One really gets to enjoy the pure essences of baseball from player chatter, fan talk, and plenty of room in the grandstands or surrounding areas.
One star for the natural grass field the team uses.
Monmouth University Baseball Field is your typical mid-major facility and definitely fits into the vibe of the campus; however, taking in a game at the baseball field might be for the die-hards only.