Photos courtesy of Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
Quakertown Memorial Park 600 Mill Rd. Quakertown, PA 18951
Year Opened: 1939
An Honest Home for Baseball
What if I told you that there was an old wooden ballpark that exists in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and that it has been around since 1938, has been home to baseball since 1983, and is in sound condition? You might think that I am crazy, but one such baseball facility exists in Quakertown. Now would you believe me?
Memorial Park is a small covered wooden grandstand ballpark that seats 400 people. It is home to the Quakertown Blazers of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League who have been providing an opportunity for local college baseball players a chance to hone their skills with the wooden bat during the summers off from school. It is a league that has been around since 1967 and today operates a lot like it did 47 years ago.
In the ACBL, the parks are small and ownership‘s objectives are to break even and provide an outlet for baseball. Memorial Park is one of the league’s paramount facilities; most of the ballfields are just that, located at community colleges or high schools. Tucked away in a residential and park area of town, exists perhaps one of the area’s better-kept secrets in baseball.
Food & Beverage 3
The food is inexpensive and classic ballpark cuisine. Hot dogs are fresh from the grill and are only $1.50, large RC and Diet Rite sodas and Philadelphia-style pretzels are also $1. The other items include candy, chips, and peanuts. All of the food is served underneath a concession building that stands alone outside the main entrance to the grandstand. There is no alcohol permitted in the stadium. The prices are among the best that I have seen at collegiate wood-bat league games the past few years and add to the simplicity of a league such as the ACBL.
The design and color of the ballpark look as if it is straight out of Norman Rockwell's painting. The red picket fence lines up the left field line and a collection of sponsorship banners hangs on the grey outfield fence. There are two championship banners that the Blazers won in 1987 and 2018. However, the dark green grandstand stands out among the colors of the ballpark. The wooden structure is in immaculate condition and features very few rows or columns. The fans make their way through during the early innings and find themselves a seat on the bare wooden bleachers. Also, located is a small two-man PA section for the game.
You will not find a myriad of gimmicks or promotions, a mascot, or t-shirt tosses from interns. The focus is on baseball and probably is similar to the game many years ago. League president Tom Bonekemper told me that former major league and current Toronto Blue Jays play-by-play announcer Buck Martinez commented that the stadium reminded him of playing minor league baseball 45 years ago.
The game day program, which is becoming a thing of the past at many baseball parks, is sold for $2 and features advertisements, team information, and baseball bingo lucky numbers, however, its ads and sponsorships help generate a lot of money for the team and is still a valuable asset to the team. It also helps out when you are looking for a place to eat after the game.
There are more than 113 boosters (including former major league pitcher Jamie Moyer) and volunteers that help out with game day operations from collecting tickets, serving food in the concession stand, and selling merchandise. Game day Nike jerseys are a bargain at $ 15 compared to the $175 price tag the Lehigh Valley RailRiders are charging for almost the exact same product.
The stadium’s setting is adjacent to a city park that features a sand volleyball and basketball court, a public swimming pool, and one very impressive wooden jungle gym play area. It is also located a mile on busy State Road 309, an hour north of Philadelphia and 20 minutes south of Allentown. Retail stores, chain restaurants, and shopping centers are paramount in this location, but there are a few nice choices to choose from that are well worth a visit.
McCoole’s offers great food at affordable prices at the corner of Broad and Main Streets. Located in a historic old inn, they offer music on the patio beer brewed on premises, happy hour specials and many food items between $10-$20 The El Paso mac and cheese and grilled apple cider chicken are two highlights. If you are looking for dessert, drive a few miles up SR-309 to The Inside Scoop for homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt. Of course, you can always order a freshly made hoagie at Wawa, a convenience store with a huge following in this part of the country.
There is a modest crowd that supports their hometown team. When Blazers’ manager Mark Angelo disputed balls and strikes, a few members from the stands supported his argument. The fans are focused, engaged, and supportive of their Quakertown nine.
Memorial Field is one mile off of SR 309 and 10 miles south of I-78; it is rather an easy destination to reach, but there are not any signs until you exit SR 309. You will have to get your GPS out for the majority of tour travel to the ballpark. There is a small amount of parking available behind the left field wall and across the street near the pool. It is free and that is always a good thing.
Return on Investment 4
Adult ticket prices are $3 and are a bargain to watch baseball in a rather historic facility. Even if you had a few hours to kill, spending it here could be a rather gratifying experience.
Memorial Stadium is one of those rare finds for a ballpark traveler. Its size and pristine condition make it ideal for summer league baseball in the ACBL. A traveler should not expect to find all the glamour that exists in the Northwoods or Prospect Leagues; a scaled-back and relaxed atmosphere will await you for a Quakertown Blazers game.
Lehigh Valley is sprinkled with various ballparks that offer a little bit of everything during the season. Quakertown Memorial Stadium is a simple, honest ballpark that provides a nice change of pace during a summer’s evening. If you are in town for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, take a short trip to Quakertown.