Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.29
Quinnipiac Baseball Field
275 Mt Carmel Ave
Hamden, CT 06518
Year Opened: 1967
Don’t Wake the Sleeping Giant
When many ballpark travelers talk about their favorite ballparks, stunning views beyond the outfield fences often dominate the discussion. For example, parks such as PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Busch Stadium in St. Louis are renowned for their city skyscapes that fans can enjoy while at a game. Other parks boast ocean vistas, a la MCU Park in Brooklyn, or spectacular mountains in the distance, like Lindquist Field in Ogden. College baseball fans of the Quinnipiac Bobcats in Hamden, Connecticut can boast of their own spectacular view. Even better, they don’t even have to spend a cent to get into a game.
Located in the shadows of Sleeping Giant Mountain Park, the Quinnipiac Baseball Field is certainly one of the most picturesque baseball diamonds you will ever visit. Built in 1966 by a group of students, the park features an embankment in right field that is in play.
Quinnipiac Baseball Field provides the team with a significant home field advantage, as the Bobcats have posted a .667 winning percentage at home since 2003. The Bobcats have qualified for one NCAA Tournament in their history. Turk Wendell is the only Quinnipiac alumnus who has played in the Major Leagues.
Food & Beverage 0
There are no concessions sold at Quinnipiac Baseball Field. Most fans in attendance come armed with their own snacks and drinks to enjoy during the game. All the fans in attendance here are respectful of Quinnipiac’s green philosophy, and keep the ballpark in pristine condition, free of garbage.
For those fans who come unprepared without refreshments, there are some vending machines in the nearby Athletic and Recreation Center.
College Baseball is just not a very big deal here in New England. The weather conspires to keep the season short, and crowds don’t show up in significant numbers to games. What crowds lack in numbers at Quinnipiac, they make up for in dedication to the team and devotion to the players on the field. Most of the fans that do show up have personal connections to the players on the field, and this is reflected in their enthusiasm. With the small footprint of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, it’s highly likely that the visiting squad have some supporters in attendance as well.
The gameday presentation here at Quinnipiac is similar to many other schools here in the northeast. Coming to a game is a baseball purist’s dream. Fans get to pick their favorite spot at which to take in the action, and the noise and distraction of professional baseball is nowhere to be found. Extraneous noise is limited to lineup announcements and a minimum of music played over the PA system between innings. Fans know each other, and there is a real sense of community around the diamond.
Quinnipiac University is located adjacent to Sleeping Giant Mountain State Park, named for its resemblance to a giant laying down and sleeping. It provides a stunning backdrop to a ballgame at this on-campus facility.
Sleeping Giant Park at Quinnipiac Baseball Field, Photo by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Fans needing a pre- or post-game meal can choose from the many places to eat in the immediate vicinity of the Quinnipiac campus. Most visiting fans will find something to satisfy their appetites along nearby Whitney Avenue. If you follow Whitney Avenue south for about eight miles, you will come to Quinnipiac’s biggest rival, Yale University, located in neighboring New Haven.
New Haven has developed a well-deserved reputation as a culinary destination. Bobcat fans visiting from out of town will want to visit one of the many fine pizza (called “apizza” by locals) parlors in the area. Several locations have been profiled on national travel shows and are considered to be among the best in the country.
Crowds at Quinnipiac baseball games tend to be of the “friends and family” type, ranging between 200-300 fans. As mentioned before, many in the crowd enjoy a personal relationship with the players on the field, and as a result are extremely invested in the action on the diamond. While a crowd here may be laid-back, don’t mistake that for indifference.
The suburb of Hamden is located directly to the north of New Haven. Recently named as one of the “best small cities” in the nation by CNN Money, Hamden and Quinnipiac University are easily reached via Interstate 91. Take exit 10 (Route 40) if traveling either northbound or southbound, and follow it approximately a mile and a half to the QU campus on Mount Carmel Road. Detailed directions can be found here. For fans taking public transportation, the school operates a shuttle to downtown Hamden and to the train station in New Haven.
The Quinnipiac Baseball Field is located on the school’s Mount Carmel campus, which is located at the foot of Sleeping Giant State Park. This is the oldest of the school’s three campuses and contains most of Quinnipiac’s academic buildings. About a half mile up Whitney Avenue is the newer York Hill campus, where sports fans can find the TD BankNorth Center, home of Quinnipiac’s hockey and basketball teams. The York Hill campus is renowned for its green initiatives, including one of the first large-scale wind farms integrated into a college campus as well as the use of renewable energy and environmentally friendly resources.
There are several sections of bleachers at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field, but many fans here choose to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets and set up shop along the left field line. It’s not unusual to see fans lined up all the way down the line. Ample parking is available in the campus’ North Lot, located a short walk beyond left field. Restrooms are located in the Athletic and Recreation Center next to the ball field.
Return on Investment 4
There is no charge to attend a baseball game at Quinnipiac. Parking is free in the lot near the field, and with no concessions, visiting fans can take in some quality college baseball without spending a single cent.
There is little going on at Quinnipiac that can be considered “extra”. The fantastic setting of this minimalist ball field in the shadow of Sleeping Giant Mountain is certainly worth an extra mention here.
College baseball in New England is just not the big deal that it is in other parts of the country, and Quinnipiac is no exception. Remember that much of the college baseball season takes place in the months of March and April, when the weather in this part of the country can be unpredictable. Games are often rescheduled, postponed or moved due to poor weather conditions. If planning a trip to Quinnipiac, be prepared to alter your plans, and enjoy the scenery.