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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Veterans Memorial Park Strickland Field - Weimar Hormigas


Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Veterans Memorial Park Strickland Field 503 Park Dr Weimar, TX 78962

Year Opened: 1948

Capacity: 1,200

 

Veterans Memorial Park Strickland Field

Veterans Memorial Park Strickland Field has hosted almost all levels of baseball since opening in 1948. The historic ballpark has been home to youth and high school baseball, the Babe Ruth World Series, a National Baseball Congress team, and the Texas Tomcats of the Texas Collegiate League. However, in 2022 it added a professional baseball club to its collection. The Weimar Hormigas of the Pecos League hope to become a fixture in town.

The ballpark was built by Weimar veterans and is the primary home to both the Weimar High School Wildcats and the Weimar Vets of the Community League. The Wildcats have captured State 2A Championships in 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2003. The Vets are coached by Tom Strickland, who has been involved with the venue since 1976. His surname also graces the official name of the stadium.

The stadium has also been home to the Babe Ruth World Series for players between the ages of 16-18. The last time it took place was in 2012, but the Texas Babe Ruth League team captured national championships in 2002 and 2014 while also appearing in the World Series 11 times between 1982 and 2012.

The stadium was featured in the motion picture Everybody Wants Some!! that has been described as Dazed and Confused meets the 1980s. The baseball scenes of the fictional Southwest Texas College took place at the stadium that included signs for the college on the bleachers and scoreboard

There is a lot of history in the ballpark, but that did not include baseball until the Pecos League came to town almost 75 years after its construction date. The Hormigas means “ant” in Spanish, and the club adopted the colors of red and black. It’s a new era of baseball at Veterans Memorial Park, and perhaps some of that history and championship-caliber play can rub off on the Hormigas and the stadium experience.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Weimar Hormigas lasted just the one season in the Pecos League.

Food & Beverage 4

There is a concession stand on the 3rd base side, offering snacks for folks during the game. The options are varied and quite impressive for the small ballpark. It includes hot dogs, nachos, burgers, popcorn, and peanuts. The regional Frito Pie is available that includes chili, cheese, and corn chips. Fans also have the option of choosing between Pepsi and Coca-Cola products, along with state favorites Dr. Pepper and Big Red.

Shave ice is probably the most popular sweet treat for hot summer evenings. There are 12 flavors, but the most curious are, at least to this writer, tiger blood, pickle juice, and cotton candy. The other flavors are cherry, blueberry, lime, etc. The pricing ranges between $3-$6 for most products at the ballpark.


Atmosphere 3

The ballpark is in pristine condition for its age, and little appears to have changed since its construction a few years after World War II. A marquee is front and center of the entrance and features dates of future games for the ball club. A collection of hand-painted murals decorate the walls from high school baseball and the local American Legion and VFW posts.

A mural has been erected near the entrance that honors the men and women who sacrificed their lives in battle from the American Legion Post #5875 and VFW Post #0259. It is beautifully constructed with flags of all branches of services and baseball sculptures. The plaque was dedicated in 2006.

The curved grandstand offers covered seating for 10-rows of seating with the press box underneath the roof. It provides plenty of shade for the hot Texas heat, but that can’t be said for the wooden bleacher seating down each baseline. A simple scoreboard is sponsored by a local bank that lights up in red and yellow, while hand-painted ads take up space on the green-wooden fence. There are more ads on the top of the bleacher seating.

The gameday atmosphere is very mellow. The focus of attention is on the game on the diamond. The banter from the dugout is similar to that of small college ballparks. There is also a little chatter with the few who brave the heat from the covered grandstand. A PA announcer does a fine job announcing players.

Neighborhood 2

Weimar has a population of around 29,000 and is located directly off I-10 between Houston (88 miles) and San Antonio (109 miles). It is easy to find on your travels between the two major cities, and there are a few restaurants in town worth checking out before a Hormigas game.

Lesticia’s and Los Jarritos serve Mexican food, Texas Burger is a regional chain ideal for the family, and Rodeo Restaurant features burgers and sandwiches. Sammy’s Steak House is a premium option. The Kasper Meat Market is worth checking out for take-out meat products, including smoked Weimar sausage.

The Whistling Duck Winery is a 4-acre winery featuring a tasting room of several handcrafted Texas wines. They are also “wine sippin” porches to cool off and spend a lazy afternoon in town.

Fans 2

The Hormigas have played only a handful of games since our review. The local community is beginning to warm up to the club. The crowds are light in the 1,000-seat ballpark; when the team establishes itself, those numbers could increase.

Access 4

Weimar is easily accessible from I-10, and three major cities surround it in a triangle (Houston, San Antonio, and Austin). There is plenty of parking outside the ballpark, and it is easy to move around the grandstand to access concessions, bathrooms, and the veterans memorial. For a ballpark built in 1948, fans don’t feel squeezed in during games.

Return on Investment 3

The price of the ticket is $10-standard among the Pecos League ballparks from what has been told to me. Concession prices are inexpensive, and there is a wide selection of items from hot dogs, burgers, Frito pies, nachos, and flavored ice. Beer is also available for $3 a can, another great price for a baseball game. Parking is also free.

Extras 4

Veterans Memorial Park – Strickland Field is a well-maintained ballpark that will be 75 years old and watching a game from under the grandstand is worth the price of admission alone. The veterans memorial is a nice tribute to the men and women who served their country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. The concession is nicely decorated with various menu items, along with the beautifully painted walls throughout the stadium from the outfield fencing, concourse signage, and the marquee entrance.


Final Thoughts

The Hormigas are the new club in town, and it will take time to create the ideal environment for its fanbase. However, the ballpark is in great shape, and there are plenty of concessions during the game. I hope things work out for the club and the Pecos League. This is a gem and historic building for baseball. It is one of the better ballparks in the league, and I hope to see success in Weimar in the foreseeable future.


Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on YouTube @ballparkhunter, Twitter @ballparkhunter, and Instagram.

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