Friday, August 22, 2014

Max H. Christensen Stadium

WHERE: Midland, Texas
WHERE EXACTLY: North Lamesa Road and TX-250 Loop 
WHEN VISITED: November 24, 2013 while returning home from visiting son Tommy and his art exhibit at Fabrica 309 during Alpine ArtWalk 2013.

The Angels minor league team the Midland Angels played here from 1985-1998 so I was super excited to visit it.
It used to be called Angels Stadium, then Cubs Stadium.

You can see the darker areas on the facade which included "Home of the Rockhounds" and the teams logo.
The Rockhounds, an A's affiliate, called it home from 1999-2001 

Ticket office.  Still a few vestiges of the Rockhounds existance here.

In 2002 the city built a brand new facility for the Rockhounds on the West side of town, they now play at First American Bank Ballpark.

Local high schools and Midland College use the stadium now.

Seating capacity was about 5,000.
All the remaining seating is aluminum bleachers.

The lower box seats were all missing, probably sold off as memorabilia when the Rockhounds left.

Theres only a small section with a rook overhand offering limiting protection from the West Texas sun.

Old logo of the Midland Angels still exists in brick on the third base side behind home plate.
You can barely make out the halo at the top of Texas.
I was really happy to see this as it was the only indication of Angels history here.

Mike Carter Field

WHERE: Tyler, Texas
WHERE EXACTLY: Fair Park Drive, next to Rose Stadium (football) and Tyler Rose Garden 
WHEN VISITED: August 2, 2014 on a weekend trip to East Texas

The WPA field opened in 1938 and was home to several teams: Tyler Trojans, East Texas League (1938-40, 1946, 1949-50), Lone Star League (1947-48); Tyler East Texans (1951-53), Tigers (1954-55), Big State League.  It then didn't see a lot of action until the Tyler Wildcatters of the Texas-Louisiana League called it home from 1994-97.  It was most recently used by the Tyler Roughnecks of the All-American Association in 2001 and now apparently it's mostly used by the local Tyler Junior College Apaches and amateur teams.  The stadium was renovated in 1990 and seats 4,000.

The field was locked up pretty tight, except there was a gap in the chain-link gate on the right field side near the equipment shed.  There was just enough room to slide through, and I really wanted to see the inside bad, we came all that way.  So I left my wife in the car, grabbed my camera and wriggled my way in.  As I did so I apparently set off a motion detector because I heard a buzzer sound coming from the shed.  Frantic, I was only able to get the one interior shot before I scurried out of there, ran to the car and got out sight before the cops came.  We laughed.......

Angelina College Roadrunner Baseball Field

WHERE: Lufkin, Texas
WHERE EXACTLY: Angelina College, 3500 South First Steet (actually off of FM819/College Drive 
WHEN VISITED: August 3, 2014 on a weekend trip to East Texas

The ballpark is built into the side of a hill, you enter from the top.  You can't really see much at the entrance which serves as the entrance to both the softball and baseball fields.

Nice stonework serves as a grass seating area along the right field line.  It had rained pretty heavily the week before so a lot of the grass was washed out.  It was fairly muddy.

Angelina College is home to Roadrunner Baseball.  The Roadrunners play in the NJCAA, Division XIV.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

H. L. Kokernot Jr. Little League Field

WHERE: Alpine, Texas
WHERE EXACTLY: In Kokernot Park, E Hendryx Drive and Fighting Buck Avenue 
WHEN VISITED: November 23, 2013 while visiting son Tommy and his art exhibit at Fabrica 309 during Alpine ArtWalk 2013.

Adjacent to Kokernot Field is H. L. Kokernot Jr Little League Field.
This is an information booth at the entrance to the parking lot that both field share.
This booth doesn't appear to be used anymore.

The same red stone is used for this field for both the snack shack and for the two-story pressbox.

I think those were restrooms at the lower level of the structure.

A metal stairway from the grandstand leads to the pressbox.
Note the thickness of the walls by how deep the upper windows are.

The metal bleachers appear to be newer, probably not original to the field.

Here's the railing down the middle of the bleachers to steady oneself when accessing the pressbox.

The metal roof appears to be relatively new as well.

Kokernot Field is in the background.  You can see the 06 on the wall.
The grounds were very clean and well kept.
The grass and infield needs some work but this is winter.

I thought it was interesting that the dugouts weren't made of the same red stone.
Just your typical chain link fencing.
You can see the information booth in the background and the big stadium across the parking lot.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kokernot Field

WHERE: Alpine, Texas
WHERE EXACTLY: In Kokernot Park, E Hendryx Drive and Fighting Buck Avenue 
WHEN VISITED: November 23, 2013 while visiting son Tommy and his art exhibit at Fabrica 309 during Alpine ArtWalk 2013.

It was a very cold and icy day when I visited.  I had to walk very slowly and gingerly so as not to break my neck.

An interesting little courtyard to the left of the front of the stadium.
The stadium, walls, and several other buildings in the vicinity are built of native stone quarried from the Kokernot Ranch.

Walk-up to the left side ticket window.
Wrought iron metalworks are used thoughout the grounds.

First base side ticket window.

This plaque is mounted to the right of the first base side ticket window.
The stadium was built in 1947 by rancher Herbert Lee Kokernot Jr. for his semi-professional baseball team.

This plaque is to the right of the main home plate entrance which is now a large roll-up door.
This would be the entrance to the main grandstand.
The team was called the Cowboys and played there from 1947 - 1961.

Making my way around the first base side you notice the use of the glass bricks.
I bet this place was lit up during night games.

Entrance to the first base bleachers.
The field has also been home for the Sol Ross State University Lobos.

Inside this entrance is another ticket window.
The Big Bend Cowboys of the Continental Baseball League played here in 2009-2010.

The place was locked up tight so I had to reach in through the gate to get this shot.
You see the 06 (oh six) logo all over the field.  Oh Six was the name of Kokernot's cattle ranch.

Here's a little wider shot.
The stadium was built to seat 1,400 people.
The fields current tenants (along with the Lobos) are the Alpine Cowboys of the Pecos League, an independent professional league. 

Now we're working our way around the left side of the stadium.

Not sure what this entrance was used for.
May have been an alternate grandstand entrance.
There are ticket windows just inside of each gate.

This view gives you a good idea of the age of the structure and the use of the glass bricks.
Although now I'm not sure any light would have been generated behind them.

Along the left side of the stadium is this building.
I'm assuming these were offices.

Just to the right of the building is the walkup to the third base bleachers, with another little ticket window inside.

As I was walking around I kicked something and looked down to find this ball half covered in ice.
I knocked off the ice and took it home, a nice keepsake for an awesome weekend.

I think to the interior side of this building (the solid green part) might be the clubhouse for the players.

Modern amenities.  This antenna is about the only indication of modernization at this vintage field.

This is the large center field wall.
All the walls were about 10 feet high so it was impossible to get a photo from over the top of them.
And believe me I tried.

This access gate is in the center field wall.  It's sunken down about 3 feet to the level of the playing surface.
Not sure what this would have been used for.
Maybe an alternate exit for fans?

There is a "car gate" in the right field corner which was the only way I was able to see inside the stadium.
There was also no way to get my car close enough to the walls so that I could stand on it to peek over the walls, so this shot has to do.

Here's a zoom of that last shot.
I like the way the foul screen just kinda droops down from the grand stand roof.
Lights weren't installed until 1958.

If you're interested in more information, you can read an in-depth Sports Illustrated article on the Kokernot family and this stadium HERE.