Player's Perspective: Pat Neshek, Part II
Red Wings closer evaluates the rest of the IL parks he's played in this season
Neshek brought you his evaluations of the parks of the International League's Northern Division in June. Here are the four others the Red Wings had visited this season prior to Neshek's big league callup July 6.
The Diamond • Richmond, Va. The stadium was absolutely huge and my first thought was this place must have been the crown jewel of its era whenever it was built. It’s a pretty old park but something different from what we see everyday. I liked it, especially the bullpen being enclosed and off the field. It did need a little remodeling, and the clubhouse was easily the smallest in the league so far--though not smaller than Reading’s clubhouse! But what it lacked in size was made up with the best visiting clubhouse manager in the league, who would bend over backward for you and really was clutch. We all ended up tipping him double because we felt we were treated like kings.
Harbor Park • Norfolk, Va. An interesting park. It’s a newly-designed stadium and had that late 1990s feel to it. It’s built on the water and you can see ships in the distance. The park had a lot of atmosphere and I could see that place rocking if they would ever sell out. It really played to the pitcher and there were not too many home runs hit when we were there. They had some excellent on-field promotions and made it fun for the fans to be there each night.
Cooper Stadium • Columbus, Ohio. A pretty refreshing place to play. I say refreshing because it’s a unique park and had its own feel. It has some pretty cool overlooking suites . . . 70s style, tinted windows. I don’t know: It just looked 70’ish. It does need a lot of work, and is one of the main reasons they are getting a new park in 2008. I really enjoyed the clubhouse connected to the bullpen and the autographers here. They came out by the handful.
Fifth Third Field • Toledo, Ohio. Probably my favorite place to play this season so far. They had it all. It's an excellent new park. It had it’s own feel in the way it was designed. The walls are curvy and high up there, and you get an overview of the downtown as well as the buildings in right field. They had excellent fan promotions and the best scoreboards in the league. They also had one scoreboard dedicated to the lineup with changing stats. The playing surface was pretty good and the fan turnout was excellent. I also enjoyed the clubhouse and walking to the field each day. One thing, though, build a bullpen. How can a Triple-A field not have a bullpen?