THE BLUE AND GOLD - MALDEN HIGH SCHOOL Archive

Artist rendering of the proposed Malden Park facade.

The Blue and Gold

MALDEN HIGH SCHOOL'S OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER


Field of Dreams Proposed

on FEBRUARY 9, 2012 ·

Josh Kummins

For baseball fans, the cost of seeing a Red Sox game at Fenway Park is through the roof but imagine what it would be like to have an independent professional team right here in Malden.

Boston Baseball Field of Dreams (BFOD), led by Boston businessman and lifelong Red Sox fan Alexander Bok, is trying to make that imagination a reality. His group has searched all across the Greater Boston area for a perfect location and believes that the best option is the soon-to-be-vacated National Grid land parcel on the corner of Route 60 and Commercial Street.

On Jan. 12, 2012, the group made its first pitch to Malden residents during a meeting in the City Hall council chambers and the renderings of the proposed park are quite astonishing for a team that would be placed in the independent Atlantic League.

The league is currently comprised of eight teams from as close as Bridgeport, Conn. and as far away as Sugar Land, Texas. In the past, a team was housed in nearby Nashua, N.H. and the Pride, as they were known, achieved great success on and off the field, including one league championship. During their time in the league, former Red Sox player Butch Hobson served as the manager of the team.

Since being founded in 1998, the Atlantic League has strived to “bring a high level of professional baseball and affordable family entertainment to selected communities not presently being served by Major League or Minor League teams.” Teams play 140 games each season, so the future team would play 70 home games each year from late April to mid-September.

It is evident that the quality of baseball the Atlantic League provides is outstanding, but would a franchise in the league work in Malden? After years of searching, Bok and BFOD feel that the answer is a resounding yes.

Even with the failed North Shore Spirit franchise in people’s minds, a team could surely see success in a brand new park, which would be built steps away from the commuter rail. The Spirit played at Lynn’s 70-year-old Fraser Field, which is hidden away on a busy Western Avenue for people who have never been.

The proposed plan calls for a 6,000-seat, state-of-the-art ballpark that includes 16 private boxes, a “Kids Zone” play area and a family-oriented grass picnic seating area. BFOD is modeling their stadium after the 2005 BaseballParks.com Ballpark of the Year—Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri, which was built to the same architects that were hired for the Malden project.

A stadium of this magnitude would be a “home run” for the community as Malden High School’s baseball team would play home games there and other school events could be held. It would also help local organizations, such as youth sports leagues, raise money through in-stadium events and merchandise sales.

The stadium would create a great community atmosphere, which includes the fact that over 100 part-time jobs would be created during the season and community members would get priority in those positions.

Only time will tell if the dream becomes reality, but one can only hope that things will go as planned. BFOD estimates construction to begin in winter of 2013, while the first game would be held in April 2014.

http://maldenblueandgold.com/2012/02/field-of-dreams-proposed/