By Joe Manny Hernandez @manny_sportss
The next stop on a tour brings us to the rural city of Bakersfield, California, home of the Bakersfield Blaze. The Bakersfield Blaze are currently the California League affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, and have been since the beginning of the 2015 season. Although the partnership with the Seattle Mariners is still very young, affiliated baseball in Bakersfield has been around since 1941, making it one of the oldest baseball organizations in California. Bakersfield has been home to many professional clubs, including the Dodgers, Reds, Rays, Rangers, and Tigers, amongst others. Although they have been affiliated with many teams, Bakersfield is known more for the stadium in which they play: Sam Lynn Ballpark.
Sam Lynn Ballpark was built in 1941 for the Bakersfield Badgers, and was constructed completely out of wood. Sam Lynn Ballpark is more famously known for being built facing west, directly into the setting sun, a quirk that causes the Blaze to start most of their games past 7:00pm due to safety issues. Sam Lynn Ballpark and Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts are the only parks in the United States that were built facing sunset, giving Sam Lynn unique and interesting characteristics.
Parking and Tickets:
Parking at Sam Lynn Ballpark is easy and hassle free. They are one of the only ballparks that offers free parking for their fans, which makes going to the game affordable to families. This helps fans save money before entering the game and gives them more flexibility on buying concessions inside the ballpark. Tickets for the games are affordable as well. The Bakersfield Blaze gives fans different options to purchase tickets anywhere in the ballpark. The most expensive individual ticket is $10. This gets you a great seat in the ballpark and a full service wait staff member to cater to your ballpark needs. This gives a better experience because patrons do not have to sacrifice missing the game for food and beverage. If fans are interested in just getting in to the ballpark, the Blaze offer $5 general admission seats, which is great for large groups.
The Bakersfield Blaze also offers a patio style experience. They offer group seating located behind the home side dugout which has benches and tables for one to eat and mingle with other fans. This seating is great for parties or large group parties. Tickets for this section are around $12.
Organization and Experience:
Overall, my experience in Bakersfield was incredible. I learned so much from the organization and the history that the Bakersfield Blaze has to offer. There are ballparks that may display more bright lights and gimmicks, but Sam Lynn Ballpark carries rich history, which makes going out to a game exciting and interesting. Sam Lynn Ballpark is a historical land mark in Bakersfield, and the organization does a great job of sharing that tradition with the fans. They offer retro jersey nights, photos of the old park and many knowledgeable workers.
The organization in Bakersfield is true to baseball and expresses this with their passion for the game and the interaction with their fans.
Drew Jackson, Kyle Petty, Tyler Herb