Results tagged ‘ North Little Rock ’

Ballpark Bio: Dickey-Stephens Park (North Little Rock)

IMG_4061

Today marks part five of a seven-part series in which I’ll show you the different parks of the Texas League and give you an idea of the various places the Riders are playing, aside from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

 Facts and Figures
Opened: April 12, 2007
Capacity: 7,200
Dimensions: LF – 332, CF – 400, RF – 330

This year, the Travelers are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dickey-Stephens Park, so it’s my turn to celebrate some of my favorite parts of this park.

One of the things that stands out right away is the entryway. It’s a large, but well-kept area that resembles a train station. This town has a rich railroad history and the park does a nice job of honoring the entryway and other features throughout the stadium.

IMG_4060

The skyscrapers of downtown Little Rock are visible over the right field side of Dickey-Stephens Park.

Once I got inside, the other thing that quickly caught my eye was the view of downtown Little Rock, viewable over the right field side of Dickey-Stephens Park across the Arkansas River. It is very much like Tulsa’s ONEOK Field in that regard. It helps give the park a big-city feel without having to be right in the middle of town.

Before the game, there’s a stretch of organ music. As far as I can tell, it’s recorded but it still adds a nice touch to the park and provides a classic baseball vibe. Once the game gets going, the park gives fans an intimate setting to take in a ballgame, and our booth is very close to the action as well, so it’s been enjoyable through our first two days here.

Dickey-Stephens Park may just be in its 10th year, but I think it does a nice job of combining some of the vintage elements of the game with a modern feel. I’ve definitely had a nice time here thus far and look forward to another great game tonight.

Stay tuned for the next ballpark bio, coming in a few days from Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Arkansas, as I take you along for the ride on my first journey through the Texas League.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: For a cent – A cheap base hit.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Very Long Travel Guide

In the Florida State League, no bus trip takes more than four hours. In the Appalachian League, the longest trip is less than five hours. It is much different here in the Texas League.

Thanks to billsportsmaps.com for the image.

To fans, a series finale doesn’t mean too much. To minor league baseball players, a series finale normally means a night on the bus. By the end of the regular season, the RoughRiders will have boarded the bus shortly after 29 of their 40 series finales. You can see how one of those bus trips went here.

Even though the RoughRiders are in the South Division, they actually have longer trips within their division than they do when playing against the North.

The longest trip for the RoughRiders is from Frisco to Corpus Christi, and it takes a little more than seven hours. The trip takes the ‘Riders through Waco, Round Rock, Austin, and San Antonio.

Speaking of San Antonio, that is the shortest trip in the division. Still, it is five hours away, which is a healthy trip in the bus, especially after a game that ends around 10 p.m. The other divisional trip takes the ‘Riders to Midland, and that journey takes around six hours.

The North road trips are a little easier (which is not the case for the other three teams–I’ll get to that in the moment). The bus ride to Springfield–seven hours–is the longest in the North and the second longest in the TL for the ‘Riders. The trips to Northwest Arkansas (five and a half hours), Arkansas (five hours) and Tulsa (four hours) are fairly manageable.

The unfortunate outlier in the TL is Corpus Christi. We mentioned that the RoughRiders’ longest trip is to Corpus. Well, that happens to be the Hooks’ second shortest ride of the season! It takes almost eight hours for them to get to Midland, and they go to Citibank Ballpark four times each season.

How about these trips to the North for the Hooks: Arkansas (11:19), Tulsa (11:21), and Northwest Arkansas (12:31). The big one is the journey to Springfield, which is right around 14 hours. And the Cardinals will make that journey from Corpus back home after their game at Whataburger Field Monday night. That doesn’t sound fun, and things aren’t much easier for San Antonio (longest trip is almost 12 hours) and Midland (longest trip is around 11 and a half hours).

There have been other fun trips in the Texas League throughout the years, such as El Paso, Texas to North Little Rock, Ark. (15:42); Albuquerque, N.M., to Memphis, Tenn. (16:01); El Paso, Texas to Jackson, Miss. (17:17). I don’t know how the schedules or the travel worked during these times. Regardless, the TL has spanned quite an area during its history.

Life in the minor leagues is not as glorious as it sounds. Fortunately for the RoughRiders, they only have five more regular season bus trips left.

– Brian

*Note: All times are according to Google Maps.