Lancaster Barnstormers Baseball in Central Pennsylvania
America's Game: Hometown Baseball
Professional Minor League Baseball Unconnected to Major League Teams
There is professional baseball independent from MLB. The Lancaster Barnstormers baseball team is a shining example.
The Barnstormers team is a member of the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Their home is a new 6,000-seat stadium in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Although baseball came to the Lancaster county when soldiers returned home from the War between the States, its tenure as a sport interesting the public was rocky. As far back as 1906, the local newspaper reported baseball games with a local team nicknamed Barnstormers. In fact, the Lancaster baseball teams also used the names Maroons and later Red Roses. However, professional baseball disappeared from Lancaster, PA in the 1960s.
It could not stay away, though. "Following a 44-year absence, professional baseball made its triumphant return to Lancaster on May 11, 2005 when the Lancaster Barnstormers began play at state-of-the-art Clipper Magazine Stadium located along North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster," the Atlantic League webpage proclaimed.
View from the Lawn
Fans at Clipper Magazine Stadium can view the action from one of
5,700 stadium seats,
- 22 luxury skyboxes,
- five fully-catered private function rooms able to accommodate 20-190 guests,
- picnic pavilion with seating and buffet options for up to 500 or
- general admission lawn seating.
There are two video scoreboards and two matrix scoreboards.
Clipper Magazine Stadium, Lancaster, PA
One things I really appreciate in the design of Clipper Stadium is the placement of food vendors. They ring the outer circumference of the building. However, unlike the layout of the Reading Fightin' Phils stadium, these all have a view of the field for the fans. Fans at the counter need only turn around to see the game in progress. Additionally, many food or beverage stands are actually food carts which are efficient, small and have patrons facing the game.
Clipper Stadium prides itself on offering local foods such as Turkey Hill ice cream, Auntie Anne's soft pretzels, and other Pennsylvania treats.
There is a spanking clean store for fans. This is the one area which seems to have capitulated to inflated prices often seen with professional sports venues. However, the selection is nice and products are not hidden advertisements for corporate sponsors of the team.
The Barnstormer Store
Family Friendly Stadium
The stadium is clean; it is safe; and it offers a few diversions for children who have not yet learned to appreciate the joys of viewing an entire baseball game. The Kids Park with carousel, playground equipment and other activities is primarily along the third base side of the stadium. I commend the reasonable number (meaning enough, but not excessive) of activities and the reasonable fees for them. After all, the purpose of a baseball game is,,,BASEBALL. I find it inappropriate to have the equivalent of a major theme park connected to a baseball stadium.
The Barnstormer Mascot and Logo
First, I congratulate the Barnstormers for having a single mascot. One. Excellent decision. A neighboring city has a minor league team with at least five mascots and the number grows...)
The mascot is a goofy-looking thing created with lots of thought intended to include all of Lancaster County as the home of the team. It is a bright red, furry cow which stands on two legs and is named Cylo (pronounced "silo"), full name being Cyloicious L. Barnstormer. The nickname Cylo refers to both Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young and to silos, which are plentiful in this farming county. Cylo wears the team's home jersey with striped socks and sneakers. He debuted on March 4, 2005.
The Barnstormers' primary logo is a red barn outlined in black with a curving baseball. Unlike most sports logos, the team's location is featured. This is another conscious decision. Barn is the operative word for the branding of this team. It has silos, cows, barns, and a blog called the Rooster Tales. Lancaster County regards itself as a primarily farming area.
Homage to Dick Scott
Clipper Magazine Stadium
Professional Baseball Up Close
It is a joy to be able to go to a reasonably priced baseball game in a pleasant, clean stadium with friendly staff. May the barnstormers have continued success for a very long time.
© 2014 Maren Elizabeth Morgan