McCormick Field

From BR Bullpen

McCormick Field in Asheville, NC, is the home of the Asheville Tourists, the Houston Astros' South Atlantic League farm team. A wooden ballpark that seated 3,500 people opened on the same site in 1924.

The original McCormick also hosted Negro Leagues baseball into the 1950s.

Babe Ruth made the wooden one famous with praise, his "bellyache heard 'round the world" and homering in the same exhibition game as Lou Gehrig. It hosted stock car racing from 1956 through 1958 and the fictional Crash Davis's last homer in the movie Bull Durham (1988). The largest crowd in its wooden days was 7,583 on August 11, 1987.

Rebuilt in brick in 1992, the current McCormick Field has a stated capacity of 4,000. Its manual scoreboard - one of eight in the minors - is likely the only place in the world where "Visitors" and "Tourists" are antonyms. The 36-foot-tall right-field wall is just 300 feet from home plate.

MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization greatly expanded existing standards for stadiums hosting affiliated teams. Tourists ownership is seeking $30 million, partly toward those standards and partly to modernize a 30-year-old playpen in other ways - maybe even that scoreboard.

The name honoree is fly-fighting Dr. Lewis McCormick, who was among the first scientists to grasp the health dangers posed by the common pest.

A larger creature of nature made news on June 8, 2022, when an adult black bear found its way into the ballpark and roamed around the field before leaving on its own through the visitors' dugout. The jaunt disrupted nothing but administrative work, coming in the afternoon on a day the Tourists were on the road. Tourists' mascots include brown bear Ted E. Tourist, who was not present at the time - prompting Assistant General Manager Hannah Martin to quip, "Unfortunately, Ted. E slept through his play date today."[1]

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Current ballparks of the South Atlantic League
North Division South Division
Daniel S. Frawley Stadium | Dutchess Stadium | Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium
Maimonides Park | ShoreTown Ballpark
Bowling Green Ballpark | First National Bank Field | Fluor Field at the West End | L.P. Frans Stadium
McCormick Field | State Mutual Stadium | Truist Stadium