Sam Lynn Ballpark
Bakersfield, California
Year Opened
1941

Current Team
Bakersfield Blaze

Affiliate
Cincinnati Reds

League
California League

Capacity
3,500

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium C- Atmosphere A Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2008
Along with Pittsfield's Wahconah Park, Sam Lynn Ballpark is one of only two baseball fields that face into the setting sun during the evening hours. It really is quite an odd sight to see and is the reason that Bakersfield starts all their games at 7:30 (or whenever the sun goes down below the outfield fence). When this field was built back in the 1940's, all games were either played during the day or started at 8pm, so the sun was not an issue. Other than this unique aspect, there really isn't much interesting about Sam Lynn Ballpark. The original grandstand was torn down in the early 1990's and the rebuilt ballpark is nondescript and not a particularly good place to see a game. Most of the sightlines are terrible, especially the field boxes down each line which are actually below the plane of the field and have a chain link fence in front of them. The grandstand behind home plate is probably the best place to sit as the seats are close to the field and provide a nice view. The bulk of the seating is in the large grandstand down the right field line, but these seats are a bit far from the field. There is also covered picnic area located in the right field corner. The concourse is situated behind the grandstand, out of view from the field. It features two concession stands, a BBQ stand, a team store, and a small game room. Concessions include tri-tip sandwiches, burgers, frito boats, “macho” nachos, and several types of frozen treats. The quality of the food is quite good and the prices are reasonable. The atmosphere at Sam Lynn is very laid back, mostly due to the small crowds they draw. There are no sound effects and just the right amount of music. While there may not be many fans at a Blaze game, the ones that come are definitely into the game. Also, the ushers and staff all seemed to be friendly and eager to please. Several between inning games were contested including race the mascot (“Heater”), the uniform race, and “find the hot dog lady”. Overall, the atmosphere can not be complained about if you are just here to see baseball. The ballpark itself, however, is looking a bit run down. But in order to keep a team long term, it is likely that Bakersfield will need to build a new ballpark, which is probably why the city and team have neglected to throw any money into it. Without a new park, the Blaze could very well be gone after the 2009 season. Sam Lynn Ballpark is definitely only for the hard core baseball fan.
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