Ballparks of PA: Boston Riverfront Park

Amy, Olivia and I traveled to Boston earlier this week to check out another baseball field.  No, not that Boston.  A much smaller town in PA that goes by the same name as the city in Massachusetts.

We visited Boston Riverfront Park:

And judging by the google search that I did before coming to this field, I would have a change at a ‘splash’ hit – that is hitting the ball into a body of water, like at PNC Park (Allegheny River) or AT&T Park (McCovey Cove).

Check it out:

When we pulled up, this was the scene from the parking lot:

Additionally, besides having a river running behind the left field fence, there is a bridge behind right field – a really cool setting for an amateur field.

This was the view looking in from right field:

Not too bad.   When I put on my batting gloves, I was eying the left field fence.  I wanted to put one in the river.

I did a quick walk from home plate to the left field foul pole and estimated it to be 290 feet.  After checking google maps when I got home and comparing it to the scale that they have on the map, it checked out.  Its slightly less than 300 ft down the line.

So, when my first swing was mis-hit, meaning I didn’t get nearly all of it, but still hit it off of the wall, I shifted my aim to left center field and tried to hit it off of the lone tree out there.

Amy came along and took some pictures.  She stood in the third base coaches box and took this picture:

And this one:

I had brought 15 baseballs, and took 15 swings.  My seventh swing marked the first home run of the day.  A nice shot that cracked and snapped the branches of the tree in left center field.

Although Amy has pitched to me in the past, and is a decent BP pitcher, its just not safe with a baby.  I’ve been throwing balls up and hitting them since I was about 13 – always playing a game of home run derby against myself at the old Carbon Field #3 near my boyhood home.

Anyhow, on my second to last swing,

I hit a shot to left field that cleared the fence and disappeared for a split second out of view.  It then quickly shot up high in the air as it bounced off of the concrete parking lot out there.  There was no doubt in my mind that it was probably in the river.

I took my last swing and ran out to the river to see if I could recover the ball. As the PNC ballhawks will attest, major league baseballs on float for 90 seconds – 2 minutes tops before sinking.  I’ve seen it happen numerous times at PNC Park in the Allegheny, especially before the gates open and Pedro Alvarez is hitting shots that bounce into the Allegheny.

Anyhow, when I ran down there, my ball was indeed in the river.  And luckily, it looked reachable.

I was able to recover it by climbing down the river bank:

And carefully reaching down to grab it, despite sinking about four inches in thick soft river mud.

Here’s the parking lot behind the left field fence.  Luckily, there was only some random crappy car there that looked deserted.
And here’s another picture of the river:

And here’s my first career splash-down hit.

After collecting the two home runs balls, I collected the other balls from left center field that didn’t clear the fence:

And Amy took a photo of the really awkward center field.  Usually center field is the deepest part of a ballpark, but here in Boston, the fence comes way in to a point.

It’s still deeper than left field, but very asymmetrical.  I walked off center field and its approximately 330.  The right field power alley is by far the largest field if you look at the aerial view from google maps.

The field has its quirks, but could be really fun to take BP at or hold a home run derby competition.  Olivia agrees.

And if you’re into riding bikes, which we really aren’t [Remember Ohiopyle Amy 😉  ? ]  you could ride the Yough trail:

Anyhow, before leaving we went up to the Boston Bridge to get a few more pics.

The condition of the bridge left much to be desired,

but we got some good pics of the field from the vantage point:

Check out that asymmetrical fence!

And here’s the area behind the left field wall again:

After a few pics, we called it a night and headed home.  We would visit another local ballpark the next day…

Condition:  B
Dimensions: B- (for being a little too short to left)
Location/Surrounding Area: A
Parking/Access: A

One could have some fun here in a home run derby – maybe crediting an extra home run for every splash down hit.  Drawbacks are that too many balls could end up lost if you’re a power hitter – and if there’s a few cars in the parking lot beyond the fence – it could lead to a problem if you hit a car.  Also, the outfield fence is too low.

Links to other fields that I’ve hit at and reviewed for the Ballparks of PA Series:
Wylie Park, Elizabeth