Being familiar with many of the metro-area fields used by the Class A teams, and having played on a number of them myself, Marty and I knew that there was good baseball to be seen at these games, but found the fan experience (typically devoid of concessions, grandstand seating, or even a game announcer) disappointing. Curious to learn if there was something we were overlooking in our own back yard, we put out a tweet soliciting suggestions for more authentic town-ball experiences within the 494/694 loop, and got this response:
I must confess that I was a bit shocked, as I routinely drive right past the immense high school sporting complex this field lies in the center of, and had never taken any notice of it. I’d even played hockey in that park during the winter and was never drawn to anything resembling an enchanting baseball park.
Skeptical, but intrigued, Marty and I paid Palm Field a visit, and found a little gem hiding in plain sight.
Palm Field boasts a quaint, but well designed and positioned wooden grandstand, an announcer’s booth with a concession stand (which was, unfortunately, closed on this occasion), lovely details like the large scoreboard and batter’s eye landscaping in center, and a looming water tower (always a great ballpark feature, in my mind).
The coolest feature of Palm Field, however, is “Palm’s Porch,” down the right-field line. Just above the 315 sign, butted up against the yellow foul pole, is a delightful little seating deck honoring the ballpark’s namesake, and distinguished St. Anthony Village baseball persona Gary Palm. Sitting about 10 feet above the playing field, and outfitted with two rows of bucket seats that appear to have been recycled from the Metrodome, the porch offers game attendees a charming and unique spot from which to enjoy the game.
It’s nice to know that there is a place only minutes from downtown Minneapolis that can offer the same winsome baseball experience of so many pristine outstate parks. The people of Saint Anthony Village have certainly done their coach proud.
View the full photo gallery here.