All photos of Frame Park available on Flickr.
After working in Waukesha for over 3 years, I finally made it out to a Carroll University game this week. Like many college baseball teams in the more temperate regions of the US, the home season is really only a month long due to weather, and in the case of smaller colleges like Carroll, many games are played at odd afternoon times. So, making it out to the park has proved to be a challenge. But I was there on Tuesday for a few innings during a beautifully mild April evening to watch the Pioneers lace up against the North Park Vikings out of Chicago.
The ballpark was about what I expected for a Division III school - namely, that it wasn't really a ballpark. Much like the UW-Milwaukee Panthers, the Pioneers actually play in a city park with a community baseball field inside of it. If you search "Frame Park" on Google Maps, Frame Park is actually the name of the park, and the field inside is just labeled as "Baseball Field." I would say that it is only slightly above a high-school level field, at least the high school fields I played (sat in the dugout) at. There are 3 sections of metal bleachers, no gates, concessions, or amenities of any kinds, a couple of chain link dugouts, and an outfield fence. Being that it is an actual college and these games do matter to somebody, there is a PA announcer and a inning-tally style scoreboard, but other than that there are zero frills. Were I not on a mission to tally as many ballparks visited as possible, objectively I probably wouldn't even classify this as a "ballpark." But hey, watching a ballgame on a beautiful night is never in vain, no matter where. Outside of the ballpark itself, Frame Park as a whole is very beautiful. There are some formal gardens, an outdoor amphitheater, a place to rent boats, a public pool, and a scenic riverwalk that runs beyond the left field fence.
The riverwalk was getting bombarded with homeruns all night in the 19-13 slugfest. A combination of a steady south wind blowing out, lackluster D-3 pitching, and just good ol' metal bats were a lethal combo that got the scoring going right out the gates with 3-run top of the 1st by the visiting Vikings. As you can imagine with a score like that, every single starter had a hit for both teams, and every single Viking had at least 2 hits. Diminutive leadoff hitter Jared Cantu went 4-5 for North Park and 5 players homered in the game. There was also a Vikings player named Tyler Kopp who at the time I thought sounded like Ty Cobb, so I was disappointed just now to learn his actual name. He had a day that his non-relative would be proud of though, coming up a double shy of the cycle. Starter Andrew Stone for the Pioneers had a forgettable line that did not impress the lone scout in attendance: 11 ER on 13 hits and a walk in 2.2 IP. The Carroll University website does not post ERAs, but I don't even want to do that math. The score was 10-4 when he exited the game and it was extended to 19-4 by the 4th inning including 7-run outing by Cam Godinsky. The Pioneers slowly chipped away at the lead but alas the deficit was too large, even for a bandbox field like Frame Park.
I didn't stay very long because it was brutal to watch and I was a little under the weather, but nonetheless outdoor baseball in April in Wisconsin is something I always try to take advantage of.
park rankings and statistics:
aesthetics - 1
views from park – 7 (Fox River)
view to field - 2
surrounding area – 6 (Frame Park)
food variety - n/a
nachos - n/a
beer - n/a
vendor price - n/a
ticket price - n/a
atmosphere - 2
walk to park – 5
parking price/proximity - 10
concourses - n/a
team shop - n/a
best food – n/a
most unique stadium feature – Fox Riverwalk beyond outfield fence
best jumbotron feature – n/a; only showed box score
best between-inning feature – hearing the cheers in the dugout
field dimensions – not listed - I would guess about 315/380
starters – Josh Ward (NPU) v. Andrew Stone (CU)
opponent – North Park Vikings
time of game – 3:00
attendance – 110 (surprisingly listed on team website and shockingly inaccurate)
score – 19-13 L
Brewers score that day – 9-1 W
STANDINGS AND UPCOMING SERIES AS OF 04.28:
Brewers 12-11 (3 v. Braves, 4 @ Cardinals, 3 @ Pirates)
Reds 10-12 (3 @ Cardinals, 4 v. Pirates, 3 v. Giants)
Twins 10-11 (3 @ Royals, 3 v. Athletics, 3 v. Red Sox)
2017 GAMES ATTENDED:
Erik - 3 (+4 worked)
Peter - 7