Sunday, September 28, 2014

Marinelli Field, Home of the 1990 Rockford Expos

The Marinelli Field stands. (G21D Photo)
It's been a little while since foul balls few out of this stadium hit off a professional team's bat.

This stadium is Marinelli Field in Rockford, Ill. It was home to Midwest League baseball from 1988 to 1999. It was also home to the 1990 Rockford Expos.

I stopped by Marinelli Field on my August trip to Iowa. It was the same trip in which I stopped at four old New York-Penn League parks. On the Midwest leg, I also stopped at four parks. All four parks were active in 1990. Two are no longer on the pro circuit. Marinelli Field is one of those two.

The Midwest leg was actually a last minute addition to the trip. If I'd thought it out more, I would have stopped down the street at the remains of Beyer Stadium, home to the Rockford Peaches.

I was aware of, but didn't have time to stop at Aviators Stadium, home to the Frontier League's Rockford Aviators. The Rockford team played at Marinelli Field from 2002 to 2005, then moved to what is now called Aviators Stadium in 2006.

But I got what I came for, photos of the 1990 home to the Rockford Expos. I actually featured the Rockford Expos in December 2013.

With the last-minute nature of the trip, I also didn't get a chance to review the Rockford Expos cards to try and get the same background my new photos.

Turns out that wouldn't have mattered, all the 1990 Rockford player photos were taken with the stands as the backdrop. The stands were in accessible from the outside. But I did get a wide shot where those red seats can be seen.

It appears the last time the field was occupied by a team was in 2010, when the Rockford Foresters of the Midwest Collegiate League played there. There were a couple remnants of that occupation.

The main one was at the front gates on the sign that appeared to once welcome visitors to Marinelli Field and now only welcomes them to "Ma." The Foresters logo was on one end.

There was also signs still in the parking lot warning parkers that the team wasn't responsible for damage from foul balls.

So enjoy these pictures from my August 2014 trip to Marinelli Field:
The former entrance to Marinelli Field, once home to the Rockford Expos. That's my Expos hat. (G21D Photo)
Marinelli Field from down the left field line. Note the red seats that were in the background of the 1990 cards. (G21D Photo)
The Marinelli Field scoreboard. (G21D Photo)
Close up of the stands. (G21D Photo)
The main entrance to Marinelli Field. (G21D Photo)
The back of the stands. (G21D Photo)
Welcome to Ma. Another look at the front gates to Marinelli Field. (G21D Photo)

Not responsible for damage from foul balls. (G21D Photo)
Welcome to Marinelli Field, managed by the Aviators. (G21D Photo)
Other park photos from my August trip:
Old NYPL: Geneva's McDonough Park
Old NYPL: Photos from Welland, St. Catharines and Hamilton
Old Eastern League: Labatt Park and the Osprey Nest
Northwoods League: Kalamazoo Growlers and the Chest-Bumping Bear

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