L.P. Frans Stadium

From BR Bullpen

  • Name: L.P. Frans Stadium
  • GPS-able Address: 2500 Clement Boulevard Northwest, Hickory, NC 28601
  • Ballpark Owner: Hickory Crawdads
  • Architects: Lescher and Mahoney; CBSA Architects, Inc.
  • Groundbreaking: 9/21/1992
  • Minor League Baseball/Professional Development League Teams: Hickory Crawdads (A+) 2021-present; Hickory Crawdads (A) 1993-2020
  • Pro Baseball Class/League History: A+/South Atlantic League 2022-present; A+/High-A East 2021; A/South Atlantic League 1993-2020
  • First Pro Baseball Game: 4/16/93; stadium debut of Class A Crawdads
  • Others Playing or Operating Here: None
  • Previous Ballpark Names: None
  • LF: 330 CF: 401 RF: 330
  • Seats: 4,000
  • Stated Capacity: 5,062
  • House Baseball/Softball Record Attendance: 5,576, 7/4/2021

L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory, NC, is the home of the Hickory Crawdads, the Texas Rangers' Single-A South Atlantic League farm team. The playpen is named for the founder of the local Pepsi-Cola bottling plant, whose family keyed funding the beautiful brick ball yard that opened in 1993.

A bit of baseball intrigue helped fill it: Charlotte Knights owner George Shinn wanted to move his Double-A club to Fort Mill, SC, but the Gastonia Rangers had territorial veto power. So, Shinn bought the G-Rangers, didn't exercise their veto, and moved the Knights during the 1988-1989 off-season. Four years later, Shinn sold his now-superfluous Gastonia club to Don Beaver, who moved the G-Rangers into Hickory's brand-new ballpark that very season.

The Frans is owned by its team, which is in turn owned by its parent club. However, the Rangers have agreed to sell the Crawdads to Diamond Baseball Holdings. No mention of the stadium's ownership status was made in the announcement of the sale, which has not yet closed. The sale was first reported in April 2023 by The News Herald of Morganton, NC,[1] but it wasn't announced by the two parties until May 23, 2023.

Current ballparks of the South Atlantic League
North Division South Division
Daniel S. Frawley Stadium | Dutchess Stadium | Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium
Maimonides Park | ShoreTown Ballpark
Bowling Green Ballpark | First National Bank Field | Fluor Field at the West End | L.P. Frans Stadium
McCormick Field | State Mutual Stadium | Truist Stadium