LECOM Park

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(Redirected from McKechnie Field)

LECOM Park
Location Bradenton, Florida United States
Building chronology
Built 1923
Tenants
Bradenton Marauders
Capacity
6,562

LECOM Park in Bradenton, FL, is the home of the Bradenton Marauders, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Florida State League farm team, and Pirates' spring training games. It and Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota were to co-host the 2021 U-18 Baseball World Cup - but due to the Coronavirus pandemic it's being played now through September 18th, 2022.

City Park, opened in 1923, was re-named in 1962 for Pirates great and Bradenton retiree "Deacon" Bill McKechnie as he joined the Hall of Fame. In 1969, four years after his death, the Bucs moved spring training there. Essentially rebuilt in 1993, it has since been renovated several times - most thoroughly in 2013. Today's playpen holds more than triple the original's capacity.

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine bought 15 years' worth of naming rights in 2017. The college's main campus is near Lake Erie, as might be expected - in Erie, PA. However, LECOM is therefore not far from Pittsburgh and the college has two regional campuses in Florida, so the name is not as incongruous as it may first seem.

Contrary to most minor league or spring-training parks of its time, it is an urban ballpark, woven into the fabric of the city streets surrounding it. It features spired garrets and pillars that obscure the view of some grandstand seats, a reminder of the construction techniques of the era in which it was first built.

LECOM - then still McKechnie Field - is one of five Florida ballparks that then or previously hosted affiliated or MLB spring-training baseball to appear in the HBO film Long Gone (1987).[1] The others were Henley Field and Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Plant Field at the University of Tampa, and Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater.


McKechnieField.jpg


Current ballparks in the Florida State League
West Division East Division
BayCare Ballpark | George M. Steinbrenner Field | Hammond Stadium | LECOM Park | Joker Marchant Stadium | TD Ballpark Clover Park | Jackie Robinson Ballpark | Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium