Found June 09, 2012 on Midwest Sports Fans:
This is the fourth post in my 2012 “Down on the Farm” series that chronicles visits to various minor league parks throughout America. (Prior articles, including the entire 2011 edition, can be accessed here.) The Red River of the South flows for nearly 1,400 miles between the Texas Panhandle and the Mississippi River, but is best known for separating the states of Texas and Oklahoma and Texas. Earlier this week, I reviewed Dr. Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco RoughRiders. Today, let’s discuss Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark where, after moving north across the river, I attended an Oklahoma City RedHawks tilt on the first day of June.   “Change” has recently been a common theme in OKC baseball, as the franchise that was Triple-A partner of the nearby Texas Rangers for nearly three decades is currently in its second year with the Houston Astros organization. This was pretty much a swap with Nolan Ryan’s Round Rock Express after the 2010 season.   In addition, following 36 seasons as the 89ers — a perfect description considering Oklahoma City came about due to the 1889 “Sooner” Land Rush – the team was renamed the RedHawks in 1998. And lastly, the ballpark, which opened the same year as the nickname change, and holds just over 13,000 spectators, has undergone numerous name changes during its 15 seasons, the most recent of which was adding “Chickasaw” to the familiar Bricktown Ballpark moniker.   Though the city skyline is behind the stadium, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark’s setting is excellent, with the stadium ensconced in the midst of “Bricktown,” the capital city’s entertainment district, not far from Chesapeake Arena, where the western conference champion Thunder play. Patterned after my former hometown of Indianapolis, replete with a canal running through and around warehouses, shops and restaurants, the downtown area is splendid — and full of brick, which I adore on buildings, stadia, you name it.   Chickasaw is big ballpark, but despite the RedHawks perched atop their division, the team averages roughly 5,000 fans per contest — though higher on weekends such as the Friday night I attended — so the team blankets nearly 4,000 seats in the right-field upper deck with large tarps donning advertisements.   On an unseasonably cool early summer evening (close to 20 degrees below average with wind), I ambled around the entire facility at sunset. Nary a spot offered a poor sight line. There is a large, modern, immaculate press box surrounded by luxury boxes on the third level; but again, views seemed good from any seat I tried.  The outfield is framed by a fairly-new Hampton Inn, a matching parking structure, and an open view of the Interstate. Left-field fans can enjoy bleacher seating adjacent to the vast berm, though otherwise, all seats have backs. The concourse goes around the whole field, much of which is covered, which is no doubt vital during hot July and August nights on the Southern Plains. Lastly, I’d be remiss for not mentioning the strong Oklahoma baseball heritage visible outside the park.  Statuary including the Sooner State’s very own Johnny Bench (Oklahoma City), Warren Spahn (Broken Arrow) and Mickey Mantle (Spavinaw), are all located right outside the entry gates. The “great” Mike Hessman, however, does not have a statue — yet.  

Rangers' Ogando may go on DL with groin injury

Texas Rangers starter Alexi Ogando left Sunday's game against the Giants after three innings because of a strained right groin. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI and may be placed on the disabled list, depending on the results of the MRI. Ogando retired all nine hitters he faced, but he injured himself while beating out a sacrifice bunt for a single while batting in the top...

Rangers push back RHP Yu Darvish's next start

Yu Darvish's next start has been pushed back two days by the Texas Rangers to give the Japanese right-hander extra rest. Rangers manager Ron Washington said before Friday night's series opener at San Francisco that the decision had nothing to do with Darvish's last start. Instead, Washington said, he wanted to give Darvish the same kind of rest he has given other starters...

Darvish feeling good after break

Yu Darvish says his body is feeling good after an extended break and that he can't wait to pitch again. The Texas Rangers gave Darvish extra time between starts. He is set to pitch Friday night against Houston, eight days after he walked six and allowed six runs in a 7-1 loss at Oakland. Darvish (7-4) said Wednesday that he may have had some fatigue and that maybe he didn&...

MRI shows no shoulder damage for Rangers' Holland

An MRI on the left shoulder of Texas Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland showed no structural damage, the team said Friday. Team officials said they believe Holland's lack of shoulder strength is related to a stomach virus that ailed him last month, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Holland, who has lost 15 pounds, has been told by Dr. Keith Meister not to throw for...

2012 Fantasy Baseball: Sell High On Neftali Feliz, Buying Low On Alexi Ogando

Neftali Feliz (credits below) After last week’s column was what righted Miguel Montero’s ship, hopefully this week’s column can do the same. 

This week’s column is going to be Texas Ranger themed, with two pitchers whose status as being relievers or starters being in question.

Sell High: Neftali Feliz

When the Rangers made Feliz their closer, it caused many...

Gentry draws another start after big night

SAN FRANCISCO -- Craig Gentry followed up his 5 for 5 performance Friday by drawing a start against San Francisco right-hander Ryan Vogelsong. Gentry's starts normally come against left-handers but Texas manager Ron Washington changed that up. "The guy had a 5 for 5 night," Washington said. "He deserves to go out there." Two of Gentry's hits Friday...

Offense, defense elude Rangers in loss

SAN FRANCISCO The big question mark coming into Saturday's game for Texas was how was Scott Feldman going to pitch. The big right-hander who grew up in the San Francisco area answered that by pitching well enough to win against the Giants. That wasn't the case for the Texas hitters or the defense. Texas managed just five hits and committed three errors for the second...

Has the League Figured Yu Darvish Out?

During Yu Darvish‘s first eight starts, he faced eight different teams, making his first regular season start against each of them. His last four starts, however, have been repeat performances, as he’s faced the Mariners, Angels, Blue Jays, and Athletics for the second time. During those four starts, he’s been awful. May 21st, @ SEA: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 6 BB, 5 K May 27th, vs...

Harrison's shutout ends Rangers' San Francisco drought

It took 14 years, including a World Series, but the Texas Rangers finally figured out how to beat the Giants in San Francisco. The Rangers had lost 11 straight there, 13 including Games 1 and 2 off the 2010 World Series. All it took to end the streak was a shutout by Matt Harrison, the first handed the Giants in 2012. It was the Rangers' first win in San Francisco since June...

Gaub: Fourth organization in two months

Hot News for P John Gaub

Rangers shut out Giants again

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a rematch of the 2010 World Series, the Texas Rangers exacted some revenge, pummeling Tim Lincecum, who was the winning pitcher in the deciding game 5 of that World Series. Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton each hit two-run doubles off Lincecum to take the rubber game of the series as the Rangers beat the San Francisco Giants 5-0 on a warm Sunday afternoon. "...

Interleague Play Returns For Oakland

Coming off a stretch that saw the club lose 10 of 11 games, the Oakland A's were able to come back to the Coliseum and win a four-game set against the division leading Texas Rangers. Now they head back on the road again for the start of interleague play.

Rangers 5, Giants 0

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a rematch of the 2010 World Series, the Texas Rangers exacted some revenge, pummeling Tim Lincecum, who was the winning pitcher in the deciding game 5 of that World Series. Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton each hit two-run doubles off Lincecum to take the rubber game of the series as the Rangers beat the San Francisco Giants 5-0 on a warm Sunday afternoon. Alexi...

Spotlight Series: Rangers vs Giants (June 8-10)

As the interleague schedule begins full-bore (ignoring the whopping one series played last month), there are a lot of good matchups. Five of the 14 series feature teams with 30 wins apiece facing off. But there is one series that stands out more than the others, pitting the team holding the best record in the American League against a team from the National League with the same record...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.