|As with many of the parks
in the Appalachian League, Joe O'Brien Field is a small, run-down facility
no better than most high school fields. But what it lacks in amenities (who really needs them anyhow ?), it makes up for in charm and atmosphere. This is what the minor league experience used to be like at most ballparks. The Twins are community operated (and owned by the parent club) so they are not trying to make money off the fans. Because of this, the majority of the crowd are dedicated followers who probably attend every game. The team does still do a couple between inning contests and there is a mascot on hand, but for the most part this is as pure a baseball experience as you'll find. Unfortunately, O'Brien Field is not the best place to actually watch a game. There is a small box seat section
behind home plate, and two general admission sections down each line. The
seating may be close to the field, but the sightlines are obstructed by
metal poles and a thick screen from almost every seat in the park. Some fans also bring their own lawn chairs and set them up under the press box. Concessions are available at the single stand behind the first base line. While the variety is limited (hot dogs, burgers, chicken), the prices are cheap and the quality decent. A new scoreboard was installed in 2004, but was not functioning properly when I attended a game in June of that year. O'Brien Field offers a very typical Appalachian League experience - a laid back atmosphere, cheap prices, and lots of loyal fans. With corporations taking over minor league baseball, it is great to know that this experience can still be found.