Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Plan a New England road trip with Ballpark Guides

Stop by Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rockies affiliates on unique sojourn
December 7, 2023

It's a region made up of six cold-weather states, yet New England is rich with opportunities for the wayfaring baseball fan. No California, Texas nor Florida, it doesn't offer its youth year-round organized play, and it doesn't produce a great deal of Major League talent. But with its status as

It's a region made up of six cold-weather states, yet New England is rich with opportunities for the wayfaring baseball fan.

No California, Texas nor Florida, it doesn't offer its youth year-round organized play, and it doesn't produce a great deal of Major League talent. But with its status as a classic summer vacation destination and its history with the game, New England holds a unique place in the baseball world.

The best way to experience it is by embarking on a journey with stops at each of its four affiliated Minor League teams and, of course, a visit to Fenway Park in Boston.

Whether you're ready to hit the road or settling for a virtual trip, here's a simple itinerary to get your wheels turning.

Destination 1

Hadlock Field

271 Park Ave.,
Portland, ME, 04102

Home of the Portland Sea Dogs, Double-A affiliate of the Red Sox, Hadlock Field has been a fan-favorite since 1994. You'll notice the Fenway-esque Maine Monster in left field, but don't sleep on Hadlock's right field -- there's an all-you-can-eat pavilion with a great perspective of the field and a close-up view of the Sea Dogs' bullpen. Check out the Ballpark Guide »

Gotta eat: Order the Sea Dogs Biscuit, a locally made and expertly crafted ice cream sandwich that maintains its structural integrity on a hot day. (Also be sure to find some lobster, in or out of the ballpark.)
Make sure to see: Slugger, the Sea Dogs' mascot, is a performing harbor seal who's drawn comps to both Charlie Chaplin and Beyonce.
Possible detour: Goodall Park, in Sanford, Maine, opened in 1915 and is said to be the site of the last home run Babe Ruth hit (in an exhibition game) in a Red Sox uniform. It hosts the NECBL's Sanford Mainers.

Destination 2

Delta Dental Stadium

1 Line Drive
Manchester, NH, 03101
(603) 641-2005

With the stately glass-and-brick facade of a hotel looming over left field, the home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats is built for memorable home runs. The Double-A Toronto affiliate has seen a few in recent years, stocked as it has been with the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Orelvis Martinez. Immediately up a slope from a walkway along the Merrimack River, Delta Dental also features a full-service restaurant down the left-field line. Check out the Ballpark Guide »

Gotta eat: The Fisher Cats sometimes play as the Chicken Tenders, taking that moniker from the fried delicacy invented at Manchester's Puritan Restaurant. If they put it on the uniforms, it's got to be good.
Make sure to see: A fisher cat is not a cat but a mustelid, so there's no inherent conflict in New Hampshire celebrating its bat dog. Casey arrived in '23, after his predecessor retired to become a therapy dog.
Possible detour: Holman Stadium in nearby Nashua is hallowed ground -- it was the home park of Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe when they debuted in the Dodgers' farm system in '46. Today, the Futures League's Nashua Silver Knights play there.

Destination 3

Fenway Park

4 Jersey St.,
Boston, MA, 02215
(877) 733-7699

You already know. Even if you've never set foot east of the Mississippi River or north of the Mason-Dixon line, the charms of "America's Most Beloved Ballpark" are familiar from baseball lore, movies, books, poems and art. Still, whether it's your first visit or your 1,000th, there's nothing like a game at Fenway Park.

Gotta eat: The Fenway Frank is a classic, but if you came to New England for seafood, you won't be let down. Lobster rolls and clam chowder are widely available here.
Make sure to see: Lots. But if nobody tells you to look for it, you might miss "The 1912 Door," an original entryway preserved on the interior concourse and housing a 1912 World Series trophy and photo display.
Possible detour: Braves Field, the one-time home of the MLB franchise now in Atlanta, was also rich in history. Today, it's Boston University's Nickerson Field -- about a half-hour walk along Commonwealth Avenue from Fenway -- and a plaque commemorates its Major League past.

Destination 4

Polar Park

100 Madison Street
Worcester, MA, 01608

The WooSox are the newest addition to the Boston system, picking up the mantle for the long-tenured Pawtucket Red Sox in 2021. Polar Park feels classic yet has all the amenities and sheen of a brand-new ballpark. It's also the place to catch Red Sox prospects -- or rehabbing stars -- at the highest rung of the Minor League ladder. Check out the Ballpark Guide »

Gotta eat: Local cuisine is king at Polar Park, starting with the Worcester-staple George's Coney Island dog. Come hungry, and get one with everything.
Make sure to see: Smiley Ball is a guaranteed mood-improver. The literally and figuratively iconic smiley face logo was created by artist Harvey Ball, Worcester's native son, and the WooSox mascot is happiness incarnate.
Possible detour: Before scooting southwest to Connecticut, some folks will want to scoot southeast to take in a game from the much-revered Cape Cod League.

Destination 5

Dunkin' Park

1214 Main Street
Hartford, CT, 06103
(860) 246-4628

The Yard Goats, a Rockies affiliate who take their name from old railroad industry jargon, jostled onto the Minor League scene in 2016, but it wasn't until the next season that Dunkin' Park opened and gave the team a home. What a home it is. With a city-skyline view as grand as any in the Minors and striking sightlines from every seat, Hartford's ballpark has won numerous awards and is perennially among Double-A attendance leaders. Check out the Ballpark Guide »

Gotta eat: It depends! The Hartford Neighborhood Flavors Cart features a rotating selection of eats from the best purveyors around the city. Try whatever's featured during your visit.
Make sure to see: Do not miss the actual goats. The walkable concourse brings a fan to some onsite horned bovidae, including a few babies.
Possible detour: Some New England baseball fans will find it a sacrilegious way to conclude this road trip, but it is an undeniable and perhaps unignorable fact that a two-hour drive from Dunkin' Park awaits Yankee Stadium.

Josh Jackson is an editor for Follow and interact with him on Twitter @JoshJacksonMiLB.