I went down to Newport, RI last night to watch the Holyoke Giants play the Newport Gulls. Together these two represent two of the the three best teams in the league right now. Beyond the game itself (a pitchers dual which Newport won 2-0) I wanted to see a game in the oldest baseball park still in active use. I was told the park was built in 1883. Other than a sound system and modern plumbing, the stadium itself doesn't look much changed...a hodgepodge of bleachers and grandstands, most of which doen't have aisles so you have to clamber up over the seats to get to the top. 2400+ people turned out, a good sized crowd for the Newport team and three-four times what we normally have for the Giants back in Holyoke. While it was fun, it is a park hostile to the sideline shooter...this is one place you really need a press pass to get any decent action shots. The entire field is lined with a 10-foot high chain link fence, and most of the sidelines have an additional 25 feet of netting above that. The result: easy to shoot through the fence at stationary players, but as soon as you start moving the camera the autofocus looses its bearlings. So its zone focus or nothing if you want action. One thing of note: the outfield is shallower in center than in either right or left field, and a twenty-five foot fence covers the outfield...you can see it in the second photo ... its like having a green monster in every part of the field...and in right and left field, that green monster is at least 370feet away from home plate. It is a wonder any home runs ever get hit in this park...but I am assured that it happens a few times every year and one Holyoke player put the ball high up on the fence. I've included a few pictures of the park and the opening ceremonies below just to give a flavor. Oh year, forgot to mention...both dugouts are on the same side of the field...how many of you have ever seen that. I sure hadn't! Note: The first two shots are 1280x960 jpegs to allow you to scroll around a bit to take in the field. After that the shots are smaller.