Author Topic: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars  (Read 247 times)

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Offline wj73

  • Posts: 819
Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Topic Start: May 17, 2024, 12:59:31 PM »
Went to the new ballpark in Hagerstown last night to see their new baseball team, the Hagerstown Flying Boxcars. They were facing the Staten Island Ferry Hawks.

After the old Hagerstown Suns were eliminated as part of that MLB minor league reorganization a few years ago, the City decided to raze old Municipal Stadium, which was located away from downtown. After some controversy, the City decided to build a new ballpark in downtown Hagerstown. They worked out a deal with the Atlantic League to establish a new ball team. The Flying Boxcars name is a nod to the WWII cargo planes that were built in Hagerstown.

The new ballpark, called Meritus Park, is beautiful, and right in downtown. It’s on the small side, holding about 4,000, but like all Atlantic League ballparks, the field lighting, locker rooms, etc. must meet or exceed all MiLB Triple A standards.

The concourse is open all around. There are two large beer garden type areas with bars, tables, couches, and corn hole and other games. There’s also a kids area with bouncy castle-type stuff. There’s a metal representation of a real Flying Boxcar in right, which was a nice visual touch. Plenty of good cheap seats - we were in the first row behind the Boxcar dugout for $12. All seats had cup holders. The seats did seem to be a bit on the narrow side, but were still quite comfortable.

They have a large selection of merch, which everyone seemed to be buying, so local support seems good.  They had one of the larger selections of women’s t-shirts I’ve seen in any ballpark. T-shirt prices ranged from about $25-40.

We were there on “Thirsty Thursday” where 16oz Bud Lite and Michelob Lite costs $3, and other local and craft beers go for $5 for the same 16oz. Nice deal.

I had a hot dog which was meh, but Mr wj73 had a decent sausage with peppers and onions.

Since this was Opening Week, there were a few glitches. It took them till the 4th inning to get the scoreboard working properly, and one of the beer stands didn’t have their contactless pay set up, necessitated everyone having to get their actual credit cards processed. (Like most ballparks these days, Meritus Park is cashless.)

I’d never attended an Atlantic League game before. Based on last night, I’d say the level of play is a bit under Double A, but more than High A. The players are a mix of players mostly from MiLb, and even a few former major leaguers. The biggest surprise was the Staten Island Ferry Hawks third baseman - Pablo Sandoval. Yes, THE Pablo Sandoval. He laced a couple of hard singles.  I guess he just can’t give it up.

The Boxcars were crushed last night, 10-0. Not especially surprising for what is essentially an expansion team. But it was an enjoyable experience despite the score.

All in all, if you find yourself up that way, it’s worthwhile checking out Meritus Ballpark and the Flying Boxcars.

https://flyingboxcars.com/

Offline wj73

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Re: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Reply #1: May 17, 2024, 01:00:26 PM »
tl;dr - It’s a nice ballpark. Go.

Offline Five Banners

  • Posts: 2378
Re: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Reply #2: May 17, 2024, 02:03:56 PM »
tl;dr - It’s a nice ballpark. Go.

Nice, went up there back in the Harper days at the old place

Offline imref

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Re: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Reply #3: May 17, 2024, 02:55:24 PM »
thanks for sharing. Glad to see the Panda is still playing.

Offline wj73

  • Posts: 819
Re: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Reply #4: May 17, 2024, 03:09:27 PM »
Nice, went up there back in the Harper days at the old place


Charitably put, old Municipal Stadium had historic character. Put less charitably but more accurately, it was a dump.


The new Meritus Park is a much much much more enjoyable experience.

Online Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Reply #5: May 18, 2024, 12:10:42 PM »
Love these dispatches from the field  :D


Offline Count Walewski

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Re: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Reply #6: May 19, 2024, 08:12:36 AM »
This is great. I will always remember Hagerstown as the first place I ever saw Juan Soto but that old stadium was terrible. Great to see so many of these former MiLB towns prospering as independent league towns.

Offline machpost

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Re: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Reply #7: May 19, 2024, 09:23:10 AM »
I’m looking forward to checking this place out. Wish I’d gotten to see the old stadium before they tore it down.

Offline wj73

  • Posts: 819
Re: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Reply #8: May 19, 2024, 12:44:37 PM »
I’m looking forward to checking this place out. Wish I’d gotten to see the old stadium before they tore it down.


Municipal Stadium had a rather charming hand-operated scoreboard, and a beer garden in left field. But that’s about all you missed. The bathrooms were gross, the concessions were limited, the outfield especially in left was uneven, the locker rooms were old and small, and the whole place seemed like it was going to break apart and fall over one day. As a matter of fact, a couple of years before it closed, one of the light stands fell over onto left field, leaving tiny bits of shattered glass everywhere. We arrived to see Suns staff in their hands and knees picking up bits of glass out of the grass. I don’t think any left fielders dove for a ball the rest of the season.

Offline CALSGR8

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Re: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Reply #9: May 19, 2024, 12:57:48 PM »
I enjoyed going to Frederick Ghost Hounds last year!  They had some familiar former NATS Minor leaguers! 
They’re on hiatus this year to allow the Boxcars have their season!  Next year they’ll be back at Harry Grove when the league expands to 12 teams! 

Offline wj73

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Re: Hagerstown Flying Boxcars
« Reply #10: May 23, 2024, 04:32:30 PM »
A review of Meritus Park, including an overall history of baseball in Hagerstown and the Hagerstown aviation industry, and the background of the Flying Boxcar name.  Lengthy, but the background info is well-researched. Includes a bonus review of the Hagerstown Aviation Museum where you can get into a real Flying Boxcar.


https://baseballparks.com/indepth/meritus-park/