Dehler Park, Billings, MONTANA
Number of states: still 32
States to go: still 18Number of Games: 1
First game: July 4, 2013 (Billings Mustangs 6, Missoula Osprey 2)
Click on any image to see a full-size version.
On a hot 4th of July–the 10th anniversary of the first of my minor league travels–I
Dehler Park passes the main test I have for all ballparks: the is-there-any-question-where-you-are test. The instant one walks through the home-plate gate, one is faced by what Wikipedia tells me is the “Rimrocks,” a 500-800 foot cliff that skirts Billings’ north and east sides. It’s a flat-out gorgeous view that occupies my mind during slow points in the baseball.
On top of that, Billings does incredibly well with its baseball history. The Mustangs’ 40-year affiliation with the Reds certainly helps. Dehler Park seemed to focus a bit more on recent Mustangs
Lineups were prominently displayed, which came in handy for Steven as he wrote down the lineups before the game (this always gets looks). More importantly, Billings has what I most like at any level of ballpark: the ability to circumnavigate the park without ever surrendering the view of the field. Some locally appropriate fare was available (but no thank you to Rocky Mountain oysters, okay?), and those mountains…oh, yes,
I think this might be related to my very small quibble with the park: it was run a little too slickly for my
But this is a quibble. If I could make all 38 games here every year, I certainly would. As it is, I will have it on the short list of ballparks to return to if ever I’m zipping across I-90. You should have it there as well.
Regional Feel: 9.5/10
Total home run here. The Mustangs celebrate Montana baseball history unabashedly and enthusicastically. They look back on the history of their team with passion. And man oh man, but that view of the Rimrocks is fabulous.
Gorgeous, but a little too slick for a perfect score.
I remember no promotions. In a way, I like that, but in a way, I miss it.
Team mascot/name 2.5/5
Couldn’t find Homer in the crowd, but here he is anthropomorphized into a bouncy-house. I don’t mind the Mustangs name, but Homer would be the #1 Mascot name on Family Feud, so I can’t go too high here. That and, again, I didn’t see him.
Gorgeous inside and out.
Pavilion area: 4.5/5
Plenty to walk to, and around, and all without losing sight of the field.
Granted, it was July 4th, but even with that, I thought there was a tad too much casualness for my tastes
A great, if rather hot, afternoon. I will be back.
BASEBALL STUFF I SAW HERE:
Ty Washington’s second-inning triple gave the Mustangs the lead they wouldn’t give up.
Jose Guzman pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings, followed by 1 2/3 of perfection by Scott Brattvet (including two strikeouts and a double-play).
Written July 2013.