McKechnie Field has been Bradenton’s hometown ballpark since 1923 when it was known as City Park. Taking inspiration from some of the nation’s most cherished parks (Wrigley Field and Fenway Park), City Park was truly a park of its time. The golden age of baseball in the ‘20s not only set the groundwork for the game we know today, it crafted the third-oldest ballpark still used by Major League Baseball: McKechnie Field.
A New Era
A number of teams called McKechnie Field home throughout the years. The Cardinals, Phillies, Red Sox, Braves and A’s all once laid claim to the home-side dugout. But in 1969, the Pittsburgh Pirates moved in and became the permanent springtime residents of McKechnie Field. Since then, the Bradenton Area has welcomed the Pirates with open arms and thunderous applause for generations of legendary players like Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Barry Bonds.
Renovations to McKechnie Field throughout the years have made it more than just a ballpark with an old-time mystique. The addition of stadium lights in 2008 opened the door for more modern touches while keeping the charm of the ballpark alive. In 2013, renovations, including a 19,000-square-foot boardwalk along the outfield, Left Field Party Deck with new concessions and two new bars: Yuengling and Kona Bar. New renovations will give fans a 360-degree view of the field and a new perspective on 1920s-inspired McKechnie Field.
The Legacy Continues
Today, McKechnie Field is still one of the most enjoyable places to catch a ballgame in America. With the Pirates officially back in action, see the game’s newest stars like Andrew McCutchen and Francisco Liriano take the field up until their last spring training game on March 27. Experience just how far McKechnie Field has come since 1923. But, also see that some things, like a bag of Crackerjacks during the 7th-inning stretch, are too good to change.