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Centennial Field

Centennial Field is the name of the baseball stadium at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont and is the home of the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York Penn League (minor league), the Short Season Class A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.

Beyond the left-field fence is the former home of the University of Vermont's men's and women's soccer teams as well as once serving as UVM's home field for its men's and women's lacrosse teams, and its football team (1900–1974).

The field takes its name, Centennial Field, from the fact that the land on which it was built was dedicated to its current purpose on July 6, 1904, at the conclusion of the three-day celebration of the 100th anniversary of UVM's first graduating class. Its first baseball game was on April 17, 1906 with UVM's 10–4 victory over the University of Maine. Larry Gardner was the first batter for UVM. Future-Boston Red Sox pitcher Ray Collins started the game for Vermont and threw the first pitch at the ballpark. Gardner and Collins are among 10 former Catamounts to reach the major leagues, the latest being Kirk McCaskill, who hurled for the Angels and White Sox from 1985 to 1995 after being a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as a standout ice hockey player at UVM.

In addition to the baseball field, the adjacent soccer field was used by the University of Vermont football team until 1974, and UVM's men's and women's lacrosse teams in the 1990s through 2006. The school's men's soccer team played there from 1975 to 2011 and the women played there from 1995–2011 before moving to Virtue Field on campus. The Centennial Field soccer stands had 5,000 seats and drew America East record crowds during the 1989 postseason when UVM advanced to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship East Regional Finals with wins over Yale and UConn. Vermont hosted the long-running Smith Barney Men's Soccer Classic at Centennial Field that featured many national powers including UCLA, Stanford, Old Dominion, San Francisco, New Mexico and North Carolina. Its recent women's soccer tournament has featured Indiana, Notre Dame and Villanova.

During the era that Catamounts had a football team, Centennial Field had stands on both sides of the gridiron and UVM's game with UMass in 1966 had a record crowd of 10,000 fans. Vermont that season featured Little All-American halfback Bobby Mitchell and UMass had future NFL QB Greg Landry. The football field was also the home to several Vermont high school state championship games.

The baseball ballpark was part of the sports complex constructed as part of the UVM Centennial celebration. The original wooden baseball bleachers burned on March 12, 1913. The current concrete and steel main grandstand was erected in 1922. Today, it seats 4,415 for baseball.

The first UVM ice hockey game was played on the football portion of Centennial Field. The field's large foul territory comes from the running track that at one time circled the park, including the area where the grandstand currently stands.

Centennial Field in the summer of 2005 was the Vermont stop on ESPN's "50 States in 50 Days" tour. In 2007 it was recognized by ESPN.com's Jim Caple as one of the top 10 ball park destinations in the U.S. It is also featured in the 2008 book, "101 Baseball Places To See Before You Strike Out" by Josh Pahigian (2008, The Lyons Press).

(Wikipedia)
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Oldest photo 06/30/2007
Newest photo 06/30/2007
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