January 7, 2010

Bristol Nine to bring college baseball players to Muzzy Field

For the first time since 1995, Bristol’s historic Muzzy Field will house a college league baseball team this summer.
The city’s Park Board unanimously agreed Thursday to open the gates for the Bristol Nine, the newest of the dozen teams in the 15-year-old New England Collegiate Baseball League.
“We’re all excited,” said Dan Kennedy, the team’s general manager.
Kennedy said the team is anxious to play in a field where “the atmosphere and the history” are second to none. “This is a great venue,” he added.
Between June 1 and August 11, the team will play 21 home games at Muzzy, officials said. Tickets are slated to cost $4 for adults and $1 for children ages 12 and under.
The deal won’t cost taxpayers anything, park officials said, but the city should benefit from some of the gear the team has to purchase, including a portable backstop for batting practice and protective screens for players to use during practice.
The team played last year in Pittsfield, Mass. but is moving to Bristol under new owners. There are a dozen teams in the league, with at least one in every New England state.
Mayor Art Ward said he has been impressed with the team owners’ enthusiasm for getting involved in the community.
Kennedy and Paul Fredette, two of the four owners, said the players -- among the top college athletes in the country -- will donate time to work with younger ballplayers in the city.
“For it to be adopted by the community, there’s a lot of giving we have to do,” Fredette said.
The team’s mascot, not yet chosen, will also be a part of as many community events as possible, they said.
A Bristol resident who serves as the pitching coach for Central Connecticut State University’s baseball team, Pat Hall, will be the head coach, team owners said.
Though the team is still working out details, it plans to have Chicago White Sox-style uniforms with a little red mixed in. Its logo will feature an old-time ballplayer in the Mudville 9 fashion.
The Bristol Nine isn’t the first team the league has had in Bristol.
During the league’s first two seasons, in 1994 and 1995, the Bristol Nighthawks played at Muzzy.
But Kennedy and Fredette said the league is quite different now than it was in its earliest days, with better players who are much more disciplined, mainly because there are typically 10 to 15 professional scouts watching every game.
They said that hundreds of the league’s players have gone on to play professionally. The league lists 25 of its alumni currently played Major League Baseball.
Kennedy said the team has invited 28 college players to join its roster, about half of them from Connecticut, including two players who hail from Bristol and another from Plainville. He said he’s hoping to snag at 94-miles-per-hour pitcher from Berlin, too.
But, he said, “we can’t stay totally local,” which explains his attempt to secure a couple of Texas players as well.
The league, modeled on the Cape Cod Baseball League, is among the top college leagues in the country. Its Newport, R.I. team attracts 1,700 fans nightly, Kennedy said.
City and team officials said they have worked hand-in-hand with the American Legion team to make sure there are no scheduling problems. Kennedy said the team plans to give the Legion team many free tickets for its use and resale to raise money for its needs.
The Bristol Nine doesn’t offer salaries to its players, but has to pay for the use of the field and other costs. Kennedy said its revenue will come from ticket sales, merchandise sales and corporate sponsorships.
Team officials said they plan to introduce the Bristol Nine more formally next Thursday at a 9:30 a.m. kickoff press conference at Nuchies Restaurant.

New England Collegiate Baseball League teams
Bristol Nine
Danbury Westerners
Holyoke Blue Sox
Keene Swamp Bats
Laconia Muskrats
Lowell All-Americans
New Bedford Bay Sox
Newport Gulls
North Adams SteepleCats
North Shore Navigators
Sanford Mainers
Vermont Mountaineers
Muzzy Field’s past
Muzzy Field was the home ballpark the Bristol Red Sox from 1972 to 1982, the AA-affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
It featured games by barnstorming professionals in the 1940s and 1950s, games that brought such legends as Babe Ruth and Vince Lombardi to town.
Its field has been in use since 1912. The grandstands were erected in 1939.

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Thank you Mayor Ward for finding new ways to move Bristol forward!

Anonymous said...

And now back to the city budget.

Anonymous said...

It is nice to see the bar is high as far as talent is concerned. Any idea on who the local players are on the team?

Anonymous said...

Great news!

Home Run said...

Please read the article and realize that this is something positive for the community, at no cost to the taxpayers, other than the $4.00 price of a ticket for those who choose to enjoy the game in a new venue, along with American Legion baseball.
In these times of economic stress, it sure feels like a breath of fresh air.
"Batter Up"

Anonymous said...

No one is ever happy!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea BUT, is Ward, or anyone else, saying that there will not be additional labor costs to maintain the field, including overtime, that there won't be additional costs for supplies and material, and for wear and tear?

Are they saying that there won't possibly be additional traffic control costs.

Will there be any conflict with the Legion playing there?

Or football?

It all may help the city, but lets cost it out and let the people know the facts!

Anonymous said...

In general, baseball is overrated. And the salaries being paid to these dumb jocks should be illegal!

Capitalism is whack!

Anonymous said...

Ward had nothing to do with getting them to come here. They approached the city and park dept.

Anonymous said...


Don't tell Artie that, he will have a hissy fit!

Anonymous said...

Gotta love the way the clowns on this blog are so quick to point fingers at Ward for ANYTHING that goes wrong around here, but are even quicker pointing fingers anywhere BUT at him when things go right...seems we're just a few clowns short of a circus. ;0)

Anonymous said...

10:06 if you're so interested in the "cost it out" approach, why don't you see start with programs that don't pay anything to play at Muzzy. This NECBL team will be renting the field AND also contributing a batting tunnel and other equipment. This is far more than anyone else who uses Muzzy so I wouldn't be too concerned. Figure out what it costs the city for other programs who pay little to nothing at all.

Anonymous said...


Nah, we got enough clowns in city hall for a big circus.

Ward is the ringmaster

stupider than stupid said...

11:39 - what part of the article can't you comprehend other than the first word - stupid.

Anonymous said...

What a great plus for Bristol!

lacking said...

7:25 - and you are the dumbbell.

Anonymous said...


All I am saying is cost it out, as we should all projects.
Then it can be determined if it is justified,
We don't have money for teh DARE program, for VNA to help sick and ailing, for keeping our equipment updated and safe, but we can blindly agree to something without know if there is a financial impact.

What a way to run a railroad.

No wonder we might be 8 million short.

Anonymous said...

7:25 PM, I stand corrected. You've proven yourself to be the biggest clown of all...looks like the blog circus is complete!

Anonymous said...


I might agree, except for you.

I concede.

You are the Champ!

snake eyes & bad breath said...

10:47 - very sad that you either can't read or that your comprehension level is that of a rock; the league is paying all costs plus contributing new additions of equipment to Muzzy Field.
Additionally, the city will be making a few extra bucks - thank goodness for all of us that you aren't in charge of figuring the odds at a casino - loser.

Anonymous said...


I ask you, when were the costs determined , by whom, were they made available to the Park Board?

I don't recall any of that being made public.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know whatthe Legion pays to play at Muzzy Field?

finger challenge said...

2:47, 6:38 - why don't you push your fat butt away from the keyboard and experience the newest wave of technology of; "having your fingers do the walking" and call the Park Dept. to find out if you are so interested?

Anonymous said...


Shouldn't have to, the city should do that analysis as a matter of course and procedure.

Maybe this is why we are in financial hot water.

Anonymous said...


Took your advice, told that that information is not available.

piggly wiggly said...

6:45 - seriously doubt that because any of that information is public information - maybe you called the "Pork Dept. instead of the Park Dept." Try again.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Muzzy Field a former horse racing track? Seems I recall seeing a race track on a pre 1900 map.

Anonymous said...


Regarding PORK, no, I didn't call the mayors office.

Regarding information, I was given the impression that that information has not been put together.
Which highlights the problem!