Limeport Stadium – Blue Mountain League
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A Hidden Treasure in Limeport, Pa.
Somewhere through the rolling hills and farmland hides Limeport Stadium, an 85-year-old ballpark has been the home to both amateur and high school baseball since 1933. Its capacity is 1,100 and was the brainchild of Howard “Lefty” Fegley, a local dairy farmer who had such a passion for the game that he employed 75-100 workers at a rate of 10-14 cents an hour to construct a ballpark adjacent to his home and dairy farm. The final cost of the stadium has been debated at between $22,000 to $75,000.
It was constructed to resemble Shibe Park in Philadelphia and to meet the growing need of baseball in the community. The stadium was built to last and no expense was spared; it’s solid brick structure, metal trusses, curved covered grandstand, and framed windows have virtually remained unchanged since its opening day.
On July 30, 1933, the Limeport Milkmen of the East Penn Baseball League played in front of an overflow crowd of 4,000 fans. The highly competitive amateur league would operate until 1950, but perish along with many other leagues of its kind around this era. However, baseball of the high school, tournament, and amateur varieties would continue to play inside Fegley’s palace. There are well over 100 games played every year from late March to early September in Limeport, Pennsylvania.
The stadium maintains its objective of providing amateur baseball in the Lehigh Valley. The Limeport Bulls and Dodgers of the Blue Mountain League, Southern Lehigh Senior High School, Central Catholic High School, and Connie Mack Baseball League all operate out of Limeport Stadium from April to September.
The stadium is owned and maintained by the Limeport Stadium Incorporated, a non-profit organization of over fifty volunteers who handle everything from cutting the grass to cleaning the bathrooms. In 1990, the LSI saved the facility when it was in danger of seizure by the IRS due to unpaid taxes and penalties.The organization is coming close to meeting its objective of collecting $275,000 for new lights at the stadium that have been in use since 1984.
Food & Beverage 4
There is one main concession booth underneath the grandstand that serves much more than typical hot dogs, peanuts, and soda. Beef jerky ($2.50), corn dogs ($2.50), deep fried pierogies ($2.50), and chicken nuggets ($2.50) are just a few of the varieties that can be enjoyed at the game. However, if one is craving the ubiquitous hot dog ($2) or peanuts ($1), they are definitely on the menu board. There is also plenty of candy and ice cream treats available for dessert. Limeport Stadium is a Coca-Cola park, but do not expect to enjoy a beer at the game, it is not sold or available.
Limeport Stadium is a true original that features original wood seats, windows, doors, covered grandstand, and brick exterior. It exists off a two-lane road surrounded by houses, grass parking lot, and a row of corn stalks behind the wooden fence in left field.
Its most striking display of might is the center field wall looming 485 feet from home plate. There are six small pine trees that serve as the batter’s eye with a flagpole as the centerpiece that is in play. There is also a large incline in the outfield due to a large boulder underneath the field that was too expensive to level during the stadium’s construction. The steep slope in the outfield might be the largest incline in a ballpark, amateur or professional, in the country.
The stadium has seen a few renovations this decade to improve the fan experience and access. The new entrance to the seating area was moved behind home plate and replaced the 17-stair climb to the top row of the stadium in 2011; the following year saw the concession stand expanded to the ground floor near the entrance from atop the main stands underneath the roof.
Fans are completely covered underneath the grandstand roof that houses nine rows of green painted wood seats that feature fans on the ceiling and a small booth for public announcements. The seats are as old as the stadium and sometimes need replacing, 900 of the 1,070 seats remain.
The stadium is located on farmland and sprawling hills 10 miles from the bustling towns of Allentown, however, the area feels miles away from the commercial and interstate traffic of the rest of the Lehigh Valley. The Limeport Inn is a trendy restaurant that features appetizers of cornmeal fried calamari, duck confit taquitos, mussels from Prince Edward Island and for dinner rack of lamb, scallops and steak options. The outdoor patio is perfect on a warm, summer day and is a perfect place to eat before the game.
Fans 3 Stars
There is an array of fans who are there to watch friends and family members on the ballfield, but also many who enjoy watching an amateur baseball game in an actual stadium. You can even spot a few wearing Limeport Stadium attire. The stadium is home to the Dodgers and Bulls of the Blue Mountain League, along with two area high schools, and the Connie Mack Tournament in late July. There is quite a range of fans who take in games at Limeport Stadium.
Access 4 Star
The stadium is 3 miles south of SR-309 and I-78 on the Limeport Pike. It is a scenic drive down the two-lane highway as you approach the ballpark on the right-hand side of the road.
Return on Investment 5
Ticket prices are $3 for adults and $1 for children, a small price to pay for any level of baseball in a historic facility. Concession prices are also very affordable along with merchandise that does not cost more than $15. The grass-covered parking lot is ample and free of charge.
1 star for the dedicated service of the LSI who put forth an insurmountable amount of time maintaining the ballpark and keeping it up to code for various baseball games throughout the season. Since its inception in 1988, the organization has raised over $100,000 for stadium improvements and renovations. Without their support, the stadium may only exist in both memory and photographs
2 stars for some of the lore that exists at the ballpark that includes a beagle buried underneath the third base area and the home run that cleared the centerfield fence by Alex Sabo.
3 stars for the original wooden seats that provide a surprising comfort 85 years after they were installed inside the park. Sorry, the seats do not provide cup holders.
4 stars for the giant sloping hill in center field that also creates a topic of conversations during the game, usually a 7-inning affair.
Limeport Stadium is somewhat off the radar of ballparks for many a sports traveler. However, this could be a good thing, since the atmosphere, location, and setting does not feel altered from when Mr. Fegley first played baseball at this site. The ballpark is a pure treat for anyone who enters through its doors and takes a seat underneath its roof. If he were alive today, you could bet he would be smiling that his stadium is still being put to good use. I am sure somewhere he is grinning at this very moment.
Quality Inn Allentown
1715 Plaza Ln
Allentown, PA 18104