Parsons Field – Northeastern Huskies
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Parsons Field is a multipurpose facility located a mile and a half from the Northeastern University campus in Brookline, MA. It hosts the Northeastern baseball and soccer teams. It also served as the home of the Husky football team until the university disbanded the team following the 2009 season.
Originally a public playground called the Kent Street Field, the lot was purchased by Northeastern in 1930 from the YMCA’s Huntington Prep School. The university dedicated the field after former athlete, coach, and athletic director Edward S. Parsons in 1969, and renamed the baseball diamond the Friedman Diamond in 1988. It is rumored that Babe Ruth often played catch on this site during his time with the Red Sox.
The Huskies have qualified for one College World Series, in 1966. Six Husky alumni have made it to the major leagues.
Food & Beverage 0
No food or beverages are available at Parsons Field. There is a temperamental soda machine located underneath the grandstand, which may or may not accept your money. Experienced Husky fans bring their own items to enjoy during the game.
A game at Parsons Field is a baseball purist’s dream. The only extraneous noise here is between innings music and basic lineup announcements. Parson Field’s setting in a quiet residential neighborhood makes for a relaxed, distraction-free experience. Fans will love being able to hear the chatter coming from the dugouts and instructions from the coaches to their teams.
Parsons Field is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Brookline, approximately 1.5 miles from the Northeastern University campus in Boston. There are no signs to lead you to the facility, and with the ballpark’s location on side streets, it can be easily missed.
Parsons Field is located in the shadows of many of Boston’s renowned hospitals, which are located just a few blocks away. Also located close to Parsons Field is Fenway Park, which is just over a mile away. Ironically, Parsons Field is closer to several other colleges in Boston than it is to Northeastern.
Needless to say, there are plenty of things to do in the immediate vicinity of Parsons Field.
Crowds at Parsons Field tend to be on the small side, and the variety of different vantage points surrounding the field serve only to make the small crowd seem even sparser than they would otherwise look. Fans can take in a Husky game from the new Connolly Pavilion, which replaced the old, rickety bleachers. There is a great deal of standing room along both foul lines and on a raised area adjacent to the bullpens in left field. Also, fans can take in the action from the soccer grandstand, which runs the length of the soccer field, or for baseball, from the right field foul pole to straightaway center field.
The off-campus location of Parsons Field serves to minimize the turnout from the student body. As is the case with many collegiate ballparks in the northeast, crowds at Parsons Field are of the “friends and family” variety, averaging between 100-250 fans per game. Fans who do show up to Husky baseball games usually have some personal connection to the players on the field, and thus are very much into the action.
Please sit down before you read this section of the review. Parking at Parsons Field is FREE. Yes, you read that right. Free parking. In Boston. There is a small parking lot at the ballpark, which is too small even to serve the small crowds at a Husky game. Luckily, fans can park for free on the streets surrounding Parsons Field.
As any person who lives in the greater Boston area will tell you, driving is not the best way to get around in this city, even with the promise of free parking. The most efficient method of travel in Boston is the MBTA, or “T” as it is called by locals. Both the Longwood and Brookline Village stops on the Green Line’s D Train are a short 0.4 miles from Parsons Field.
Once inside Parsons Field there is a great deal of room to walk around, and there are vantage points all around the field from which to take in the game. The sparse crowds at Husky games ensures that fans can spread out and sample several different locations if they wish.
New as of the 2015 season is the John “Tinker” Connelly Pavilion, a new seating area located directly behind home plate that seats 400 and houses a new, modern press box. Connelly led the Huskies to their only College World Series appearance in 1966, and is enshrined in both the Northeastern and College Baseball Halls of Fame. Seats located directly behind home plate and in the first two rows of the pavilion are plastic stadium folding seats, while the rest of the seats are metal bleachers with backs. There is standing room at the top of the pavilion, which offers excellent views of the action.
Return on Investment 4
Believe it or not, it is possible to attend a game at Northeastern without spending a single cent. With free parking available, no charge for tickets, and no food to buy on site, once you enter Parsons Field, you will not need to reach for your wallet at all.
The experience at Parsons Field is a bare bones one, with little that can be qualified as “extra.” The presence of finished bathrooms in the Zabilsky Field House is a definite plus, as is the availability of many different seating areas to take in the ballgame. If you are attending the game with little ones, be sure to stake out a spot on the right field line, where the area is fenced in and covered by the artificial turf of the soccer field. The kids will have a place to let off some steam while you take in the action.
Northeastern University has invested a great deal of money into the facilities at Parsons Field, and as a result it is a much more comfortable, modern place at which to take in a game. Still, this is not a destination ballpark except for the most ardent of ballpark chasers. Baseball in the northeast is simply not the attraction it is in other parts of the country.
When taking in a baseball game at Parsons Field, it can be hard to believe you are just blocks away from one of the busiest neighborhoods in Boston. The quiet residential setting serves as a perfect backdrop for a beautiful spring afternoon at the ballpark.
With the number of facilities in and around Boston, it is easy to include Parsons Field in a tour of Boston ballparks. Just remember, the weather during March and April in this part of the country can be fickle, and wreck even the best-laid of plans. Postponements, schedule changes and even venue changes can and do occur regularly. Be ready to be flexible if visiting New England during the short college baseball season.
Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.
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Brookline, MA 02446
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