Whitehouse Field Review

Time to wrap up the fields in the Eastern Division of the Cape Cod Baseball League. So far, my look at the parks has been well worth it. I’ve seen plenty of excellent baseball with enough fun stories to go around. Now we’re finishing up with a trip to Harwich. Does it stack up to the rest of the Eastern Fields? Let’s find out. This is Whitehouse Field, home of the Harwich Mariners. 

A brief word on my history with the park. I’ve been there a few times in my youth. My best memory was standing on the field for the National Anthem with one of the players. I think it was 2003 or 2004. I don’t remember exactly the year, I just know the guy I stood with was a shortstop and wore 15. It was also just plain cool that I was on the field for the Anthem. Anyway, enough nostalgia. Let’s begin. 

Location: 9/10

Whitehouse Field is located at Monomoy Regional High School on Oak Street in Harwich. The school is brand new, opening its doors in 2014. As such, the school is gigantic, modern, and shiny.  It serves as a good marker for where the park is. It also gives plenty of parking. The school lot, the field’s own lot, and the spaces at the Harwich Community Center right across the street ensure that there’s plenty of space for anyone trying to see the game. 

There’s only one slight downside, it’s not that close to Harwich’s town center. Harwich is a lovely town with plenty of businesses, shops, and ice cream places to go explore. It’s not too far, especially if you come from the south side of Oak Street. However, it still feels like you need a car to get to the park. And that’s a little problem. Nothing major, but still an issue. 

Seating: 7/10

And here is one place where the park struggles. Harwich has a great variety of seats. There’s bleachers behind home plate, grassy hills further down the baselines, and open spaces beyond the outfield fences. So what are the problems? 

First and foremost, the bleacher sections are kinda small. There’s one center aisle on the larger sections. That makes the sections clumsy to navigate. And they are also smaller than most bleachers in the league. The smaller sections are even more condensed than that. That’s all just a small concern compared to the bigger issue in the bleachers, the material of the seats. They are old wood bleachers that welcome you back to old high school football games with loving splinters. Or they would if they weren’t covered with green plastic covers that are markedly uncomfortable in their own right. They curve poorly and don’t give a good surface to sit on. This issue can be averted by bringing your own seat that hooks onto the bleacher. But if you have to bring your own seat to mitigate a basline problem inherent in the seat, something is terribly wrong. 

At least the sight lines are pretty good, barring a net or fence interference, but every other park has that issue somewhere. The only other issue is the outfield is very deep, making the view not very good. The best view is from the grassy hills beyond each dugout. Bring a lawn chair for that section. 

Ultimately, the seating is ok, but some major problems knock it down in a big way. 

Food: 9/10

No major complaints here. The Mariners don’t do anything special regarding their food, but there’s also nothing wrong here either. The food is right behind home plate, it’s close to everything, it’s priced well, the menu selections are standard and well executed, and it’s served with a smile and as briskly as the good people can get it to you. One problem. The grill is in a separate location from the rest of the foods, so getting a burger or a dog takes a bit longer and requires waiting in a longer line to pay and then wait for your food. I’m not a fan of that set up. Everything else is pretty good here. 

Aesthetics: 7.5/10

This field isn’t ugly at all, it looks…. more rustic than other Cape fields. And not exactly in a good way. 

Positives first. I love walking through the trees to get to the field. It makes me feel like I’m at a New England version of the Field of Dreams. The lights reflecting off the trees when the sun goes down is also an awesome look. The bunting hung around home plate is a nice touch. And the home plate area shaped like home plate and not just a circle is also a nice touch. Everything else holds up pretty well and is as you would hope for. Except for a few things. 

First, the scoreboard is AWFUL!! It’s old, numbers pop on and off, some numbers don’t even show up at all, and the entire top row that is supposed to show the player’s names is blank and doesn’t work. The bleachers, as mentioned above, also look old and skeleton like. The wood also looks like it could use replacing, or at least some polish. 

Ultimately, it’s not a bad field at all. There’s plenty to enjoy. There’s also much to be fixed and updated. That would improve it greatly. As it is, the park just feels old. 

General Atmosphere: 8/10

Despite being an old ballpark, this is a fun place to go to. The staff does fun things for the family like T-shirt tosses, YMCA sing alongs, and dance songs. The crowd is pretty fun and the whole family can enjoy it. As stated above, I also love being in the woods for a game. It’s such a cool atmosphere to be in. Those issues of the aged ballpark knock a few points off for me. That’s my only real issue, but it is a substantial issue. 

Total Score: 39.5/50

After reexamining this park, this is a flawed baseball experience. The field is well located and the town has good ice cream places for postgame merriment. The food there is good and the crowd is fun. But the seats and scoreboard need renovation and the park feels old and tired. I’d still recommend it. The baseline experience is pretty good, just flawed. Whitehouse Field is a worthwhile and enjoyable time, but I would recommend any other field in the east ahead of this one. 

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