By Zachary Baru
There shouldn't be many more disputes about the name of Mackenzie Stadium in Holyoke, especially now that an enormous sign and logo has been placed on top of a new large scoreboard in left field.
Mackenzie Stadium, often referred to as Mackenzie Field, is much more than a field. Especially now, that the venue and it's 600-seat grandstand has improvements such as the new scoreboard and a brand new infield.
The City of Holyoke has made many improvements over the years, including the fence and a new field last year (see "Renovations for Mackenzie Stadium key for Blue Sox, City of Holyoke, Western Mass. Sports Biz, March 2017.) Come next season, Holyoke High and Valley Blue Sox fans will be able to enjoy a refreshed, modern look to the stadium. The new scoreboard is purple for the colors of the Holyoke High School Purple Knights, and not only contains a large sign for the stadium, but it also has additional space for advertisements.
Mackenzie Stadium opened in 1933 and was home to the Holyoke Millers, a member of the "AA" Eastern League from 1977 through 1982. In 2004, baseball once again returned to the Paper City, when the New England Collegiate Baseball League brought the Holyoke Giants to town.
The franchise moved to Lynn, Massachusetts in 2007, making way for what was then called the Holyoke Blue Sox to come to the city in 2008. The Holyoke Blue Sox changed their name to the Valley Blue Sox in 2014.
With a new infield and new large scoreboard in left field, Mackenzie Stadium continues to provide one of the best stadium experiences for baseball in Western Massachusetts. It may not have the capacity of the newest minor league stadiums, but with its history, and now its improvements, Mackenzie Stadium is a special place to be able to watch baseball 85 years after it first opened.
Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Zach also writes for SportsBusinessBoston.com.