Each year I try to visit a new team and a new stadium. This year my pick was the Hartford Yard Goats, who play at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Yard Goats arrived in Hartford in 2016 when the New Britain Rock Cats relocated to Hartford. However, they can trace their heritage back to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, when they were known as the Pittsfield Red Sox, the double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox from 1965 to 1969. In 1970, that team moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where they played as the Pawtucket Red Sox from 1970 to 1972. When the Red Sox moved their triple-A franchise to Pawtucket, the double-A team moved again to Bristol, Connecticut, where they played from 1973 to 1982.
The team moved against in 1983 to New Britain Connecticut. In 1995, they changed their affiliation to the Minnesota Twins and were renamed the Hardware City Rock Cats. They changed their name again in 1997 to the New Britain Rock Cats. In 2015, they became the double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Although they became the Hartford Yard Goats in 2016, Dunkin’ Donuts Park was not completed, so they played the entire season on the road. They moved to their new park in 2017.
We visited the Yard Goats on Saturday, April 27 – a chilly, overcast day in Hartford. It turned out to be a double header, as the game the previous night had been rained out. Fortunately, Dunkin’ Donuts has a shop in Dunkin’ Donuts Park, as it was the perfect day for a nice, hot drink.
All-in-all it was a great place to see a game. Next time, however, I’ll go when it’s a bit warmer.