The fearless leader of Team NotGraphs – our own Carson Cistulli – and I both highly enjoy a game of Northwoods League baseball at the Duck Pond at Warner Park, home of the Madison Mallards. Luckily for denizens of Madison and the surrounding areas, it sounds like the experience is going to get even better, according to what I heard at the University of Wisconsin Dugout Club Winter Baseball Banquet.
Madison Mallards GM Vern Stenman made multiple announcements regarding the field. Most exciting to me is the fact that the Mallards will be replacing all backless bleacher seats with actual seats from Baltimore’s Camden Yards. Instead of bleachers, that means that fans will be sitting in something like these:
The field will also be adding more seats closer the plate.
The second update may not directly affect the fans, but it should increase the quality of the games. The field at the duck pond has been re-done with Miller Park sod. Having played at Warner Park before, I already thought the field to be of a high quality, but my frame of reference (high school fields and another Northwoods League field near my hometown) isn’t great. Still, taking a good field and improving the grass should only bring good things.
I highly recommend Mallards games to anybody who lives in or around the Madison area. The park experience is great and the talent level of the kids playing is quite good – multiple MLB draft picks play on every team in the league. Try and make your way out for a couple of games this summer if you’re around.