BRISTOL -Â Every time the Bristol Blues players walk out onto Muzzy Field, theyâ€™re part of history.
The ballpark has had some of the gameâ€™s greats play on it since being built in 1912.
Iconic athletes such as Babe Ruth, Vince Lombardi and Satchel Paige have played on Muzzy Field, which has been the host of numerous sporting events ranging from the Thanksgiving Day High School football game between Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern High School to the exhibition game played by the Boston Red Sox when Babe Ruth became the first player to launch a ball over the outfield fence at Muzzy.
This yearâ€™s Blues squad is well aware of those that have been part of the Muzzy Field tradition.
â€śMuzzy Field is a great place to host all these games and to host the town,â€ť Bristol outfielder Dylan Reynolds said. â€śItâ€™s got a rich history and clearly Bristol has a rich history of baseball dating all the way back to Babe Ruth at Muzzy Field so itâ€™s a great feel going to Muzzy and playing there every home game.â€ť
While the field is different than what the players are accustomed to at the collegiate level of baseball, the atmosphere change is eye opening as well.
â€śItâ€™s different from college because thatâ€™s mostly friends and family coming to the games,â€ť Blues outfielder Alex Loparco said. â€śIn Bristol we have fans of the team so thatâ€™s different for me. Iâ€™ve enjoyed that part of it for sure.â€ť
Bristol manager Ronnie Palmer is nearing the end of his second regular season with the organization after taking the role prior to the 2017 season.
After the first season with Bristol, Palmer was pleased with everything about the organization and itâ€™s been the same with the players.
â€śI think theyâ€™ve all enjoyed the heck out of it,â€ť Palmer said. â€śThe guys that played last year all pretty much said it was a first class experience for them. The host families treat the players extremely well; the community of Bristol kind of takes them in as their own over the summer. So theyâ€™ve thoroughly enjoyed their experience from top to bottom.â€ť
As the playoffs near, the Blues will look to add to the history at the field by bringing Bristol its first Futures Collegiate Baseball League Championship.
The talent is there on this yearâ€™s team to do so.
â€śI think weâ€™ve hit our stride,â€ť Loparco said. â€śObviously the all-star break didnâ€™t come at the best time but when we compete at a high level weâ€™re one of the toughest teams to beat. Weâ€™re pumped to get back on the field Thursday in front of the home fans.â€ť