Photos from the field
Built with funds donated to the city of Bangor in 1991 by best-selling author and resident Stephen King, Shawn T. Mansfield Stadium is one of the finest baseball fields in Maine. The $1.2 million stadium at Hayford Park on Thirteenth Street is dedicated to Shawn Mansfield, who died after a long fight with cerebral palsy before he had a chance to play America's pastime.
Best-selling author and Bangor resident Stephen King donated more than $1 million to the city to build Mansfield Stadium.
"I thought to myself, What a shame it is that [children] have to make adjustments on substandard fields with shoddy equipment," King said when he announced the stadium's construction. "It's not on par with world peace or ending hunger here in Bangor, but I was taught that charity begins at home."
David Mansfield, for whose son the stadium is named, welcomed the gift for Bangor West Little League.
"This should be a showpiece for the city," he said. "We want people to come here and be proud. The children of the city of Bangor will have priority on this field."
The stadium is home to Bangor's Senior Little League teams, Bangor High School's junior varsity and varsity teams, and Bangor's American Legion team. The field has also been host to Husson College games, high school regional and state championship games, American Legion tournament games, and Little League Baseball's 1999 and 2000 New England Senior League divisionals (15- and 16-year-olds). Since 2002, Mansfield has been the site of Little League Baseball's Senior League World Series.
Right fielders will have to get used to a glaring setting sunset.
Since opening on June 20, 1992, when Webb's RV beat WZON 10-6, more than 1,100 games have been played on the field.
The stadium features bleacher seating for 1,500, a complete concession stand, and public restrooms. Six 90-foot light towers with a total of 128 lights illuminate the field at night, with three levels of lighting: maintenance, high school, and college/minor league. A full-size electronic scoreboard complete with a 6-foot high, 600-pound lighted analog clock sits beyond the right-field fence.
The field features the latest engineering technology to keep it in top-rate condition throughout Maine's harsh baseball season, which begins in April with rain and mud and ends in August. There are drainage tiles every 20 feet around and under the field, and the field is atop 3 feet of walnut-size stones for quick drainage. Red clay from the southern United States that becomes as hard as rock lies beneath the pitcher's mound and home plate area. The special orange and brown infield dirt is from New Jersey and is mixed specifically for baseball.
About a half hour before sunset the right fielder and first baseman find visibility difficult when looking toward the plate. On several occasions the sun has helped batters get bloop hits to right.
About 2 ½ acres of bluegrass sod covers the field, and an automated sprinkler system waters the field as-needed at night. The grounds crew also has a 164-by-164-foot motorized tarp at its disposal; it requires only four men to unfold it.
The stadium is easily accessible from Interstate 95 Exits 46 (Hammond Street) and 47 (Union Street), and Bangor International Airport is nearby.
The field is completely enclosed by 5-foot high fences in foul territory and an 8-foot high fence in the outfield. The field's dimensions are: Left field, 330 feet; left-center, 375 feet; center field, 400 feet; right-center, 375 feet; right field, 330 feet.