The Berkshires: Old American Culture & America's Favorite Pass Time
The Berkshires have the reputation of being “America’s Premier Cultural Resort.” And why shouldn’t it? Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. There also is Berkshire Theater Festival, Norman Rockwell museum, Edith Wharton Museum and Arrowhead; the home of Herman Melville and the location where Moby Dick was written. That’s some pretty top notch cultural attractions.
However what seems to go unnoticed is the Berkshire’s rich baseball history. Until the en
d of the 2001 baseball season, Wahconah Park in Pittsfield was the home to minor league affiliates of Major League Baseball teams. The Pittsfield Red Sox from 1965-69 with such players and future greats as George Scott, Carlton Fisk, and Reggie Smith, the Pittsfield Senators (later Rangers) of the 1970s, and the 1985-88 AA
Pittsfield Cubs featuring future greats Mark Grace, Greg Maddux and Rafael Palmeiro. 1989-2001 saw the Pittsfield Mets make Wahconah Park their home. Their teams featured players AJ Burnett, Jason Isringhausen and Ty Wigginton. 2001 brought in the Pittsfield Astros for one season. In the years since 2001, Wahconah Park has been home to independent and collegiate level teams, currently hosting the Pittsfield Colonials.
More baseball fun facts: The Berkshires have produced a number of top tier baseball players including Gold Glove winner Mark Belanger, Jeff Reardon, Tom Grieve, Turk Wendell and Hall of Famer Jack Chesbro.
In 2004 a document was unearthed at the Berkshire Athenaeum that referenced a 1791 by-law prohibiting the playing of baseball near the meeting house in Pittsfield. It is the oldest known reference to baseball.
So when you’re planning a summer trip to The Berkshires, make sure to squeeze in a trip to Wahconah Park in Pittsfield and catch a ballgame. Our front desk can help you with directions to find your way there. Nothing says summer to me like baseball and a trip to The Berkshires.
Image source: Ben Sakoguchi