Just a half-hour from Boston, Edward A. LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Massachusetts offers an exciting and affordable alternative to a trip to Fenway Park. Home to the Single-A short season Spinners, the stadium sits along the banks of the Merrimack River, creating a setting that’s both calming and picturesque.
The season starts in the middle of June after the Major League teams have drafted and signed their draft picks. For players inked by the Red Sox, Lowell is often the first taste of professional baseball.
Most of the roster of the Spinners is comprised of players with very little pro experience. In compliance with the New York-Penn League, the roster may have no more than three players that have four or more years of prior professional service. The league is also an option for position players making the move to the mound, and pitchers changing positions. Such players are exceptions to the professional service provision.
Fun abounds at the stadium with unorthodox promotions. During each week the Spinners are home, there are Weenie Wednesdays where hotdogs can be had for only $1.00. Each Friday fans are treated to post-game Fireworks.
Among the best promotions is the “Spinner for a Day” package. Kids 5-15 years old get to meet the team, and be in the dugout and on the field to watch batting practice. Mix in a pre-game tour and four of the best seats in the house and it’s easy to see the value in the $200 cost.
Scroll down to see more about the experience of Single-A baseball with the Lowell Spinners.
Did you know?
Francis Cabot Lowell invented the first factory system in the town that later bore his name. The textile mills gave Lowell world-wide notoriety.
The old factory buildings serve as a backdrop to the Spinners' stadium and the American Textile History Museum stands just minutes from the ball park.
In terms of population, Lowell remains the fourth largest city in Massachusetts.
About the stadium...
Less than 35 miles from Fenway Park, Edward A. LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Massachusetts is an easy drive from Boston. The stadium sits on the banks of the Merrimack River for a picturesque setting.
Tickets start at only $7.00.
Be sure to see...
Every minor league park has it's own wacky attractions. The Spinners have a cutout of Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia with Fenway's Green Monster visible in the background.
Throughout the game, fans poke their heads through the cutout and take pictures. Here, a fan sports a Spinners' cap and saddles up next to the Petey.
Though Pedroia never played at the stadium, his image is there for every home game.
Best of all, snapping a photo is free!
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Minor League baseball offers great value
Rehabilitation appearances are common at Lowell because of its proximity to Boston. Shane Victorino played four games for the Spinners in July, 2014. The Flyin’ Hawaiian went 0-for-9 with two strikeouts in four games at Lowell.
Drawing fans to minor league baseball games requires ingenuity. Among the promotions at Lowell are Weenie Wednesdays when hotdogs cost only a buck. On the July 23 game against the Vermont Lake Monsters, the Sox put their World Series trophies on display.
Notable alumni of the Lowell Spinners...
Former Rookie of the Year and batting champ Hanley Ramirez played for the Spinners as an 18-year old in 2002. His .371 batting average at Lowell earned him a promotion after only 22 games.
Other notable Major Leaguers who suited up for the Spinners include Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon, Shea Hillenbrand, and Jacoby Ellsbury.
About the author...
A 21-year veteran of the MLB scene, Jim Smiley covers the Dodgers & the Hall of Fame for Examiner.com. He worked for ESPN SportsTicker for 16 years & has reported from the Winter Meetings & the WBC. Jim has offered his expertise on ESPN’s Mint Condition & on radio shows coast to coast. He is a member of SABR and a lifetime member of both the Minor League Baseball Alumni Association and the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. In 2014, Jim gained lifetime membership to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
ESPN called Jim’s autograph collection, one of the “most comprehensive Hall of Fame collections outside of Cooperstown.”
Click here to read a Los Angeles-area newspaper profile on Jim. He also offered an exclusive interview that can be found here and here. Feel free to email Jim with your comments.