Maine author highlights Portland's Hadlock Field in The Amazing Baseball Adventure

New book details the majors and minors' best ballpark attractions

The Hadlock Field lighthouse is just one of the many reasons why attending a Sea Dogs game is special. (Josh Pahigian)

February 16, 2017 10:38 AM ET

Portland, ME - As major and minor league teams prepare for the upcoming baseball season, University of New England professor Josh Pahigian has released a new book titled The Amazing Baseball Adventure (Lyons Press, 2017). 
The latest in Pahigian's portfolio of popular baseball travel books includes two chapters -- complete with color photos -- dedicated to the home of the Portland Sea Dogs, Hadlock Field. The introduction of the book also tells the story of how Pahigian came up with the idea for the book while sitting in the Hadlock stands, watching a marathon 16-inning game in 2015. Finally, Pahigian's author's photo, at the very back of the book, portrays him standing at the entrance to Hadlock Field.   
Billed as a visually stunning road-trip through pro baseball's wacky, wondrous, and revered ballpark attractions, The Amazing Baseball Adventure details more than 100 quirky ballpark features that make attending games across the country extra special for fans. 
The two chapters on Hadlock Field are dedicated to the park's unique retractable lighthouse that sits behind the center field fence, waiting for a member of the home team to hit a home run or for the Sea Dogs to clinch a win, whereupon it rises amidst a spray of Roman candle fire, and to the park's "Maine Monster" that channels the spirit of Fenway Park's famous "Green Monster" wall in left field.
Pahigian states, "There are so many aspects of Hadlock that make attending games in Portland special. Although they don't receive chapters in the book, I also applaud the midgame Maine Race featuring a scrambling Blue Berry, Pine Tree, Potato, and Lobster, as well as the hardest-working mascot in the minor leagues, Slugger. The 14-foot lighthouse was the inspiration for the book, though. My four-year-old son refused to leave an epic extra-inning game - even though it was well past his bedtime - because he wanted to see it rise. Sitting at the park on that balmy summer's night, I realized that the game's landscape offers a vast array of quirky ballpark features, each befitting its local city and team, and I decided to tell those attractions' stories."

From the Rookie Leagues to the Big Leagues, there are more than 250 professional baseball parks across the United States in all where fans partake in special game-day rituals, eat unique foods, laugh along with zany mascots, marvel at special ballpark features, and revel in a communal experience that removes them for a few hours from life's daily grind. The Amazing Baseball Adventure brings to life the very best of these ballpark frills, the ones that motivate fans to return again and again to baseball cathedrals large and small. Combining engaging storytelling with fun sidebars and beautiful color photos, Pahigian captures the essence of each ballpark treasure-from the Marge and Homer Simpson statues at the Albuquerque Isotopes' Isotopes Park to the Sausage Race at the Brewers' Miller Park to the delicious biscuits at the home park of the aptly-named Montgomery Biscuits.

About Josh Pahigian

Josh Pahigian is the author of several baseball books, including The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip and 101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out. He has also written for and other periodicals; he even worked briefly as a stringer for the Portland Press Herald Sports Department upon moving to Maine in 2002. Currently, Pahigian is also a fellow in the University of New England's Center for Global Humanities, which offers public lectures at UNE's campus in Portland. Pahigian teaches the seminar series that accompanies the lectures, engaging UNE juniors and seniors in contemplation of how the lenses of the humanities can help the global community tackle some of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. 

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