Family-friendly Fraser Field. It’s a tongue twister for sure, but it’s what North Shore Spirit owner Nick Lopardo envisioned when he purchased the team in 2003. After personally funding millions of dollars in renovations, Lopardo found himself with a state-of-the-art facility and a brand new team that would begin a new era of baseball in Lynn.
The legendary field was built in 1940 as a result of the Work Progress Act, a provision of President RooseveltÃ¢’s New Deal. Since its inception, the field has hosted a slew of teams attempting to claim Fraser Field as their home. The Lynn Red Sox (the Red Sox top minor league team) in 1946, the Detroit Tigers farm club in 1949, and for the next 30 years the field was occupied by high school American Legion and Babe Ruth leagues among others at that level. In 1980 the Seattle Mariners farm club gave it a try, then the Lynn Pirates, followed by an initially promising hold by the Massachusetts Mad Dogs.
The fans would prove to be the gate- keepers of who was worthy enough of their support, which is why Lopardo has worked hard to cater to their enjoyment and give them an affordable, exciting and entertaining baseball experience.
The most notable star plucked from the North Shore Spirit line-up to go on to the major leagues is relief pitcher Ken Ray, who was signed by the Atlanta Braves and became their closer. In his major league debut, Ray faced Barry Bonds and struck him out!
The Spirit thrives on fan inclusion and they maintain their loyalty by offering the lowest ticket prices in New England; $6 for Bleachers, $8 for Premium, $10.50 for Field Box and $12.50 for VIP. Kids have the opportunity to go on the field in between innings and compete in promotional games, or play in the playground, speed pitch or moon bounce areas. Fans can also enjoy a $2.50 Fraser Frank and have the option to host group events in one of the three picnic party decks.
New Spirit manager Vic Davilla is excited about the upcoming 2007 season, whose home opener is May 30th. Nearly every member of the stellar pitching staff of 2006 is returning and a record-breaking season in the Canadian American League could be upon us.