Vermont Lake Monsters
A PLAYBOOK TO SPECTATOR SPORTS IN VERMONT BY DAN BOLLES We’ll be honest: Vermont isn’t exactly a hub for spectator sports. Sure, we’re a sporty bunch, and options for being active abound. However, when it comes to actually watching local sports, the pickings are slim. What follows are some of your best bets for taking in the old ballgame — or roller derby bout, etc. — in person. If this doesn’t satisfy your craving for competition, there’s a list of sports bars on page 77. 80 WHAT’S GOOD
FILE PHOTOS: MATTHEW THORSEN
Vermont Lake Monsters vermont.lakemonsters.milb.com An affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics, the Vermont Lake Monsters are the state’s only professional sports franchise. The club plays in the short season single-A New York-Penn League, which is the second-lowest level of baseball’s minor leagues. But that doesn’t mean the team suffers a lack of star power at cozy Centennial Field — the oldest active ballpark in the country. Dating back to the 1980s — and including stints as the Vermont Reds, Mariners and Expos — the Burlington nine has sent dozens of players to major leagues. Those currently active include Addison Russell (Cubs), Jordan Zimmerman (Tigers), Ian Desmond (Rangers) and Marco Estrada (Blue Jays). Past stars include Jason Bay, Jamey Carroll, Orlando Cabrera and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. The Lake Monsters’ season runs from mid-June to early September. And the wallet-friendly admission runs less than a night at the movies, making game day a hit with locals. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Monsters’ beloved mascot, Champ.