Stengel Field Lost a Piece of Local History

The historic clubhouse and stadium have been replaced with metal bleachers and open space.

Sal Polcino

The historic clubhouse and stadium have been replaced with metal bleachers and open space.

The complex at Stengel Field, home to Glendale College has completed the initial part of a reconstruction plan. The demolition and construction took place this summer, mainly to replace the old building that held the bleachers up.

Right now if one walks across the Verdugo bridge parking lot, they’ll find a more open setting, with two more minimal metal bleachers surrounding the backstop of the playing field.

There were rumors that a new clubhouse was going to be constructed. As of now, everything from the dugouts to the bleachers are more open, separated by a new fence and tarp.

Clean asphalt has replaced a lot of the hulking green stadium type seating. The new set-up leaves a lot of ground open behind the dugouts, whereas the old stadium provided additional seating above the dugouts.

The Vaquero baseball team has just started fall ball games, it will be interesting to see how it affects the fans’ viewing pleasure.

Chris Cicuto, head coach of the Vaquero baseball team, spoke about the future of the Stengel field grandstand and how he felt about the current state of the ballpark.

“It was very emotional for me to see the demolition of the stands,” said Cicuto. “I have always thought Stengel Field was a beautiful place to play ball. I played there as a 13-year-old during the summers. I played college baseball there and it’s been my home for the past 15 years as a coach.”

The time coach Cicuto has spent on this field has rewarded him in many ways. Cicuto led the Vaqs to numerous conference titles, picking up another just last year.

The grandstand that held these banners had not been in good shape.

“Over the past five years it has been in extreme decline,” Cicuto said, “We have lost the clubhouse and offices and section by section were deemed unsafe until last years two rows were the only place a game could be watched.”

The work that was done over the summer replaced the stadium with bleachers, much bigger dugouts and a tarp backstop instead of the old-style brick backstop.

Cicuto said he felt a little sad when seeing the new set up, but that it “passed quickly because I knew it was the best thing for the fans, players and community.”

Not only are coaches Cicuto and Phil Torres of Crescenta Valley High School looking forward to the improvements, but so are Glendale Unified School District administrators and the city of Glendale.

During the demolition, the water fountains were destroyed and have yet to be replaced, an oversight by city employees which Cicuto anticipates they will be fixing soon.

Cicuto also mentioned that there is a long term plan that would require the community’s involvement. Glendale College and local high schools plan to raise $4 to 6 million for a new grandstand with locker rooms, showers, and offices for GCC and CVHS.

Until then, baseball players and fanatics will have to be patient until the big reveal of the new and improved Stengel Field.