Afternoon Baseball at Baum-Walker Stadium for Arkansas vs Omaha

I recently spent a week in Arkansas at a management training conference for the company I work for ArcBest (ABF Freight). It was the second trip to Arkansas in the past two months, as many of the corporation’s managers and supervisors (like myself) are just now catching on company training that Covid-19 short circuited. Classes ran up until about 4pm each day, so evening time was personal time and time to network with other supervisors nationwide. Most nights I would connect with other supervisors for dinner to learn about their terminal’s operations. However, Tuesday night of the training week, I took some personal time and drove up to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville to check out the red hot D1 Arkansas Razorbacks Baseball team and the famous Baum-Walker Stadium.

From the Fort Smith area to Fayetteville is an easy 45 to 50 minute drive. I got to travel through that cool tunnel about 3/4 of the way to Fayetteville, this time it was 100% light out and I could see it for all its coolness. Parking at the stadium was free, across the street from the stadium. Arkansas was playing a non-conference opponent in Omaha, so tickets were still available when I arrived. Alabama, a heated rival of Arkansas, was due in town later in the week and most likely tickets for those baseball games were sold out before the season opened. So, I got really lucky with the timing of my trip to see one of the best teams in college baseball.

The sun felt amazing in left field and I called Rachel to let her know that sunshine still existed. Game time temperature was close to 60° and not a cloud in the sky.

I snapped a photo of my company’s logo on the bullpen wall. ArcBest is the parent company and they are based out of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Probably a few U of A employees work for ArcBest, just guessing there.

Pre-game, I got a chance to walk around the stadium, which I had to keep reminding myself this was a college baseball stadium. It looked fit for at least a AA team, if not AAA MILB team. Very impressive.

There is a wall of professional baseball players with ties to University of Arkansas to your left as you walk into the stadium. A ton of familiar names, some of whom have played for the Boston Red Sox, like…


I found a spot in right field and snapped this video of the stadium…

Baum-Walker Stadium, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

As I tend to, I walked around some more before settling on a spot to capture the first pitch. One thing I noticed as I sat about 20 rows up from the home dugout (first base side) was the crowd. On a Tuesday night, for a non-conference game, on March 28th, the stadium seating and the lawn behind center field were filled with fans who were loud and festive. Arkansas does not have a major professional team in any of the big 4 (football, hockey, baseball, basketball) but they have SEC (Southeastern Conference) sports. I looked up the capacity for Baum-Walker Stadium and it is roughly 10,750. Ballpark estimate for that game would put attendance at about 1/2 that mark that Tuesday night. 5.000 plus fans on a Tuesday night? Again, very impressive.

As the game began, I sat and watched an inning from behind home plate, then moved to short left field, behind the visitor’s dugout, and finally out in the near the entrance to the park.

Hey, here is the mascot that was shaking hands, mine included, and hopping up on the dugouts with the RBI Girls, a team of Arkansas Razorbacks cheerleaders dressed in baseball uniforms. His/Her name is Ribby. Kind of like RIBBE, cool connection.

According to this poster, Baseball American voted Baum-Walker Stadium the #1 College Ballpark (back in 1998). On the U of A’s baseball page, it says the baseball resource has ranked the stadium very high in other polls since then.

After a delicious pulled pork sandwich, some fries, and a cold soft drink, I decided to take in one more inning from left field. The temperature had dropped about 10 degrees since game time and it was getting a bit too cold for the two layers I had on. Plus, U of A’s baseball team was really putting a hurt on the Omaha club, belting out run after run, hit after hit on the overmatched club. When I left in the 5th inning, the game was well in hand for the Razorbacks fans.

I was super impressed by Baum-Walker Stadium. It was a stadium fit for a minor league club and the kind of fan base at Southeastern Conference powerhouse like Arkansas deserves. The fans were tailgating with their smokers and BBQ stations – on a Tuesday night, non-conference game. Wow, amazing fan base. Clean, easy to walk around with general admission tickets, festive, loud, great baseball on the field, loyal fans in the stands. A ton of fun for a Tuesday night in Arkansas. Highly recommended if you are in the area or within an hour or so at ArcBest Management Training.

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The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.

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