This weekend I had the privilege of visiting the Bellingham Bells at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, and I must say, it only gets better every year! I cannot stress enough how much fun the games are at this tiny park up in the north end of Washington State.
With the covid restrictions still a definitely a bit in place, the park definitely missed the usual crowds. But this crowd did everything they could to make me feel like there was a sellout crowd there. They never let up in their cheers for the home team and it was definitely infectious.
It’s a smaller field set in the suburbs of Bellingham that’s got a heart of gold. Its stands are a bit older, but they are still comfortable and have a positive vibe to them. There’s an excellent view of the field from everywhere and the sun sets beautifully in right field.
The Bells are in a collegiate league, borrowing players from various athletic programs across the country. You can find a good mix of players refining their craft during the summer offseason for their colleges here. For example, both starting pitchers on Saturday night hailed from the same pitching staff at UCLA.
The players are on short term contracts and are very passionate in their play. They’re still playing for the love of the game, which is what makes collegiate sports fun to watch. It comes through in their excitement and dedication. It puts everyone on the edge of their seat for every pitch, as anything can happen.
It’s a metaphor for both the opportunity that awaits them in life and in baseball as a career. The world is open to possibilities and each night we as fans get to see them play out. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll often hear the crowd cheering for both teams in positive terms.
But back in reality, the true champion of this whole experience is the GM Stephanie Morrell. If you’ve been to a game, you’ve definitely seen her around. She wears many different hats, from working the gate to concessions to helping folks find seats. She is EVERYWHERE, making sure that her team helps put on the best show possible. All credit to them as they absolutely do. We had the good fortune to interview Stephanie on our SSU Podcast in May. I recommend you check it out as she provides a good insight into how it all comes together.
So, what’s in Bellingham besides some great breweries, an excellent college and a cool town? An amazing group of people who come together at Joe Martin Field and call themselves the Bellingham Bells. They are quietly a world-class operation and community that supports these young players on their way to find themselves in life (Be that baseball or otherwise).
What are you waiting for, people? Go see the Bellingham Bells!