Brunswick resident Heather D. Martin wants to know what’s on your mind; email her at

In this life, there are certain sure signs of spring we all look for. The days growing longer, buds on the trees, robins in profusion – and opening day at Hadlock Field.

This year, opening day was delayed by that massive April snowstorm we had. So fitting. But the snow was short-lived, spring reasserted itself and opening day came at last.

OK, just to be clear here: I am not a sports person. I am one of nature’s awkward people and unless my son Tobiah – who is in college to be a sports journalist and provided me with a lot of “insider info” on this topic – is calling a game, I’m probably not even watching.

However, wave a ticket to a minor league baseball game in my direction, and you’ve got yourself a date.

I love it. Just love it.

First off, baseball is just plain enjoyable to watch. It’s not brutal, like football or hockey. It is also not as – OK, I was about to make some disparaging comparisons to other sports. But then, to each their own. If you are a person who enjoys watching golf, who am I to yuck your yum? So I will leave those thoughts untyped. Back to baseball.


The rules are pretty easy to follow, the action is pretty straightforward, and even at the major leagues, the sport retains the sheen of childhood memories and dirt-lot play that makes the heart all nostalgia-warm. It feels nice.

At the minor leagues though, it is extra special. First, the tickets are affordable – and available. Sure, some games sell out, but for the most part, odds are good you can get a seat at the game.

The level of play is exceptional. Our Sea Dogs are a Red Sox affiliate, so it is not out of the question to be watching the next big thing on their way up or a current major player stepping “down” as they come back after an injury or just to fine tune.

Best of all, though, it’s just fun. All around you in the stands people are laughing and smiling. Who can be grumpy at a game? Total strangers trade commentary on the play, while parents fit gloves on their little ones’ hands and show them how to catch a pop fly. In between innings there are goofy games on the infield, and of course we keep the “Sweet Caroline” (bah, bah, bah) tradition strong. Plus there are hot pretzels. So, really, it has it all.

This has been front of my mind lately because, in addition to the season getting started, the Maine Legislature just passed a provision allowing for $2 million in tax credits for an overhaul of Hadlock Field. Phew! For a little while there, it looked like this wasn’t going to happen, and that would have made things dicey for the ‘Dogs.

Hadlock Field, which I love, is not exactly historic. It opened in 1994. Still, that’s old enough that the standard to which it was built no longer meets the expectations for a minor league to maintain affiliation status.


Diamond Baseball Holdings, which bought our team in 2022, has a wealth of experience in operating successful minor league teams and appears invested in keeping our team going strong while retaining the hometown connections. So that’s good. I’m looking forward to seeing what other community outreach they might roll out as well, now that the funding has passed.

For myself? I couldn’t get to opening day, but I have already downloaded their season’s schedule and am circling dates on the calendar while making my plans for a summer filled with root, root, rooting for the home team.

I am grateful our team will get to stay here. I am also grateful it won’t change its character too much. I like our team just the way it is, thank you.

Let’s go, Sea Dogs!

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