“Big League Dreams” Sports complex-Manteca, CA

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Big League field

We had one of our Spring tournaments at this complex.  At first sight, this seemed like a very beautiful facility but not all was great in my opinion (from Youth fastpitch softball point of view).

Here is my opinion of the park.

Here is the good. The complex is actually really nice and built to look like replicas of the major league baseball fields. It looks very picturesque and they have put a lot of effort and details to make it look like a professional ballpark.  It had a central batting cage, an indoor soccer stadium, Pro-shop to buy memorabilia.  It had a great Stadium Club Restaurant with a small bar in the middle with several TV’s playing professional games.  It had an arcade with plenty of games for the little ones. There was also a small play area for little siblings who tagged along for their big sister’s games.  The restrooms were very clean which is very unusual for softball tournaments usually.

The things that were not so good for the softball teams were the following.  First of all, you are not allowed to take a team cooler with your team since the dugouts had water for the kids.  The problem was with the location of the park in Manteca and the weather getting hot, the teams which were practicing on the sidelines warming up for their games had no water or had to go buy water from the stadium restaurant at $2 to $3 per bottle.  Have you ever noticed how much water these kids drink when they practice softball for an hour before the game?  You need a couple of cases of water that has been chilled to keep the players quenched.  So not being able to take a cooler was a big negative for us.

Secondly, before you can even go in, you had to have all your bags searched including the kids’ softball bags, which is fine except they did not have enough people to search for the number of teams that were playing this weekend.  There was a long line of players waiting to get in with only 30 mins or so before their game was about to start.  So if your team has a game, make sure to allow some time for waiting in line at bag check.

The third negative for our teams was the fact that the infield had no dirt.  Everything infield was artificial turf.  It looked awesome actually for the parents taking the pictures but it was terrible for the actual players.  The ironic thing was at the booth where a lady was selling softball trinkets and t-shirts, they were selling shirts which said: “If you didn’t get dirty, you haven’t played hard”.  But you can’t really get dirty in an artificial turf field.  We noticed several girls were not able to slide because of too much friction.  One of the teams we played against actually had to carry their player when she tried to steal home and hurt herself sliding.  This is probably a reason we haven’t played at this facility much in the several years we have played travel ball.

Lastly, even though the Stadium restaurant was great, when we ordered chicken strips, our chicken was pretty raw in the middle. Thank goodness, we broke the chicken strips apart by hand in order to cool if not the kids would have bit into raw chicken.  When I took it back to the cashier, they did however apologize and give our money back.  Hopefully, they will have a way to cook chicken thoroughly in future.

A few more good things were, they actually did have at least a few healthy options to eat like chicken salad and yogurt cups with cut up strawberries and blueberries which as you may know if you live in the softball fields during weekends that is a very rare thing in a typical snack shack loaded with crappy and fried foods.

The sports complex was actually great for the parents to sit in the air-conditioned restaurant and watch the kids games.  There were also several shady spots behind the seating area with ceiling fans where parents could escape the heat while watching their little players roast in the heat.

Oh and I think dogs are allowed in this park also as we saw a few 4 legged furry friends visiting.  This may be a great ballpark for the adult leagues but in my opinion, it was just okay for fast-pitch softball.

Here is a list of their menu items. I had to break it into 2 since the menu board was too long.

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