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ANOTHER 12 NOTABLE FAN EXPERIENCES—FOR THOSE WILLING TO GO OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y., keeps alive the romanticism of baseball. Its annual major league exhibition game has been discontinued, but the setting remains timeless: a diamond on former pastureland, framed by a quaint grandstand, church spires, clapboard homes and a canopy of trees.
Shiny new spring training complexes are opening everywhere, but the intimate 6,602-seat McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla., home of the Pirates since '69, is a throwback, an enduring classic.
Sample the vibrancy of Latin American baseball at Crotona Park in the Bronx at a weekend game of the Caribe Baseball League, where predominantly Dominican and Puerto Rican ex-pros relive their past glory.
In Aiken, S.C., sits a little gem of a public course. The greens are small, the fairways narrow and the bunkers cavernous. There's history, too. Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Patty Berg and Fred Astaire have all taken divots out of Aiken Golf Club.
Gjøvik Olympiske Fjelhall—the 5,500-seat home of Norway's Gjøvik Hockey—is an underground sensation. The rink, built for the 1994 Winter Games, is carved into a mountain.