Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Dutchess Stadium and the Hudson Valley Renegades, Fishkill, NY
On this trip, we ended up visiting 10 pro baseball parks. We saw games at 5 of them. We ended up visiting this one a little by accident.
Going on a road trip that involves ball parks can be a little spontaneous and unpredictable. I rarely buy tickets in advance these days. I keep a couple of minor league park maps around most of the time. And, like many other fans of lower level pro baseball, I have a lot of useless information memorized that kind of impresses someone a little, maybe once a year.
Our visit to Dutchess Stadium was not planned. On our way up to Maine we realized that we had routed ourselves right through New York City. We made a few adjustments on the way back to go around NYC.
So, we are driving down the road. To my right, I notice a pretty nice looking park briefly fly in and out of my field of vision. We take the next exit. It was too nice to be an amateur field.
Plus, a few seconds after seeing it, it hits me that it is probably the home of the Renegades. I am a little confused about all of the little rural towns in New York.
Anyway, it is pretty early in the morning and we find ourselves in front of Dutchess Stadium. I figured it was really too early for any staff to be around. I hoped to get a good picture of the front entrance area, and maybe get a quick look in if a gate was open.
Well, there was a guy at the ticket window! I asked him if the team shop was accessible yet and he said it was!
I was pretty excited. We went in and bought a few items. The gift shop was small but had a nice selection of shirts, cards, novelties, etc. They were selling 5x7 photos of players for $2, which I thought was a great idea.
The guy running the shop said it was fine for me to go check the park out. They were great about this, so I was able to walk around and really check things out.
New York Penn League parks are always scrappy. They are small, and built on the cheap side, but they are fun. This park really reminded me of Skylands Park in New Jersey. I visited that park in 2005, back when it was park of the New York Penn League too. It was very similar to another park I have spent a lot of time at Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio.
Like Skylands, they have decorated the park with paintings of mascots and other images. The restroom was especially decorated.
This is a nice little park in a neat little area. I hope the community is proud of this great venue to catch young prospects!