Dutchess Stadium Review
Review of Dutchess Stadium Rating: 3.5
by Malcolm MacMillan
- Renegades gave called Dutchess Stadium home since 1994
- Outspoken announcer helps build fun atmosphere
New York’s Hudson Valley region was granted a New York-Penn League franchise in time for the 1994 season and Dutchess Stadium has been the team’s home since day one. Affectionately called The Dutch by most baseball fans in the area, the ballpark has the standard look and feel of a park built in the early 1990s – a combination of box seats and aluminum bleachers, a concrete concourse beneath the seating bowl and no outfield seating. The park sits 4,494 fans and the field has measurements of 325 feet to left field, 400 feet to center field and 325 feet to right field. There’s nothing that will particularly make the ballpark stand out in your mind, but the general atmosphere around The Dutch makes this a fun place to enjoy a ballgame.
The team shop is above average by NYPL standards; some parks have modest carts or small rooms, but the Renegades boast a decent-sized store with a wide range of Renegades items. The concourse is also a happening place. In some parks, a concourse underneath the stands can seem a little dull, but a pile of concessions and other things to see – like the kids’ play area on the third base side – mean that a walk along the length of the concourse is sure to be entertaining.
It’s impossible to attend a Renegades game without PA announcer Rick Zolzer grabbing your attention. Whereas the announcer at most parks sticks to the script by announcing the batter, pitching changes and the occasional plug for a sponsor, Zolzer stays active throughout the entire game, sprinkling commentary and jokes in with his official duties. Love him or hate him, Zolzer makes the Renegades game experience stand out from others.
I visited The Dutch in August 2012 when the Renegades were in the midst of a sensational run in the NYPL. The team finished the regular season with a record of 52-24 and went on to win the league championship that September. The fan interest in the ‘Gades was huge – in itself, the park might not have the charms of some others in the league, but the fan interaction and general atmosphere made for an evening full of fun.