Chronological Tour: Stop 163

The Ballpark’s a Riddle

Entrance to J.P. Riddle Stadium, Aug-1999.

Looking in from the wooden right-field bleachers.

Despite several attempts, the “temporary” facility had never been upgraded.

Quick Facts: Rating: 1 baseball
People down South call this town “Fayette-Nam” because of the proximity of Fort Bragg. Unfortunately, this poor excuse for a stadium looks like it could have been thrown together by soldiers in the middle of that war-torn Far Eastern country.

Seems it went up in the late 1980s for a team called the Fayetteville Generals (not a bad name for a team in a town named for the Marquis de Lafayette). This was to be a temporary facility until a “real” stadium could be built. All sorts of promises flew across the town square, and all had the sticking power of a soft plastic bullet. Meanwhile, Cumberland County is stuck with this aluminum-bleacher white elephant.

The last team in there was the Cape Fear Crocs (the town is on the Cape Fear River, but it isn’t populated by crocodiles, at least as far as I know). But they’ve moved. The team was sold to a group that relocated it to the Jersey shore for 2001, and no one could give me a definite answer as to whether someone else would possibly move into this forlorn facility – at least not without a permanent stadium, which right now seems unlikely given that the county owns the place. The end result was that nobody went to Crocs games. Attendance the night I got there was 638, inflated by probably a factor of 2 by corporate season ticket holders who didn’t want to come out on a muggy Tuesday night. Among the non-paying customers was a writer for the Asbury Park Press who wanted to get a look at the club that would become the Lakewood BlueClaws in 2001.

Mark Cryan of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer league, reports that Riddle finally got “completed” in the spring of 2001, with a real press box and a middle section of bench-back seats. The park is now home to the Fayetteville SwampDogs of the CPL. That team may not last beyond 2018, however, as an agreement has been struck to build a new park in Fayetteville for the 2019 season to accommodate a Houston Astros farm team that was transferred from the California League to the Carolina League. That team is playing at Campbell University in Buies Creek for 2017-18.

Game # Date League Level Result
375 Tue 10-Aug-1999 S Atlantic A Delmarva 6, CAPE FEAR 1
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This page updated 6-Dec-2016