Chronological Tour: Stop 55

Skylands Park

The outside of Skylands Park, Aug-2001, designed to resemble a farm complex.

A fairly standard seating configuration is in place, with concessions under the stands.

The shape of a baseball mowed into the infield punctuates the bucolic setting.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
New Jersey went 15 seasons without having a minor league team. The drought ended in 1994, when two teams moved from Ontario. One came from London, becoming the Trenton Thunder; the other arrived from Hamilton, via Glens Falls, N.Y., and became the New Jersey Cardinals.

Delays in construction and financing meant the park almost failed to open on time, but the first pitch here was thrown in June 1994, on schedule. The park was not completed, however, until 1995.

The place looks something like a barn complex from the outside, reminding people that this is farm country. The giveaway is all the parking outside and the light stanchions inside.

The Cardinals won the New York-Penn League title in their first season here, prompting the club to designate its official location “94 Championship Place”. However, the steady stream of fans from the south and east slowed to a trickle in 1999 thanks to the arrival of several independent teams in North and Central Jersey. The saga ended in October 2005, when the owners of the Altoona Curve purchased the team and announced that it would move to a new facility in State College, Pa. The Cardinals thus became the first New Jersey team to leave the state or cease operations since the 1978 Jersey City Indians.

With the departure of the Cardinals leaving a void at Skylands Park, Larry Hall, of the New Jersey Jackals of the independent Can-Am League, negotiated a lease to start a new franchise in that loop and have it play in Sussex County starting in 2006. It was not the first independent ball at Skylands: the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League played 21 games here in 1999 while awaiting their own new park. The Skyhawks chose to suspend operations after the 2010 season, and the park lay dormant for four years, until a new operator made arrangements to bring in another Can-Am League team for 2015.

The new owner bought the ballpark before he obtained a franchise and started a new team, demonstrating a commitment to growing a new brand and reviving interest in the area. Other events are scheduled throughout the year, including semi-pro football and a Christmas light show. While there has not been much in the way of site renovation, and indeed the old whiteboard for lineups at the end of the first-base bleacher is gone, there is a new scoreboard and video board in place. There is also a cigar lounge down the first-base line, an unusual feature in a state that generally prohibits smoking anywhere near an athletic field.

Game # Date League Level Result
126 Sun 26-Jun-1994 NY-Penn A NJ CARDINALS 11, Oneonta 2
136 Tue 26-Jul-1994 NY-Penn A NJ CARDINALS 4, Hudson Valley 0
163 Sun 25-Jun-1995 NY-Penn A Williamsport 6, NJ CARDINALS 1
198 Thu 4-Jul-1996 NY-Penn A Hudson Valley 6, NJ CARDINALS 5, 10 inn
220 Thu 22-Aug-1996 NY-Penn A Erie 2, NJ CARDINALS 1
248 Sun 27-Jun-1997 NY-Penn A NJ CARDINALS 4, St Catharines 2
356 Mon 31-May-1999 Atlantic Ind. Lehigh Valley 9, NEWARK 7
438 Mon 4-Sep-2000 NY-Penn A Staten Island 2, NJ CARDINALS 1
495 Sun 26-Aug-2001 NY-Penn A Pittsfield 2, NJ CARDINALS 1
557 Fri 30-Aug-2002 NY-Penn A NJ CARDINALS 8, Brooklyn 1, 1st
558 Fri 30-Aug-2002 NY-Penn A NJ CARDINALS 4, Brooklyn 0, 2d, 5 inn, fog
(Cardinals won completion, 6-1)
625 Tue 19-Aug-2003 NY-Penn A NJ CARDINALS 8, Williamsport 2
706 Mon 23-Aug-2004 NY-Penn A NJ CARDINALS 4, Brooklyn 2
741 Thu 23-Jun-2005 NY-Penn A NJ CARDINALS 4, Williamsport 2
818 Sun 9-Jul-2006 Can-Am Ind. SUSSEX 10, Nashua 5
872 Tue 31-Jul-2007 Can-Am Ind. Québec 13, SUSSEX 5
887 Thu 23-Aug-2007 Can-Am Ind. SUSSEX 11, New Haven 3
952 Wed 20-Aug-2008 Can-Am Ind. SUSSEX 4, Québec 2
971 Thu 11-Sep-2008 Can-Am Ind. SUSSEX 8, Québec 6
1009 Tue 11-Aug-2009 Can-Am Ind. Brockton 5, SUSSEX 3
1078 Mon 16-Aug-2010 Can-Am Ind. SUSSEX 8, Worcester 5
1385 Wed 15-Jul-2015 Can-Am * Ind. Fargo 4, SUSSEX COUNTY 2
1397 Thu 6-Aug-2015 Can-Am Ind. SUSSEX COUNTY 5, NJ Jackals 3
1458 Mon 30-May-2016 Can-Am Ind. Trois-Rivières 4, SUSSEX COUNTY 3, 10 inn
1461 Thu 23-Jun-2016 Can-Am Ind. Cuba 8, SUSSEX COUNTY 3
1483 Tue 16-Aug-2016 Can-Am Ind. SUSSEX COUNTY 6, Ottawa 2, 1st
1484 Tue 16-Aug-2016 Can-Am Ind. SUSSEX COUNTY 2, Ottawa 1, 9 inn, 2d
1574 Tue 8-Aug-2017 Can-Am Ind. Rockland 7, SUSSEX COUNTY 3
* Interleague play (with American Association).
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This page updated 8-Aug-2017