Chronological Tour: Stop 54

Dutchess Stadium

Main entrance to Dutchess Stadium, Aug-2001.

A somewhat distinctive press and luxury box area stands out.

The view of Dutchess Stadium from the reserved seats.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
The Erie Sailors relocated to the town of Fishkill, on the east bank of the Hudson River in Dutchess County, for the 1994 season.

The park almost didn’t open on time, as workers were still busy hours before the first pitch and the construction cones were visible when the first spectators arrived, but they went ahead and played ball. Supporters of the team, the Hudson Valley Renegades, have been filling the park ever since. The club is consistently near the top of the New York-Penn League attendance list.

Getting to the Game

Dutchess Stadium, a county park, is on a state highway and only a mile from a freeway, which makes it convenient for motorists. Unfortunately, it’s about a mile and a half from the nearest train station (in the City of Beacon, to the south), and I have never seen a bus on that highway. As a result, it is almost impossible to avoid driving here – and paying for parking. As of 2012, the facility gets $5 per car. You can pay the same to a church next to the stadium and park in their lot.

There is only one entry to the ballpark lots, which can make things congested, especially after the game. Town of Fishkill police (the same ones who don’t let you park in the retail lot across the street if you’re headed to the game) do regulate a signal manually at the end of a game, helping traffic flow a little better, but traffic has been known to bunch up at the I-84 interchange before and after games.

Watching the Game

The stadium features a good long run of stadium-style box seats heading down each foul line, as well as a reserved section of molded bucket seats in front of the press box and sky boxes, and bench seating in the bleachers (half of which has backs and is sold as “reserved bleacher”). Stated ticket prices of $8 to $14 are $2 lower for advance sales for non-fireworks games. In 2016 at least, the club has made those stated ticket prices exclusive of tax, so that a $13 ticket actually costs $14.09.

There is no roof over the grandstand, and spots from which to watch a game in drizzle and keep dry are practically nonexistent. Outfield dimensions are fairly standard. A new, state-of-the-art scoreboard and widescreen video board were installed in 2004, and the field surface became artificial turf (except for the home plate area and the pitcher’s mound) in 2014. Lineup and standing boards are mounted in the concourse, from which one cannot see the game.

In addition, while game times are usually listed as five minutes past the hour, the club has a tendency to begin the game right at the top of the hour, so prepare to arrive early if you want to see the first pitch.

Enjoying the Game

Food selections are fairly standard, and fairly expensive for this level of ball. For the 2007 season, the Renegades added one of my favorite delicacies to their menu – grilled turkey legs. They were available at a “bistro” under the third-base bleacher. I have not seen that stand in recent years, though.

The club has up to four raccoon mascots, depending on the game. Rookie, the original mascot, and Rene got “married” in 1997 and had a “son”, Rascal, in 2000 and another, Rufus, in 2004.

Public address announcer Rick Zolzer, who runs his own DJ entertainment company, believes at times that he is the show. Fortunately, in recent years he has toned his act down a little, and he also encourages recognition of fine play by both teams. Perhaps the best thing to say is that Zolz is, uh, an acquired taste.

The Goldklang Group (Marv Goldklang, Mike Veeck and Bill Murray) own the Renegades, along with the St. Paul Saints and several other minor and independent teams. Their philosophy is “Fun Is Good”, and Zolz and the rest of the game-day staff take that to heart.

Game # Date League Level Result
125 Sun 19-Jun-1994 NY-Penn A Vermont 3, HUDSON VALLEY 1
167 Sun 16-Jul-1995 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 6, Williamsport 5
385 Wed 1-Sep-1999 NY-Penn A Utica 12, HUDSON VALLEY 6
391 Fri 10-Sep-1999 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 11, Mahoning Valley 3
(Renegades win league championship)
496 Sun 26-Aug-2001 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 3, Brooklyn 2
524 Sun 30-Jun-2002 NY-Penn A Jamestown 10, HUDSON VALLEY 7
561 Mon 2-Sep-2002 NY-Penn A Aberdeen 8, HUDSON VALLEY 4
618 Mon 11-Aug-2003 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 5, Oneonta 2
686 Wed 4-Aug-2004 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 4, Auburn 3
789 Wed 7-Sep-2005 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 8, Aberdeen 6
836 Sun 13-Aug-2006 NY-Penn A Lowell 2, HUDSON VALLEY 0
894 Wed 29-Aug-2007 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 2, Brooklyn 1
923 Wed 6-Aug-2008 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 12, Vermont 4
1003 Wed 5-Aug-2009 NY-Penn A Lowell 6, HUDSON VALLEY 3
1093 Sun 5-Sep-2010 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 5, Lowell 1
1148 Thu 18-Aug-2011 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 6, State College 3
1226 Sun 26-Aug-2012 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 3, Aberdeen 0
1236 Sun 9-Sep-2012 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 8, Brooklyn 1
1239 Wed 12-Sep-2012 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 5, Tri-City 2
1240 Thu 13-Sep-2012 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 8, Tri-City 3
(Renegades win league championship)
1260 Fri 2-Aug-2013 NY-Penn A Auburn 5, HUDSON VALLEY 2
1323 Mon 28-Jul-2014 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 8, Vermont 3
1396 Tue 4-Aug-2015 NY-Penn A Tri-City 1, HUDSON VALLEY 0
1471 Wed 3-Aug-2016 NY-Penn A Brooklyn 3, HUDSON VALLEY 0
1518 Sun 11-Sep-2016 NY-Penn A State College 3, HUDSON VALLEY 0
1607 Sat 9-Sep-2017 NY-Penn A HUDSON VALLEY 5, Staten Island 2, 13 inn
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