|Chronological Tour: Stop 357|
Main entrance to Ramapo Ballpark, Jul-2011.
A look at the seating bowl from above the left-field Bridge Bar.
Here, the Dugout of Dreams and Short Porch seating areas are visible.
In terms of geography, Ramapo Ballpark, as this yard was known until a few weeks before the Rockland Boulders’ inaugural home opener in June 2011, fits in neatly between their independent league rival New Jersey Jackals and the affiliated Hudson Valley Renegades. The park is on the northeast edge of the Town of Ramapo, near the villages of New Hempstead and Pomona (its mailing address is Pomona). Its central location within Rockland County makes the club easily marketable throughout its own county as well as southern Orange and northern Bergen (the New Jersey state line is eight miles away).
The park, which sits on a town-owned lot within shouting distance of the Palisades Interstate Parkway, is architecturally handsome without going over the top. A four-faced town clock greets visitors upon their entrance. Down the left-field line, the club made use of what was originally going to be the ground crew access by opening up the Bridge Bar underneath; the bridge that connects the wraparound pedestrian concourse is designed to resemble the overpasses on the nearby Parkway. In addition to the usual sky suites, the park also includes the Short Porch picnic area in right field as well as the Dugout of Dreams, an extension of the home dugout as a 30-spectator premium area. And the center field wall is 53 feet high – no cheap home runs in that direction, although the Short Porch does live up to its name.
The Spartans of St. Thomas Aquinas College, located two towns away from the stadium, arranged to use the park as their home field beginning with the 2012 season. For 2016, the naming sponsor changed; Provident Bank had been acquired and the name was no longer in use, and so the team affiliated with Palisades Credit Union. This led to the team following “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at the seventh-inning stretch with Freddy Cannon’s 1962 top-ten hit “Palisades Park”, a song written about an amusement park in New Jersey that closed in 1971.
Also in 2016, Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence was placed under a federal indictment on charges relating to the financing of the ballpark. Voters in Ramapo rejected a bond referendum in 2009 by a wide margin, but the park was built anyway, leading to an investigation. The proceedings are unlikely to affect team operations, as the Boulders have had a valid lease since 2011.
As a result, most fans arrive by car. With the ballpark in a somewhat remote spot (although it is easily accessible from the nearby parkway), the club can and does charge $5 to park. On weekends, it is possible to park in a nearby business lot and walk over.
There is only one access road into the parking lot, which makes egress very slow especially on busy evenings such as fireworks nights.
Management was slow to work some kinks out in the area of game operations. There are no rosters available for either team; the whiteboard for the starting lineups was only out once in the first six games I have attended; the league standings are not displayed anywhere; and there was no display of player data for the visiting team, not even their names on the video board. However, the public address announcer is pleasant to listen to, and the scoreboard is run competently. (There is an auxiliary board mounted on the first-base suite level so that fans in the outfield can keep up with the game.)
On my 2014 visit, the lineup board was out, and the rosters were available at the customer service table, which is not on the concourse but rather inside the foyer leading to the club level. At least they are available. Visiting player names, stats, etc., were still not displayed during the regular season, although the club did present the visitors’ names and photos on the board during the league championship series. Finally, on my 2015 visit, the lineup board was out on the concourse and visitors’ names and photos were displayed on the video board.
Concession prices are a bit above average. There is very little in the way of specialty foods, although there are several kosher selections as the club caters to the predominantly Jewish population of several of Ramapo’s villages.
For the kids, the team operates the B-Train, a mini-trolley that rolls around the outer concourse.
|1126||Mon 4-Jul-2011||Can-Am||Ind.||ROCKLAND 5, Newark 3|
|1153||Wed 24-Aug-2011||Can-Am||Ind.||ROCKLAND 6, Brockton 5|
|1200||Mon 30-Jul-2012||Can-Am||Ind.||ROCKLAND 3, Newark 2, 8 inn, 1st|
|1201||Mon 30-Jul-2012||Can-Am||Ind.||ROCKLAND 8, Newark 0, 2d|
|1227||Sun 26-Aug-2012||Can-Am||Ind.||NJ Jackals 8, ROCKLAND 1|
|1269||Sun 11-Aug-2013||Can-Am||Ind.||ROCKLAND 1, Trois-Rivières 0, 10 inn|
|1336||Mon 11-Aug-2014||Can-Am||Ind.||NJ Jackals 7, ROCKLAND 6|
|1360||Sat 6-Sep-2014||Can-Am||Ind.||ROCKLAND 8, NJ Jackals 7, 10 inn|
|1408||Tue 18-Aug-2015||Can-Am||Ind.||ROCKLAND 8, Sussex County 7|
|1477||Tue 9-Aug-2016||Can-Am||Ind.||Trois-Rivières 5, ROCKLAND 3|
|1488||Fri 19-Aug-2016||Can-Am||Ind.||ROCKLAND 4, NJ Jackals 2|
|1519||Mon 12-Sep-2016||Can-Am||Ind.||ROCKLAND 3, Québec 2|
|1523||Sat 17-Sep-2016||Can-Am||Ind.||Ottawa 3, ROCKLAND 1|