Wednesday I had an odd work shift and that gave me a chance to head over to Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, NJ to make a visit for a Stadium Journey review on the New Jersey Jackals. The 11 AM weekday start in the minor league or independent baseball world usually means one thing: Kids…and lots of them. I realize this is a win-win situation as the team can make money of what are usually sparse weekday crowds and the youth groups/schools/etc. have a field trip to take the kids. Though I think it’s a nice deal…for the common fan, it means nothing but a general buzz of high-pitched noise. That was the scene in Little Falls for this matinee and I was pleased to see the Jackals dominate St. Paul as the kids filtered out in the late innings. If it may seem weird that New Jersey of the Can-Am League was playing St. Paul of the Northern League, it is. The Can-Am League, after having eight teams for most of its near-decade long life is down to only five franchises and the league has had to schedule some interleague games. I’m worried this little independent league is on its last legs and am curious to see if the Atlantic League comes in and takes some franchises (like New Jersey and Rockland…I’m sure Newark will inevitably fold with them only drawing a few hundred to their games).
Anyway, I updated the review of Yogi Berra Stadium and will have one up with Stadium Journey soon. The facility is shared with Montclair State University as it is on the school’s campus and it is a cheaper ballpark built into a hill. They still do some nice things here and the highlight is likely the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, which features many memorabilia and displays about the famous Yankee catcher. My only gripe is the museum is open Wed-Sun 12-5 PM and features a hidden $6 cost (no where on the website does it have an admission rate). If they really want people to visit…take a page out of Delmarva‘s ballpark and make it free and open during games. The Jackals have had a nice run with four championships and they’ve carved a decent little niche in Northeast Jersey. Hopefully that remains and the independent Can-Am League survives.