July 29, 2022
East Field (Capacity: 7,000)
Glens Falls, NY
Glens Falls Dragons vs Amsterdam Mohawks
Final Score: 6 – 16
An unscheduled trip to Upstate New York brought an opportunity to head back to Glens Falls, where I went to see a game at perhaps the worst ballpark in the country. This tiny city of just 14,700 sits on the Hudson River in Eastern New York, right on the southern edge of the Adirondacks. Paper products and the production of medical devices are the main players in the city economy. In 1980, a stadium was built within the public park of East Field and the city saw baseball in the form of an affiliated Double A team. Then it was down to Single A, then Independent ball and finally Glens Falls became a summer-collegiate town as the Golden Eagles of the NYCBL took up residence in 2004. Now, it is the Dragons and they are founding members of the PGCBL. On-field play has never been great as Glens Falls has yet to win a league championship during their summer-collegiate days and the last time they had a winning record was 2013. Entering the game I saw, the team was on a 13-game losing streak. The lack of care from ownership goes beyond the team they compile as East Field is a decrepit and even dangerous place to watch baseball. My daughter, who called it “The worst place I ever have been”, was not far off.
Prestige Ranking: 0 out of 5
Glens Falls doesn’t have much for visitors, but it is only 20-30 minutes from a couple great destinations: Lake George to the North and Saratoga Springs to the South. Both locations are in prime tourist season when the Dragons are playing as many will spend a weekend in either area. As for Glens Falls, the downtown is nice as there are several independent shops and decent restaurants. There’s even a small local museum (Chapman Museum), but I got there just a bit too late as it closed at 4 PM.
Location Ranking: 5 out of 10
Accessibility / Parking
Arrival into the city comes via The Northway (I-87) as downtown is only 2 miles from Exit 18. The center of the city is tight on parking and we were fortunate enough to find a spot in a small municipal lot. East Field is a little over a mile to the northeast of downtown and it is within a park that includes other sports fields and a small playground. Outside the park grounds are mostly houses, except along the north side of Dix Ave where you’ll find some auto shops and other industry. There is a popular ice cream place next to the stadium. Getting to East Field includes navigating downtown and a traffic circle, then beyond that, it’s easy. The parking lot off Dix Ave in front of the stadium is fine. It’s small, but sufficient for the crowds that go to Dragons Games. Park further back in the lot to avoid the chance of having your car hit by a foul ball.
Accessibility / Parking Ranking: 7.5 out of 8
A two-story building with white-ish concrete walls make up the exterior. Definitely a plain introduction, but a large Dragons flag slapped on to the wall gives a little bit of life to the building. It is off-center from the entranceway to the right.
Exterior Ranking: 2.5 out of 10
Concourse and Food
Between a cluster of trees and the building is the entrance (called “The Cave”) to the stadium, which is manned by a fold-out table featuring a cash register of sorts for fans to pay and come in. You enter above the home plate stands and the topography of the area leads to some ramps around the ballpark. There is no concourse per se, rather walkways above, below and under various seating sections. The first base side is relatively pleasant with nearby shade trees and picnic tables by the stands. Walking to the outfield, overgrowth is abundant as the lack of maintenance leads to non-appealing greenery. Bathrooms are perhaps the most apparent evidence of no care from owners as I could not find any soap. Sadly, that was needed because my daughter tripped on the dangerous stands and got a cut. Paper towels were nearly absent as well as I had to go to into the women’s bathroom to find one. Inexplicable. Food can be found in a building on the first base side and as you would guess, I would steer clear. There is a grill, so if you dare, you can get a Hot Dog, Burger or Sausage.
Concourse Ranking: 1 out of 5
Food Ranking: 2.5 out of 8
Each seating section is characterized by a wooden base that is atrocious. The majority of each row has wood that is warped, loose and often full of tripping hazards. Worse yet, are the giant gaps behind each step, which are large enough to swallow a toddler who may be careless. The stands a little off-center from home plate are your relatively safest bet because the first seven rows feature red bucket seats. Cramped it may be, but at least it’s not hazardous. Further back are seven more rows, with aluminum benches placed on top of the wood. The last row is comical as chairback seats are haphazardly blocked off with caution tape because half of them are broken. Further back, the aforementioned building includes team offices, the press box and an unused lounge / suite. Stands that go straight down the first base and third base lines are all made of wooden benches. Seats too low are obstructed by fencing, however protective netting is very small and foul tips can occur perilously close to the diamond. Light fixtures and other poles provide additional obstructions. After going past a picnic area down the line that has support poles, but no tent, you’ll see an area unique to the PGCBL as East Field has two large stands in the outfield. Reason being that the stadium also hosts football as a semi-pro team has long played here with dimensions mostly set-up in the outfield. Seats in this area are just as awful as the wood is more warped. Half of the wooden benches have aluminum backs. There is an unused press box here too, the difference being the graffiti.
Interior Ranking: 0.5 out of 14
A small box scoreboard in left field has the basics and while the red numbers are visible from the stands, there are a few lights that are out. At the top, is a green sign that says “East Field”.
Scoreboard Ranking: 0.5 out of 4
The walk-up to the park certainly is better than what is inside and various team-oriented logos are the lead as to why. There is a neat little hanging sign near the entrance that displays “The History of Glens Falls Baseball”. It’s more of a logo history, but still cool. Inside, the focus is on the players that have come through here. Banners that hang off the side of the right bleachers include plenty of player pictures and sitting team photos.
Display Ranking: 2.5 out of 6
Tickets are $5 and concessions are cheap with a Burger going for $5, a Hot Dog at $3 and a Soda is $3.
Cost Ranking: 8 out of 8
Fan Support and Atmosphere
Attendance data is limited, however it seems that fan support has fallen off for Glens Falls in recent years. Reports of crowds of over 1,000 in the past seem to be long gone and the gathering of 200-300 people that I saw on this night look to generally be the norm. Given the condition of the park and the team, I was surprised that many came out. Fans clapped for most plays and at times offered words of encouragement during the game.
Fan Ranking: 1 out of 8
Atmosphere Ranking: 4 out of 14
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) is a 14-team outfit with all home sides residing in New York State. There are many former markets of the old New York-Penn League (Single A) and that means some nice little ballparks (Elmira, Batavia, Auburn). The league is played in June and July and it consists of college baseball players that still have eligibility with their school……Thank you to the superfan of the visiting team (Amsterdam Mohawks) who was friendly with us and (unprompted) went to extra lengths to get my daughter a game ball…..There are plans to improve this atrocious ballpark as seats from Riverfront Stadium in Newark were purchased in 2019, along with a new scoreboard. They are currently sitting in a warehouse and when (if?) they ever get installed is TBD.
The disparity in team talent was remarkable in this one as Glens Falls (6-36) came in on a 13-game losing streak as they took on Amsterdam (39-6). The Dragons kept it manageable early on as the lead was only 1-0 through four innings. However, the home side only managed one hit against Cole Cheatham and it was just a matter of time when the Mohawks would pour it on. From the fifth inning onward, Amsterdam would double their run output from the previous inning and the game quickly turned into a rout as the visitors won 16-6.