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Eldredge Park

Orleans, MA

Home of the Orleans Firebirds

3.7

3.4

Eldredge Park (map it)
78 Eldredge Park Way
Orleans, MA 02653


Orleans Firebirds website

Eldredge Park website

Year Opened: 1913

Capacity: 4,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Fill the Hill, Firebirds

Eldredge Park, in Orleans, MA, is a uniquely designed ballpark. There is almost no permanent seating anywhere at the facility. Almost all the seating here is located on a terraced hill (known in Orleans simply as "The Hill") that runs the entire length of the right field side of the park. Fans coming to watch the Firebirds play are encouraged to bring their own blankets or lawn chairs and pick out their favorite spots from which to watch the action.

The team was known as the Cardinals in 1963, the beginning of the "Modern Era" of the Cape League, when teams became all-collegiate with NCAA rules instead of "town teams" comprised of local talent. In 2009, it was decided to cease sharing a name with a Major League team, and the name was changed to Firebirds. The team has won four Cape League championships in the Modern Era, and is the only league franchise to boast two baseball Hall of Famers (Carlton Fisk and Frank Thomas) among their alumni.

3.7

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    2

Nauset Food Services now operates the concession stand at Eldredge Park. Hungry Firebird fans can now go to the "Fire Pit," located in the parking lot atop the right field berm.

Menu items include all the basics, such as burgers, hot dogs, and sausage sandwiches. Veggie burgers, nachos and corn dogs are also sold here. Fans looking for something a little more substantial can select a designer dog, which varies from game to game. Snacks such as chips, candy, peanuts, popcorn, pretzels and ice cream novelties are also available.

Coca Cola products are sold at the Fire Pit. Alcoholic beverages are not sold at Eldredge Park.

Atmosphere    4

The atmosphere at a Firebirds game is very similar to what you will find in other Cape Cod League venues. The bells and whistles present in so many minor league ballparks today are nowhere to be found on the Cape. PA announcements are limited to upcoming batters, lineup changes, and sponsors advertisements. Children have room to play and chase foul balls. Families and locals mix, enjoying a laid back night at the ballpark. It's a baseball purist's dream.

Neighborhood    4

Orleans is a small town located on the "inner elbow" of Cape Cod. It has a population of just over 6,000 year-round residents, and swells to several times that size during the summer months. Eldredge Park is located next to Nauset Regional Middle School, and about a mile from downtown Orleans. Fans looking to explore what Orleans has to offer should head north on Route 28 South (you read that right, don't try and understand, it's a Massachusetts thing) to where routes 28, 6, and 6A come together. There you will find numerous fine seafood restaurants and tourist attractions. If you wish to avoid the large summer crowds, come to the area early in the season in June before schools let out. Everything will be open, and the crowds will not have arrived yet.

The area boasts several excellent beaches and seasonal tourist attractions. Many beautiful homes dating back to colonial times are present along the waterfront. The destination town of Provincetown is located a half hour to the north through the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Fans    4

Orleans consistently ranks near the top of the Cape League's attendance rankings. They have a dedicated fan base with some interesting traditions. Since virtually all of Eldredge Park's seating is general admission lawn seating, fans are allowed to come to the ballpark early, in some cases VERY early, to leave their blankets on the ground and reserve their spots in advance. The fans then return at game time to the spot they chose hours earlier. One complaint that is heard at times is that some fans will reserve their spot early in the day, only to not show up until the game is well underway, thus depriving other deserving fans of a prime location.

During the season's prime dates in July and August, these spots can become very valuable indeed. Seeing Eldredge Park's terraced hills filled with locals and tourists alike enjoying a game under the stars is a fantastic sight, and gives Orleans a well-deserved reputation as one of the top ballparks in the league.

Access    4

Eldredge Park is very easy to get to, located about a mile off of route 6. Simply take the exit for Route 6A, follow it to Eldredge Park Way, and the ballpark will be about a mile away on your left. Also in the complex containing the ballpark is a skate park, basketball courts, tennis courts, and a playground. There is ample parking beyond the right field fence, and plenty of room for fans to spread out their lawn chairs and blankets on the terraced berm.

Most of the seating is in the form of lawn seating. The team has placed a new set of bleachers near home plate, and another new set of bleachers beyond the right field fence. Fans with an unsteady gait should be careful, as there are no paved paths anywhere at Eldredge Park.

The field is located very close to Route 28, necessitating large nets to be placed around the infield to protect passing cars. The screens at Eldredge Park extend from home plate 180 feet down each baseline. They are an inconvenience to fans, to be sure, but they are a necessity here. The placement of the field so close to the road also means that there isn't a whole lot of room for fans to sit on the third base line. The great majority of fans will choose seats on the roomier first base line, where there is much more space to spread out. Fans wishing to not look through the nets will have to sit far down the baselines.

The presence of a busy road (Route 28) so close to the field means that occasionally a ball may hit a passing car. Also, children who are chasing foul balls must be reminded to not chase the balls into the street. The Firebirds make several announcements to remind fans not to chase after foul balls, and there are several signs present reminding fans of this important safety rule.

Return on Investment    5

As is the case at all Cape League games, there is no charge for admission at Eldredge Park. The team accepts donations from fans, and in return you will receive a yearbook and roster sheet. Parking is also free, and regular attendees at Firebirds games will bring their own cooler with drinks and snacks. It is entirely possible to see a game being played by several future major leaguers without paying a cent.

Extras    3

Baseball has been played at Eldredge Park since 1913. As a member of the Firebirds' staff put it, "we have three big things going for us in Orleans. We have the best beaches on the Cape, we have "The Hill," and we have the history." While many towns on the Cape will debate the merits of their own beaches against those in Orleans, there is no disputing the unique nature of the terraced hill at Eldredge Park. Being a part of a late summer crowd in Orleans alongside virtually the entire town is indeed a special experience.

Final Thoughts

Many veteran travelers to the Cape League rate Eldredge Park among the top ballparks in the circuit. Despite Orleans' location on the far end of Cape Cod, the unique terraced hill and large crowds make this ballpark a must-see for many visitors.

In the 2015 major league season almost 300 Cape Cod League alumni suited up in the major leagues. That's almost one out of every six players to play in the majors. Needless to say, some of the best amateur ball being played anywhere can be found in the small parks on Cape Cod. With all ten ballparks located within an hour's drive of each other, it's a baseball fan's dream come true.

Follow Paul Baker's stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.

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Crowd Reviews

Redbirds on Fire

Total Score: 3.43

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 2

‎Eldredge Park, in Orleans, Massachusetts, is a uniquely designed ballpark. There is almost no permanent seating anywhere at the facility. Almost all the seating here is located on terraced hills that run the length of both baselines. Fans coming to watch the Firebirds play are encouraged to bring their own blankets or lawn chairs and pick out their favorite spots to watch the action.

Originally known as the Cardinals, the team changed its name in 2009 after Major League Baseball demanded that teams sharing names with a Major League team pay MLB a royalty for the use of their names and/or logos. The Firebirds franchise has operated in Orleans since 1963, and has won four Cape League Championships in their history. They are also the only Cape Cod League franchise to boast two baseball Hall of Famers (Carlton Fisk & Frank Thomas) among their alumni.

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Local Food & Drink

Academy Ocean Grille  (map it!)

2 Academy Pl

Orleans, MA 02653

(508) 240-1585

http://www.academyoceangrille.com/

Land Ho  (map it!)

38 Main St

Orleans, MA 02653

(508) 255-5165

http://www.land-ho.com/

Sir Cricket’s Fish and Chips  (map it!)

38 Massachusetts 6A

Orleans, MA 02653

(508) 255-4453

http://nausetfish.com/

Yardarm Restaurant  (map it!)

48 S Orleans Rd

Orleans, MA 02653

(774) 316-2383

http://yardarmrestaurant.com/

Mahoney’s Atlantic Bar & Grille  (map it!)

28 Main St

Orleans, MA 02653

(508) 255-5505

http://mahoneysatlantic.com/

Local Entertainment

Addison Art Gallery  (map it!)

43 South Orleans Road (Route 28)

Orleans, MA 02653

(508) 255-6200

http://www.addisonart.com/

Academy of Performing Arts  (map it!)

120 Main St

Orleans, MA 02653

(508) 255-3075

http://www.apacape.org/wp/

French Transatlantic Cable Station Museum  (map it!)

41 S Orleans Rd

Orleans, MA 02653

(508) 240-1735

http://www.frenchcablestationmuseum.org/

Lodging

Orleans Waterfront Inn  (map it!)

3 Old County Rd

Orleans, MA 02653

(508) 255-2222

http://www.orleansinn.com/

Fort Hill Bed and Breakfast  (map it!)

75 Fort Hill Rd

Eastham, MA 02642

(508) 240-2870

http://www.forthillbedandbreakfast.com/

Eagle Wing Motel  (map it!)

960 State Hwy

Eastham, MA 02642

(508) 240-5656

http://eaglewingmotel.com/

Four Points by Sheraton Eastham Cape Cod  (map it!)

3800 State Hwy

Eastham, MA 02642

(508) 255-5000

http://www.fourpointseasthamcapecod.com/

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