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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Rebel Park – New Market Rebels


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14

Rebel Park Dixie Lane New Market, VA 22844



Year Opened: 1923

Capacity: 550

 

Dixie Lane Delight in New Market

Located in Virginia’s scenic Shenandoah Valley, the New Market Rebels have been playing baseball on the site of Rebel Park since 1923. The Rebels play in the Valley Baseball League, a collegiate summer wood-bat league with 11 teams up and down the Valley. Rebel Park is located in the shadow of Massanutten Mountain, which is visible beyond the outfield fence. Once a season, the full moon will rise above the mountain during the game and the team will stage Full Moon Night, with moon-themed promotions throughout the game.

Food & Beverage 5

There is one concession stand located next to the souvenir stand behind home plate, serving a wide range of food at affordable prices. Options include traditional items like hot dogs ($2, add cheese or homemade chili for another 50 cents), hamburgers ($4, another 50 cents for cheese), pizza ($3 for a personal size), and popcorn ($1.50), among others.

However, there are also more unique options such as a homemade pulled pork sandwich with chips for $7, the FrankenDog topped with grilled onion, mustard, and sauerkraut for $4, angel food cake with fresh strawberries for $3.50, watermelon for a dollar, and the Rebel Burger, which consists of two patties, nacho cheese, grilled onions, and homemade chili for $6. There are other options available as well like French fries, popcorn, and candy bars. Fresh squeezed lemonade is available to drink for $4, while soda and water cost $2 and Gatorade costs $1.50. This is an impressive selection for this level.

Atmosphere 4

While nobody would mistake Rebel Park for a major league or even minor league stadium, it does have its charm. There are “reserved” chairback seats located directly behind home plate (although this is a misnomer as holding a single-game ticket here just gets you a chairback, not any particular one) with metal bleachers without backs on either side. All seats offer a great view of the action, though the seats behind home plate and down the third base line offer the best view of the mountain beyond the outfield fence. A scoreboard in left-centerfield shows the linescore and other basic information.

Private homes run down the first base line and fans are not permitted to enter the backyards to retrieve foul balls. For foul balls that remain within the confines of the stadium, fans may or may not be permitted to keep them depending on the night. As in much of the Valley League, the typical process is that the balls remain with the team but fans can return them to the concession stand for a small item such as an ice pop. However, for select home games, a local business will sponsor the foul balls, allowing fans to keep them instead.

As in many Valley League venues, your admission ticket doubles as your raffle ticket for a chance to win various prizes from sponsors during the game as well as participate in on-field contests such as the Dash for Cash, where one fan gets the opportunity to shovel as much cash as possible in 30 seconds from one bucket into another. Music, mostly country, is played over the PA system during breaks in the action. All in all, the Rebels manage to put on a good show here in what is a gorgeous, intimate venue.

Neighborhood 3

New Market is a small town in the middle of the Shenandoah Valley, and while it doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of a major city or even a medium-sized suburb, it certainly has that small-town charm. Pack’s Frozen Custard is located just down the street from the ballpark and offers some of the best ice cream in the Valley. The New Market Flea Market is located on North Congress Street and is open every day except Tuesday, while Southern Kitchen is a southern-style diner known for their fried chicken. History buffs may want to check out the various Civil War sites in and around town, including the New Market Battlefield Museum.

Fans 5

The Rebels regularly draw 300 fans a game, often more. While this may not seem like much, remember that the entire population of New Market is only about 1,600. A Rebel game is truly an affair the whole town comes out to see. Fans range from local business owners who sponsor the team to young families to senior citizens who have been following the team for decades, many of whom host players at their homes over the summer and treat them like their own sons. Whatever their background, the fans are knowledgeable about the Rebels and passionate about their team. As the Valley League teams are based over a relatively small area, there will usually be a good number of visiting fans as well. They tend to sit in the first base bleachers next to their dugout, while the Rebel fans will tend to congregate on the third base side where the home dugout is.

Access 3

Rebel Park is located just off I-81 via Exit 264. Coming off the highway, you will almost immediately see a small sign in the median advertising the Rebels game that night. The stadium is a short distance away from there. Parking is in a lot down the third base line. The part closest to the entrance is gravel while the rest is grass. In any case, parking is free. The men’s restroom is located behind the souvenir stand while the women’s restroom is located behind the concession stand. They are small but of a sufficient size for the crowd.

Return on Investment 5

Admission to Rebel Park is only $5 for a general admission seat. Discounts are available for youth and seniors. If you want a “reserved” seat, you can head to the souvenir stand to purchase an upgrade for another $5. As mentioned above, this only gets you a chairback, not any particular one. Some chairbacks are reserved for season-ticket holders and are marked with their name, but you can sit in any seat that does not have a name on it. However, unless having a chairback is important to you, there is no reason to pay the extra money as all seats have an excellent view of the action. Throw in the affordable concessions and free parking, and a Rebels game is a great value.

Extras 4

There is a souvenir stand next to the concession stand where fans can buy Rebels gear.

Free roster cards are available outside the souvenir stand.

A third star for the gorgeous view of Massanutten Mountain beyond the outfield fence, one of the best views in baseball.

Finally, be sure to check out the Valley League Hall of Fame to the left of the concession stand, honoring legendary players, coaches, and executives of Valley League history.

Final Thoughts

For baseball fans in Virginia, the Valley Baseball League is a hidden gem and the New Market Rebels are no exception. Those in New Market certainly know about the team and passionately follow it, but a trip to Rebel Park is well worth it for those who don’t live here as well. The only downside is you may have to drive a bit to get here. While Rebel Park will never be mistaken for something at a higher level, it is a gorgeous ballpark with some small-town charm.

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