Shuttleworth Park – Amsterdam Mohawks
Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
Shuttleworth Park 65 Crescent Ave Amsterdam, NY 12010
Year Opened: 1914 Capacity: 3,000
Carpet City Baseball
Shuttleworth Park was built in 1914 as part of a larger amusement center. Named Crescent Park, the facility opened on Memorial Day and featured a midway that included a dance hall, shooting gallery, motion picture theater, miniature railroad as well as “boating and bathing on Lake Crescent.” The first game featured the local semi-pro Empires taking on the Philadelphia Colored Giants.
As the amusement park passed through different owners and names through the 30s and 40s, the Amsterdam Rugmakers of the Can-Am League called Crescent Park home. Affiliated with the Yankees, the team won a league title in 1940. Herb Shuttleworth, the future namesake of the ballpark, worked for Mohawk Mills and helped to install lights at the ballpark.
In 1942 tragedy struck the old ballpark when the wooden grandstand burned down just eight days before the Rugmakers were due to play an exhibition against the Yankees. The park was rebuilt in a week and 4,000 were in attendance to see the Yankees beat the Rugmakers 9-5 in ten innings.
The Can-Am League shut down for good in 1951, taking professional baseball in Amsterdam with it. The ballpark was eventually renamed Herbert L. Shuttleworth Park in honor of “Amsterdam’s No. 1 Citizen.” Renovations in the 1970s and 2000s altered the design of the park but retained its historic charm.
The Mohawks began play in Schenectady in 1978 as members of the New York Collegiate Baseball League. The team moved to nearby Amsterdam in 2003. In 2011 the team transferred to the newly formed Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, considered a superior circuit due to its partnership with Perfect Game scouting. Over the course of the team’s history, the Mohawks have won a combined ten NYCBL/PGCBL championships, establishing itself as the marquee team in New York.
Over 100 Mohawk alumni have graduated to professional baseball careers. Nine have reached the Major Leagues, including Hunter Pence, Luke Maile and Logan Darnell. The history and success of the Mohawks have made them one of the more popular summer destinations in the area for players looking to play some summer ball.
For the 2020 season the Independent Collegiate Baseball League was formed to fill the void left behind when the Perfect Game League cancelled its season due to the coronavirus. Four teams will play this year based out of Shuttleworth Park and East Field in Glens Falls.
Food & Beverage 4
The Mohawks offer an impressive menu for a ballpark of this size. In addition to ballpark staples hot dogs, burgers and chicken tenders, snack items including mozzarella sticks, french fries, pretzels and popcorn are available. Brownies, sno-cones and cotton candy can also be found on the menu. Fans looking to save a dollar or two can order a combo consisting of a burger, hot dog or chicken tenders with fries and a drink.
Coca-Cola products are featured at Shuttleworth Park. Visiting fans looking for an adult beverage will find various beer brands, including Corona Light, Miller Lite, Blue Moon and Voodoo Ranger IPA. Twisted Tea and Truly Hard Seltzer is also sold here.
For the 2020 season, the Mohawks have devised a rather ingenious plan for concessions. Fans are seated at picnic tables around the ballpark. Concessions are only available via wait service. Spots at picnic tables are sold in groups of 4, 6 and 8 for $10 per person, with a $10 food credit given for each ticket. The concession menu for 2020 is virtually identical to what is served in previous years.
The tree-lined setting and old covered grandstand set the tone for a wonderful evening at the ballpark before you even enter Shuttleworth Park. Among the league leaders in attendance annually, there is a definite buzz at a ballgame in Amsterdam. With the ballpark’s location in a middle of a larger park, there is plenty of activity in the picnic grove, tennis courts and shores of North Chucktanunda Creek.
The Mohawks have tried their best to create a typical game day atmosphere given coronavirus restrictions in place for 2020. There are giveaways (including hand sanitizer, which is most appropriate for 2020), raffles and 50-50 drawings. Music plays between innings and fans are engaged in the action on the field.
Shuttleworth Park is located in a residential neighborhood in the small city of Amsterdam. Visiting fans will not find any dining or lodging options within walking distance of the ballpark, but fans who come prepared can take advantage of the many activities within the park itself.
Route 30, the main thoroughfare through town, is located about a mile and a half from Shuttleworth Park. Visiting fans will find many dining options along this stretch of road. Downtown Amsterdam is located on the shores of the Mohawk River right off Interstate 90 about 2 ½ miles from the ballpark. Most local lodging options are located by the New York State Thruway.
The Mohawks average around 1,200 fans per game annually, which ranks them in the upper third of all Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League franchises. Fans pack the old grandstand and party decks around Shuttleworth Park, giving the old place a great energy throughout the season. With many of the players on the field having local roots, there is a strong connection between the fans and the team. With many of the teams in the PGCBL located nearby, there is also a strong presence from visiting fans.
For the 2020 season New York State has limited outdoor gatherings to no more than 50 people. The Mohawks sell tables on various party decks located all around the ballpark for fans. Tables are sold in groups of 4, 6 or 8. Tables sell well, with the majority occupied throughout the 2020 season.
Amsterdam is a small city with a population of about 18,000 located 45 minutes northwest of Albany. Shuttleworth Park is located on the northeast edge of the city. Fans visiting the area will take Exit 27 off the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) and travel 3 ½ miles through the city to get to the ballpark. Detailed directions to the ballpark can be found here.
Access into Shuttleworth Park requires crossing a creek over a one-lane bridge, which will bring you to the parking area. The park’s tennis courts, softball field, playground and picnic area are all easily accessible from here.
Fans enter Shuttleworth Park on the first base side of the facility. The majority of the seating is located in the covered grandstand. The seats here were purchased from Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia during the 2008 renovation. There are some additional box seats located down the right field line. The remainder of the seating consists of several party decks which are located throughout the facility. Fans can rent out the picnic tables on these party decks and enjoy the action from many different vantage points complete with wait service.
Getting around the ballpark is fairly easy. Restrooms are located behind the grandstand and are small for the average Mohawk crowd. They are clean and well-maintained.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets to Mohawks games are most affordable, with box seats priced at five dollars and general admission tickets sold for four dollars. Students are admitted for two dollars. On fireworks nights prices of all tickets are increased by one dollar.
Parking is free in the lots around Shuttleworth Park. Concessions are very affordable, making a night at a Mohawks game a most affordable entertainment option for local baseball fans. Hungry fans looking for a bargain may want to wait until the end of the game, when leftover food is offered for a dollar. It’s a good chance to pick up a cheap snack for the ride home.
For the 2020 season admission to Mohawk games are sold only at picnic tables on the party decks that surround the field. Tables seat between 4-8 persons, costing $10 per person. With each seat at the table comes a $10 food credit, meaning you eat for free (or get in for free, depending on how you look at it).
An extra point is awarded to the overall setting of Shuttleworth Park. Surrounded by running streams and trees, it’s a most picturesque setting. The old-style grandstand only enhances the nostalgic feeling here.
Game day touches including free rosters, discounted merchandise and concession items offered throughout the game deserve an extra point.
Shuttleworth Park is baseball nostalgia at its best. From the moment you cross the one-lane bridge across North Chucktanunda Creek until you enter the old covered grandstand, there’s a feeling here you don’t find in many places anymore. The Mohawks have created a family-friendly atmosphere where value is emphasized. It’s no wonder Amsterdam has become one of the marquee destinations of the Perfect Game League.