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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Stonewall Memorial Park - Elkton Blue Sox

Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71

Stonewall Memorial Park 197 N Terrace Ave Elkton, VA 22827


Baseball Blues in Elkton

The Rockingham County Baseball League in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley is one of the oldest amateur baseball leagues in the country. Founded in 1924, the league includes both current college players with ties to the area and former high school and college players, some of whom have been playing summer ball in the league for years. While the Valley Baseball League may be better known in this geographic footprint, the RCBL has been playing small-town ball for almost a hundred years.

One team in the RCBL is the Elkton Blue Sox, who play their home games at Stonewall Memorial Park, at a ballfield within a larger municipal park. The Blue Sox have been a member of the league on and off over the years, skipping the 2022 season before rejoining in 2023 after renovations to their stadium were completed.

Food & Beverage 3

There is one concession stand down the first baseline at Stonewall Memorial Park, and while the menu is limited, the prices can't be beaten. Burgers are $3, or $3.50 with cheese, hot dogs are $2, nachos $3.50, fries $3 (extra 50 cents for cheese), sunflower seeds are $2, chips or lue popcorn are $1, candy bars $2, and freeze pops just 50 cents. Soda and water are available for $2 each.

Atmosphere 2

There are several different places to sit at an Elkton Blue Sox game, some of which offer a better view than others. There are three sets of basic metal bleachers, one behind home plate and one more on each side. The bleachers behind home plate will have the view blocked by the backstop banner unless you are sitting at the very top, so we suggest sitting on one of the sides.

The first base bleachers have a gorgeous view of Massanutten Mountain, but you will also be looking right into the setting sun. The third base bleachers don't have as scenic a view, but you will not have to squint to see the action. Some fans also bring their chairs and sit in front of the bleachers along the fence. Others will sit on their chairs on the grass further down the lines, although the view from there is obstructed by the bullpen and dugout.

As is the case throughout the RCBL, there is not much going on here other than the baseball game. Some music is played pregame and between innings, although it seems to be the same dozen or so songs over and over. These include such baseball classics as "Cheap Seats" and Kenny Rogers' "The Greatest", but also songs that seem to make less sense in this setting, like "Spirit in the Sky" and "Down by the Schoolyard."

Neighborhood 3

Elkton is a small town of about 3,000 people, but that does not mean there is nothing to do here. Goodfellas, just down the street from the ballpark, offers way better pizza than you would expect to find in rural Virginia. Old 33 Beer and Burger and Elkton Brewing Company are also popular. Given how small Elkton is, any place you visit is going to be close to the park. While Elkton is not a large city, it does have that small-town charm.

Massanutten Resort is about a ten-minute drive away via US Route 33 and offers a water park, golf, and much more during the summer months. Harrisonburg is about a 25-minute drive away and offers more options than you'll find in Elkton.

Fans 3

Any game in the Rockingham County Baseball League is going to be a town affair, and the Blue Sox are no exception. Most of the fans in attendance are from right here in Elkton and seem to know the players personally. Of course, since Elkton is so small, it seems everybody knows everybody. Blue Sox fans young and old are passionate and cheer on their team night in and night out. There will usually be a decent amount of visiting fans as well given how small the RCBL's footprint is.

Access 3

Elkton is located along US Route 33 in the western foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. If coming from the east, you will have to go over the mountains to get here, but if coming from the west, you will have a much easier drive along smooth farmland and rural areas with gorgeous views of the mountains in the distance.

Getting to Stonewall Memorial Park itself once you get to Elkton is slightly tricky as it is easy to miss the turn. The entrance to the lot is down a hill at a four-way intersection. However, the driveway is at about a 45-degree angle to the cross street, and some GPS apps may make it sound like you should turn onto the cross street instead.

There is a spacious lot outside the ballpark, although parking too close may put your car at risk of getting hit with a foul ball. The restrooms are in a shed down the left field line. They are small but sufficient, although they look like they have not been cleaned in a while and one stall in the men's room was missing its door.

Return on Investment 5

Admission to most Blue Sox games is free, thanks to sponsorship from local businesses. Check the Blue Sox' social media pages to be sure this is the case for the game you are attending, although it likely will be. Even if it is not free, the cost of admission should be no more than $5. Concessions are a great deal as well, making a trip to a Blue Sox game in Elkton an excellent value.

Extras 0

There are no extras here. This is baseball at its most basic.

Final Thoughts

Town ball is alive and well in Rockingham County, Virginia, and the Elkton Blue Sox are no exception. Although the team was on hiatus, they are now back in action and locals flock to the games to check them out. While the quality of play on the field isn't as high as it would be in other leagues, the sense of community at Elkton Blue Sox games makes coming out worthwhile. Locals go to games here for a reason, and out-of-town visitors will find out why the RCBL is one of the best-kept secrets in baseball.


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