Yogi Berra Stadium
Little Falls, NJ
Review by Mike
Yogi Berra Stadium is the home of the New Jersey Jackals of the independent Frontier League, and an alumni of the Northeast League and the Northern League. The Jackals have proven themselves to be survivors in the challenging landscape of independent ball. Built on the campus of Montclair State University, Yogi Berra Stadium is perfect for this level of baseball. It is very small and intimate with good sight lines. It makes sense. If you're not expecting 5000-6000 people for a game, why build a ballpark with that many seats?
The ballpark doesn't have a whole lot of character, because it is really pretty simple. A couple of stripes of bright red seats wrap around the field with a concourse above that sells some decent food and that's about it. There is a grass berm down the right field line that wraps around the foul pole all the way to right center. This is a purely functional place.
During my first visit in 1999, there was a guy with a heavy Brooklyn accent who tried to get the crowd going with his cordless microphone. He was very annoying. He would march up and down and demand that people join in with his cheers, then get all pissed off when nobody did. And yet he never gave it up. Even though the score was 7-1, he's trying to lead the crowd in chants and cheers as though the tying run were on 3rd.
There were a couple of interesting things, notably the office building beyond center field where office workers stood on a veranda watching the weekday afternoon contest. My favorite feature of Yogi Berra Stadium is the fact that park has exactly one luxury box. I have seen no luxury boxes, and lots of luxury boxes, but one single, lone luxury box hovering above the stands is a new one to me.
I returned with Gary in 2016 and found the ballpark much the same as it was in 1999, with the addition of some nice championship banners and better food choices. The bright red seats were looking a little bleached by the weather, but the ballpark has maintained it's feeling of pleasant, cheerful functionality. A nice place.
"I really liked this ballpark too, probably more for the fact that the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center is adjacent to it. The museum is a must for any baseball fan and includes a great short movie in a ballpark-themed theater. You can also see the field from that lone sky box accessible through the museum. ”