Ballparks around the World: Montpellier Recreation Field

In this episode of Ballparks around the World, we pay attention to one of those little gems you hardly can find nowadays. Montpellier in the state of Vermont is home to such a little gem: Recreation Field. Constructed in 1940 and currently the home of the Montpellier Mountaineers of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

Recreation Field in Montpellier was constructed in 1940 as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. The Works Progress Administration with support from the depression-era National Government was the spark plug of the construction of this ballpark. The grandstand has a capacity of 1,200 seats. Next to this grandstand, there are first base line and third base line bleachers.

This ballpark is hidden between conifers in a very afforested area. 

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The exterior of Recreation Park (photo: courtesy of Digital Ballparks)

When the construction was finished, Recreation Park was home to the Northern League, a semi-pro league that was very popular in the 1950s. It was home to two teams: the Twin City Trojans and the Montpellier Senators.

The most famous player that called Recreation Park home was Robin Roberts, a Hall of Fame pitcher who had a 19-year career with the Phillies, the Orioles, the Astros and the Cubs. MLB clubs were so impressed by him, as he threw a no-hitter for the Twin City Trojans, that he skipped the complete minor league system and moved to Philadelphia at once.

Recreation Field has earned its place as a landmark of the state of Vermont.
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Recreation Park was constructed to be home for all levels of baseball: From amateur to American Legion and Minor League Baseball. But the ballpark was home to a minor league team for only one season (1955).

As written before, the ballpark features a wooden grandstand with bleachers along the first and third baselines. It also has an electronic scoreboard and the ballpark is suitable for night games too.
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After the Northern League folded in the late 1950s, the ballpark became home to American Legion baseball and high school baseball. Eventually, the New England Collegiate Baseball League came around the corner in 2003. The Green Mountain Baseball Group was formed to bring in a collegiate team. After a set of renovations, Montpellier was awarded an NECBL team, the Vermont Mountaineers.

Even though Recreation Park was never home to affiliated Minor League Baseball, it is home to Collegiate Baseball, sanctioned by MLB.

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As you can see below, the Vermont Summers are good for baseball as the Vermont Mountaineers draw big crowds.

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Here are some images of this magnificent little ballpark.

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Mountaineers

 

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