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Orleans Firebirds

Link to Official Website

This site is a fan site, not affiliated with the Cape Cod Baseball League. Here is a link to the official website of the Orleans Firebirds.

Pictures

Here are some Pictures of Eldredge Park. These were taken in 2009.

Seating and Field Visibility

The Orleans Firebirds have played for many years at Eldredge Park on Eldredge Park Way, next to Nauset Regional Middle School. Eldredge Park is unique among Cape League parks in that it is almost exclusively a lawn chair/blanket park. There are hardly any grandstands, just one small grandstand behind the backstop behind home plate. So come prepared! This unique approach, combined with plenty of space especially on the first base side, creates a large spectator capacity, most of it unobstructed by any sort of screen or fence. The only fencing is close to the backstop (where it belongs). The first base seating area stretches all the way down to the right field outfield fence, and the slope has been landscaped to create a number of terraces where one can put a chair and be sitting more or less level. The third base side (visitors' side) also has space for lawn chairs stretching all the way to the outfield fence, also comfortably terraced, but not as wide. Space is limited on the third base side by the presence of Route 28, a major road, right behind the fence that separates the road from the park.

Both dugouts create a moderate slice of invisibility behind them -- not excessive since they're sensible flat dugouts -- so just be careful where you put the chair. There is also some room for lawn chairs beyond the right field fence on a platform that is actually the back of the restrooms building. These are good "bleacher seats."

It's true that this park has a great deal of capacity with excellent views, but there is one problem and we're going to describe it, hopefully without incurring the wrath of any of our friends in Orleans. Because the team is so popular, many residents of the town go to the park early in the day (before breakfast, sometimes) and put down a chair or a blanket to "save their space." Then they return at game time ... maybe ... to occupy the spot.

This is annoying if you're coming from out of town, as many of us diehard Cape League fans do, arriving at the game as much as an hour (sometimes more) before game time, to find all the best spots "reserved." The makers of this site have wound up squeezed into a space that was too small and too far away, a couple of times, despite arriving early for games. This becomes a serious problem for postseason games, but even during the season it is a problem. As a result of this selfish local custom, Orleans is in the running for our least favorite park in the league, despite the fact that if you can get a decent spot you get a very good view. It's a shame because the field is so nice. It is especially annoying when the people that "reserved" seats in the area where you'd like to be sitting arrive fashionably late in, for example, the sixth inning ... and we've seen that happen.

Team Nickname and Uniforms

During the offseason after the end of the 2008 season, the Orleans team changed its name from the Cardinals to the Firebirds, due to the ongoing licensing dispute in which Major League Baseball is showing that their greed is vast and knows no limits. The makers of this site had a polite disagreement about the name. One of us likes it, thinking it's a sporty and creative name. The other one of us doesn't particularly like it. It has no Cape Cod connotations; in fact it's vaguely suggestive of the American southwest and/or the Harry Potter stories. Way long ago, back in the '60s, the town team was called the Lobstermen. Now that name says Cape Cod, but of course it has nothing to do with a bird. It was also a somewhat goofy name, but amateur athletics is supposed to be a little goofy. If the team had wanted to keep the bird concept, there are lots of options, such as Redwings, or Finches, or Robins, or Starlings. (Starlings aren't red, but that would have been a nice play on the league slogan about the stars of tomorrow shining tonight ... too bad they didn't think of it. Of course, the starling can be an annoying bird, so they might not wanted to have used the name anyway.).

Uniforms are modeled after those worn by the St. Louis Cardinals, complete with that cool bat that the bird on the jersey is perched upon. These were the uniforms when the team was the Cardinals, and it still works for Firebirds.

Parking

Eldredge Park is located next to the Nauset Middle School on Eldredge Park Way and Rte. 28. The school parking lot is pretty big, but not big enough if it's playoff or all-star game. Be warned -- there are streets that allow parking in the area, and then there are streets that don't. Believe it or not, we got a ticket on our car for parking on a side street at a playoff game a few years back. The neighborhood is no Cotuit in terms of welcoming the fans, in other words. However, there are some business lots where you can safely park and other streets where parking is allowed. The best advice is to get there early.

The only possibility of getting a windshield smashed is if you're parked in the upper part of the lot, in front of the school.

The third base side of the park is right along Rte. 28, so it's possible a car innocently driving by the park could get its windshield smashed. We don't know if it's ever happened. Also the p.a. announcer reminds the kids not to run out onto Rte. 28 after foul balls, but there's a fence so they'd have to climb the fence to get into the road, and although kids can get resourceful when they smell that baseball leather, the fence is really too high for this to be a concern.

Team Culture

Speaking of goofy (we were speaking of goofy, weren't we?), this team, like Falmouth, has an occasional mascot, a guy dressed up in a red bird suit. We're not sure if he's at every game. The makers of this site aren't really mascot fans. To our thinking they are more often creepy than they are fun. As much as we enjoy the extracurricular silliness of a minor league or independent league game now and again, it seems the Cape League doesn't need this kind of extra stuff to be highly entertaining.

There is a cool playground for the kids beyond the outfield fence, your best bet for keeping squirming youngsters occupied. Nearby the playground are tennis courts. This is probably the worst park for chasing foul balls, since the fence prevents any chasing on the third base side side, and on the first base side balls either go into the crowd or into the middle school parking lot. It's not as much fun piling on in the middle of an asphalt parking lot as it is in a carpeted forested understory, as at many of the other parks.

There are pleasant indoor restrooms located in the building beyond the outfield fence.

The refreshments are served from a couple of trucks in the middle school parking lot on the first base side. Offerings include grilled burgers.

The pressbox is a moderate sized building behind home plate.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our website and if you have any comments or questions go ahead and mail us at capeleaguefan@yahoo.com.

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