You'll find parks of varying sizes throughout Cape Cod, with many having unique attributes that draw locals and visitors alike to them year after year.
In Orleans, Eldredge Park has a lot to love, including a long history as the home of the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
There's more to Eldredge Park than baseball, however, as the space has evolved over the years to keep up with modern activities and pastimes.
Here's some information on Eldredge Park in Orleans, a historic site that you're sure to visit on multiple occasions once you live in the Jewel of the Lower Cape.
The History of Eldredge Park
In 1913, a man named Louis Winslow "Win" Eldredge donated a large plot of land to the town of Orleans to develop a playground for children. A baseball diamond was also added to the original park, and in 1928, Orleans was awarded a team in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
The park quickly became a gathering place for locals, and since it was close to the transatlantic telegraph station, news from Europe arrived quickly during the 1920s and 30s.
When the baseball diamond was first constructed, home plate was where the left-field corner sits today. A major renovation completed in 1967 created the current alignment, and Eldredge Park became one of the top minor league baseball fields in the entire country.
More improvements would follow in the coming years, with night games being made possible through the addition of lights in 1979, and the viewing experience improved with a hillside terrace in the mid-1980s.
In 2004, Baseball America named Eldredge Park as the best summer collegiate ballpark in the entire country, an honor that made it a must-see for baseball fans who visit the Cape.
Over the years, Major League superstars like Carlton Fisk, Frank Thomas, and Nomar Garciaparra have spent their summers playing at Eldredge, with many more likely to come.
Eldredge Park's history goes back over a century, and since local officials are always updating it, we could see locals continuing to use it 100 years from now.
Watching an Orleans Firebirds Game
During the summer, you'll have the opportunity to head to Eldredge Park to catch an Orleans Firebirds game. All games in the Cape Cod Baseball League are entirely free to attend, but it's important to keep in mind that there is no seating at this particular park.
As a result, many locals head to the park first thing in the morning on gamedays to place their chairs in the ideal viewing position. They will then return to the park before game time to experience the action in comfort.
If you're hungry, Eldredge Park has an on-site concession stand called The Fire Pit. The venue sits in the parking lot beyond right field and features a menu of hot dogs, burgers, pizza, chips, peanuts, ice cream, and popcorn. You can also grab Coca-Cola products to drink.
Overall, Eldredge Park offers the chance to attend a high-end sporting event for free in a historic venue, providing excellent value for the people of Orleans.
What Else is at the Park?
Although the baseball diamond gets the attention, particularly in the summer, there's a lot more to Eldredge Park than that.
For starters, the park features a playground beyond the left-field fence. This play area has a covered gazebo and picnic tables, providing the amenities needed to spend a few hours enjoying the summer weather.
There are three tennis courts beside the playground, as well, so parents can play a match or two while their children use the slides and swings.
The west side of the park features soccer fields, more baseball diamonds, and additional tennis courts. Local youth leagues and the students of Nauset Middle School are frequent users of these grounds.
Just south of the secondary fields is Finch Skatepark, which provides an excellent place for skateboarders to practice their craft in a safe environment.
Coming to Eldredge Park as a family or group has plenty of benefits, as you're sure to find enough activities to keep everyone busy all day long.
Visit Orleans' Eldredge Park
Once you buy a home in Orleans, you'll have unlimited access to the beauty of Rock Harbor, the culinary delights on Main Street and the Old King's Highway, and the activities of Eldredge Park.
You'll have the chance to experience and explore everything that makes this part of the Cape special and can live a slower pace of life with plenty of access to the outdoors.
Take advantage of everything Orleans has to offer, and you'll soon see why locals and visitors refer to this historic town of about 6,000 people as the Jewel of the Lower Cape.