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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park – Dartmouth Big Green


Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park 10 North Main St. Hanover, NH 03755

Year Opened: 2008 Capacity: 2,000

 

Big Green Baseball Team

The first baseball team to represent Dartmouth College played in 1866. In 2008, Big Green alumni Mike and Cindy Biondi donated $5.2 million to the school for improvements to the ball field. Their donation funded renovations that included the installation of a new FieldTurf synthetic surface, new permanent seating for 650 spectators, dugouts, batting cages, bullpens, a new scoreboard, press box and landscaping. Mike Biondi had played baseball during his undergraduate days at Dartmouth in the late 1970s. Unfortunately he passed away suddenly just before the start of the renovations he funded. The ballpark was dedicated in his honor.

The baseball field at Dartmouth College is formally known as Red Rolfe Field. Robert “Red” Rolfe was a 1931 alumnus of Dartmouth who went on to play for the New York Yankees for ten seasons and who served as the school’s athletic director from 1954 to 1967. Rolfe made four All-Star teams during his time in the Major Leagues.

The Big Green have qualified for seven NCAA tournaments over their history, making it all the way to the College World Series in 1970. Thirty Dartmouth alumni have appeared in the Major Leagues.

Food & Beverage 0

In a departure from prior visits, there is no food available at Red Rolfe Field. Fans are welcome to bring their own snacks to enjoy during a Big Green game. You’ll be sure to see lots of hot coffee in the grandstand on chilly New Hampshire spring afternoons.

Atmosphere 2

If you enjoy a laid-back, relaxed experience at the ballpark, where you can hear the chatter of the players on the field, talk comfortably with your neighbors, and roam around a ballpark to take in the action from a variety of spots, you will love your time at Red Rolfe Field. This is an old-timey, bare-bones game day presentation that traditional baseball fans will love.

Red Rolfe Field is a comfortable place to catch a game, with a nice little grandstand, an excellent sound system, and easy accessibility. The PA announcer does his job in an unobtrusive manner, with little going on to distract one’s attention from the action on the field. Music is not even played between batters at Red Rolfe Field. Between inning announcements are kept to a minimum, in keeping with the overall aesthetic.

Neighborhood 5

Red Rolfe Field is located southeast of the Dartmouth campus, nestled snugly behind Memorial Field and adjacent to Leede Arena. Dartmouth’s other athletic facilities, including Thompson Arena and Scully-Fahey Field, are located across South Park Street.

Hanover is a quintessential New England town, with the Dartmouth Green acting as a central focal point for all town activities. Just a five-minute walk from Red Rolfe Field, Main Street features a bunch of shops and restaurants to explore during your visit. Highlights include the Dartmouth co-op, where you can pick up your Big Green gear, Lou’s Restaurant and Bakery for a snack, and Murphy’s on the Green for a traditional pub experience. There are a good dozen eateries located within a couple-block span on this stretch of road near the ball field.

Should you wish to stay in Hanover, there are lodging options located in this area as well, including The Hanover Inn and Six South Street Hotel. Visitors looking for other things to do in the area will find a wealth of outdoor options, including the Appalachian Trail, which runs right through Hanover.

Fans 2

When the weather breaks in northern New Hampshire and people start to come outdoors after a long winter, downtown Hanover comes alive. While you will find larger crowds at Red Rolfe Field than at other New England college ballparks, they can still be properly described as “friends and family.”

The fans who do show up at Red Rolfe Field are dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Many seem to share a personal connection with the players on the field. As you would expect in a small town like Hanover, visitors can feel comfortable and you may find yourself chatting up the locals over the course of the game. There’s even a respectable, if small, turnout by the student body, eager to get outside after a long winter indoors.

Access 4

While Dartmouth College is far off the beaten path, that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to get to. Located just a few miles from the intersection of Interstates 89 and 91 on the New Hampshire/Vermont border, Red Rolfe Field is located on the southeast edge of campus, alongside the school’s other athletic facilities.

Driving is easily the most efficient method to arrive in Hanover, but there are bus and car services that run from Manchester, located an hour to the southeast, and to Logan Airport in Boston. You can get more information here. Also, Amtrak has a train station just across the Connecticut River in White River Junction, Vermont. There is on-street parking available all over downtown Hanover, but the easiest option is to park across the street in the Thompson Arena lot and walk to the ball field.

Once at the ballpark, fans will be greeted by a modest, attractive grandstand featuring individual stadium seats behind home plate and metal bleacher seating further down the lines. Additional bleachers set up down both foul lines that allow for movement and alternate vantage points. There is some room along the lines for standing room. Restrooms are located in the adjacent Memorial Stadium grandstand. These restrooms are new and clean, and more than adequate for a typical Big Green baseball crowd. All seats in the small grandstand feature excellent views of the action, even with netting protecting the entire grandstand.

Return on Investment 5

There is no charge for admission to a Big Green baseball game. Parking in the lots near the ballpark is also free. With no concessions at Red Rolfe Field, attending a Dartmouth baseball game will not cost you a cent. Free programs featuring lineups, schedules and more are available to all fans in attendance.

Extras 3

For a small ballpark like Red Rolfe Field, there are a lot of things to look at as you wander the grounds. Plaques honoring Red Rolfe, Mike and Cindy Biondi, Tony Lupien, Jeff Tesreau and Peter McKernen are mounted around the back side of the grandstand. Check out the folksy sayings on Coach Lupien and Tesreau’s plaques (“do the best you can with what you’ve got”, “all he ever asked was his share of the close ones”) and interesting placements (one plaque is mounted on a large rock)

Dartmouth’s NCAA Tournament and College World Series appearances are commemorated on the outfield walls. Flags representing all eight Ivy League schools fly beyond the outfield fence.


Final Thoughts

Hanover isn’t a place you’ll find yourself in accidentally. If you do head to northern New England for a college baseball game, you’ll be rewarded with a ballpark that is consistently rated as one of the nicer small parks in the country. Baseball fans looking to experience that small-town relaxed vibe along with a small-park relaxed game day experience will find Red Rolfe Field to be as nice as any ballpark in the country.

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