Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
March 1, 2013 Issue
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Ken Cohen | Democrat

A trip to Mountaindale’s maticulously manicured Baxter Stadium in the mid 1990s delivered some high-quality minor league baseball action as the Catskill Cougars played in the independent Northeast League. When the team went defunct prior to the 2001 season, Baxter was abandoned and ultimately dismantled. All that remains are scattered seats, outfield lights, old signs and a completely overgrown field.
In 1995, minor league baseball came to Sullivan County as the Sullivan County Mountain Lions played in the Northeast League at Mountaindale’s new Baxter Stadium.

Past Ball: When the minors moved Mountaindale

By Ken Cohen
In 1996, a new ownership group headed by Bill Resnick bought the team, changed the name to the Catskill Cougars and appeared poised for success.
Baxter Field was a beautiful outpost, finely manicured, lit for night games and fitted with ample seating along both baselines and behind home plate.
That first year, the Cougars won the league championship and averaged more than 1,000 fans per game (at least that’s what was reported.)
But the North Atlantic League would file for bankruptcy, reforming as the Northeast League in 1997. The Cougars entered the league as one of eight teams, but struggled to a league-worst 21-62 record. Attendance started to decline and the club was losing money. It ceased operations after the 1998 season.
In 2000, under new owner Van Schley, the Cougars gave it one last shot, joining the new Northern League-East. The team went 38-47 and drew only 665 fans per game. Schley incurred $500,000 in debt and called it a day before the 2001 season. Minor league baseball was effectively pronounced dead in Sullivan County.
Baxter Stadium stayed in tact, though not maintained for the next seven years, before finally being dismantled in 2007.

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