When baseball fans think of tall outfield walls, the Boston Redsox’s Fenway’ Park’s Green Monster comes to mind.
But PeoplesBank Park, home of the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), has the ballpark’s fabled “Arch Nemesis,” the left field wall revered for being the tallest in pro baseball.
However, the famed wall will be shortened in the coming weeks in compliance with a wildlife conservation act first passed decades before the ballpark’s construction.
With the reduction in height of the Arch Nemesis, the Green Monster jumps to the highest among all walls in current pro baseball.
Revolution President Eric Menzer said the York County Industrial Development Authority (YCIDA) alerted team officials earlier this week that the Nemesis violates restrictions enacted by the Codorus Creek Eel Restoration and Preservation Act of 1972. At issue is the shadow cast by the wall, which was originally designed to assist in protecting Arch Street homes from batted baseballs.
The Codorus Creek Watershed Association and the Susquehanna River Anadromous Fish Restoration Cooperative noted in recent months, that the wall casts a deleterious shadow on large portions of the creek that can affect the nocturnal cycles of eels and other wildlife who depend on the creek habitat. That prompted local officials to request the YCIDA shrink the Nemesis to no more than 30 feet in height, which will require removal of the top 7 feet and 8 inches of the wall.
Menzer, who said the team will comply with the mandate and fully supports the protection of wildlife and their habitats, added it was unclear why the original preservation act was not cited in the review of the ballpark’s design plans before construction began in 2006.
“There were literally dozens of engineers involved and layers of municipal review, but apparently nobody raised objections at the time to the shadow the majestic Arch Nemesis would cast,” Menzer noted in a press release. “It will cause some challenges before the start of our season, but we have no choice but to comply – turns out that eels are people, too.”
YCIDA Board Chair Jack Kay called the oversight “an extreme inconvenience that could have been avoided” and said the authority will work with its tenants at the Revolution to make the change as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Finding a silver lining to the unexpected news, Menzer added the team will eventually realize some cost savings in the change, noting, for example, that the giant wall typically requires many gallons of its famous green paint each season.
“If nothing else, we’ll be painting almost 700 fewer square feet of wall after this,” he said.
Renovations to the Arch Nemesis are expected to begin in the next two weeks. Kinsley Construction, whose own advertisement is among the sponsorship signage that will be displaced by the change, has been contracted to complete the renovations.
— Jerry Del Priore
(Photo: York Revolution)