Posts Tagged ‘Ted Williams’

West Palm Beach Spring Training History – Connie Mack Field and Municipal Stadium

March 2nd, 2018

West Palm Beach boasts a proud Spring Training history. Both the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals now call West Palm Beach their Spring Training home. Opened in 2017, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is located at 5444 Haverhill Road in West Palm Beach.

The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach, Florida (Photo Courtesy of Pete Kerzel)

Since 1998, the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals have play their Spring Training home games at Roger Dean Stadium in nearby Jupiter Florida. Located at 4751 Main Street, Roger Dean Stadium is just 12 miles north of The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter Florida,

Spring Training in West Palm Beach dates back to at least 1928. The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Roger Dean Stadium both were preceded by two other now-lost ballparks, Connie Mack Field and West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium.

Connie Mack Field (Photo – The Remembering Connie Mack Field Committee)

West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium Complex (Postcard Holley Studio, Palm Beach Florida)

Connie Mack Field (formerly Municipal Athletic Field (1924 to 1926) and Wright Field 1927 to 1952)) was located approximately seven miles southeast of The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches at the intersection of Tamarind Avenue and Okeechobee Boulevard.

Intersection of Okeechobee Blvd. and Tamarind Avenue, Former Site of Connie Mack Field.

Connie Mack Field was the spring training home of the St. Louis Browns from 1928 to 1936, and the Philadelphia/Kansas City Athletics from 1946 to 1962. Previously, the Athletics had trained in Florida at Durkee Field (later renamed J. P. Small Memorial Park) in Jacksonville, Florida, from 1914 to 1918, and Terry Park in Fort Myers, Florida, from 1925 to 1936.

Bobby Shantz at Connie Mack Field circa 1950’s during Philadelphia Athletics Spring Training

Connie Mack Field also was home to the West Palm Beach Indians, who played in the Florida East Coast League from 1940 to 1942, the Florida International League from 1946 to 1955, and the Florida State League in 1955. In 1956 the Florida State League West Palm Beach Sun Chiefs played at Connie Mack Field, and from 1965 to 1968 the Florida State League West Palm Beach Braves played their home games at the ballpark.

Connie Mack Field Grandstand (Photo – The Remembering Connie Mack Field Committee)

Demolished in 1992, the former grandstand site is now a parking garage for the Kravitz Center for the Performing Arts.

Entrance to Kravis Center Parking Garage, Iris Street, Former Site of Connie Mack Field

The Remembering Connie Mack Field Committee has memorialized the ballpark with a display located near the elevators on the first floor of the Kravis Center Parking Garage.

Display About Connie Mack Field Located on Level 1 of the Kravis Center Garage – The Remembering Connie Mack Field Committee

The display includes photographs of the ballpark, two of which are reproduced above (with attribution to The Remembering Connie Mack Field Committee).

Photos of Connie Mack Field – The Remembering Connie Mack Field Committee)

Home plate is marked with a plaque just to the south the Kravitz Center Parking Garage.

Home Plate Looking Toward Pitchers Mound, Former Site of Connie Mack Field, Located Adjacent To Kravis Center Parking Lot, West Palm Beach, Florida

A significant portion of the former infield is now a storm water retention pond.

Former Site of Connie Mack Field, Infield Near the Intersection of Okeechobee Blvd. and Tamarind Avenue,

The former left field line paralleled Okeechobee Boulevard.

Okeechobee Blvd. Looking East , Former Site of Connie Mack Field Left Field Line

Center field was located at the northeast corner of Okeechobee Boulevard and Tamarind Avenue.

Former Site of Connie Mack Field, Center Field Near the Intersection of Okeechobee Blvd. and Tamarind Avenue

The plaque honoring the location of home plate states “Connie Mack Field (Wright Field)  This monument marks the exact location of home plate. The concrete base that supports this plaque is the original base set in 1924. Some of the great players who batted here Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, & Ted Williams. Go ahead step up to the plate.”

Home Plate Marker, Former Site of Connie Mack Field, Located Adjacent To Kravis Center Parking Lot, West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium was located just five miles southeast of The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, at 715 Hank Aaron Drive.

Doyle Alelxander, Circa Early 1970s, West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium

Municipal Stadium was the spring training home of the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves from 1963 to 1997, and the Montreal Expos from 1969 to 1972 and 1981 to 1997. Previously, the Braves had trained in Florida at Waterfront Park in St. Petersburg, Florida, from 1922 to 1937, and McKechnie Field (now LECOM Park), in Bradenton, Florida, from 1938 to 1940, and 1948 to 1962.

Batting Tunnels, Municipal Stadium, West Palm Beach, Florida (Postcard Montreal Expos)

The stadium complex included four playing fields in addition to the stadium structure.

Aerial View of Municipal Stadium, West Palm Beach, Florida (Postcard Montreal Expos)

In addition to Spring Training, West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium was the home of the Florida State League West Palm Beach Expos from 1969 to 1997 and the Senior Professional Baseball Association West Palm Beach Tropics from 1989 to 1990.

West Palm Beach Expos 1987 Program

Demolished in 2002, the former ballpark site is now a Home Depot and Cameron Estates, a gated housing development.

Home Depot Parking Lot Entrance, Former Site of West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium Parking Lot Behind Grandstand

The entrance to the former stadium complex is on Hank Aaron Drive, where it intersects North Congress Avenue.

Intersection of Hank Aaron Drive and Congress Drive, Former Site of West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium

The grandstand was located near the entrance to the Home Depot off Hank Aaron Drive.

Entrance to Home Depot Off Hank Aaron Drive, Former Site of West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium Grandstand and Infield

Back Entrance To Home Depot From Hank Aaron Drive, Former Site of West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium First Base Grandstand

Home plate was located approximately in the back lot behind the Home Depot.

Home Depot Back Lot Looking West, Former Site of West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium Home Plate

 

Al Bumbry, Circa Early 1970s, West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium

The right field line paralleled Hank Aaron Drive.

Hank Aaron Drive Looking South Along former right field line of West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium

A portion of Cameron Estates, behind the Home Depot, now occupies the former right field.

Cameron Estates, Private Drive Off Hank Aaron Drive, Former Site of West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium Right Field

Center field was located in the northeast section of Cameron Estates, behind the Home Depot back lot.

Cameron Estates on Left and Home Depot Back Lot on Right, Looking East, Former Site of West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium Center Field

Cameron Estates also envelops portions of the former practice fields that sat to the south of the stadium structure.

Entrance to Cameron Estates, former site of Former Site of West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium Practice Fields

One distinctive landmark that remains just northeast of the former site of West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium is the former West Palm Beach Auditorium, now the West Palm Beach Christian Convention Center.

West Palm Beach Christian Convention Center

Although both Connie Mack Field and West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium are now lost ballparks, The Remembering Connie Mack Field Committee has done a wonderful job of memorializing the history and former site of Connie Mack Field. Perhaps a similar group will take it upon itself to memorialize West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium as well. These ballparks are significant to the history of baseball in Florida, for both their Spring Training games and the minor league teams that played at those ballparks.

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San Diego’s Lane Field – The Ballpark By The Bay

March 10th, 2015

Lane Field was located near the northern end of the San Diego Bay, in San Diego, California, at the northeast corner of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway California just across from the West Broadway Pier.

Entrance to Lane Field, Northeast Corner of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

San Diego Harbor Office Building and Athletic Field at Northeast Corner of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California, Soon to Become Lane Field (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The ballpark was constructed on land originally used by the City of San Diego and United States Navy as an athletic field beginning in the mid 1920s. In addition to the athletic field, the venue included a race track and uncovered bleachers.

City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

In 1936, Bill Lane, the owner of the Hollywood Stars, moved his Pacific Coast League franchise to San Diego and renamed them the Padres.

Key to Blueprints Showing Original and Proposed Improved Ball Park (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Key to Blueprints Showing Original and Proposed Improved Ball Park (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

That same year, in the course of just a few months, the Works Project Administration reconfigured the athletic field at North Harbor Drive and West  Broadway into a baseball park.

Detail of City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Detail of City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The ballpark was named Lane Field in honor of the Padres’ owner and hosted minor league baseball at that site for the next two decades.

Entrance to Lane Field at Northwest Corner of West Broadway and Pacific Highway (UT Photo  -utsandiego.com/news/2012/mar/07/lane-field-park-honor-padres-minor-league-history)

Entrance to Lane Field at Northwest Corner of West Broadway and Pacific Highway (UT Photo – utsandiego.com)

Ted Williams, who grew up in the North Park section of San Diego, played for the Padres during their first season in San Diego.

Ted Williams as a San Diego Padre, Lane Field, San Diego, California (Ted Williams Collection, My Turn At Bat)

Ted Williams as a San Diego Padre, Lane Field, San Diego, California (Ted Williams Collection, My Turn At Bat)

The Padres departed Lane Field after the 1957 season and by the 1960s the ballpark had been raised and turned into a parking lot for people departing from cruise ships in San Diego Bay.

Former Site of Lane Field, Intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California

Former Site of Lane Field, Intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Left Field Corner from Home Plate, San Diego, California

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Left Field Corner from Home Plate, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Home Plate from Right Field Corner, San Diego, California

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Home Plate from Left Field Corner, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

The United States Navy building at 937 North Harbor Drive, located just across the street from the the former site of home plate, parallel to first base foul line, dates back to the time of Lane Field and can be seen in many of the aerial photographs of the ballpark.

United States Navy Building (in Background) at 937 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California

United States Navy Building (in Background) at 937 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Since the mid 2000s, the Unified Port of San Diego has planned to redevelop the former site of Lane Field.

Sign Announcing Development of Lane Field Site, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Sign Announcing Development of Lane Field Site, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Those plans finally came to fruition with construction of a new commercial development known also as “Lane Field,” located at 900 West Broadway.

Former Site of Lane FIeld, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane FIeld, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California, 2015

Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California, 2015 (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The redevelopment of the site includes a tribute to Lane Field in the form a park with the outline of a small infield, which includes important dates in Lane Field’s history set into granite.

Historical Marker at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Historical Marker at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The site also includes a historical plaque placed at the site in 2003 by the Society for American Baseball Research.

Historical Marker, Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Historical Marker, Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The former site of home plate is marked with a granite monument topped with a baseball quote by Ted Williams, stating, “There’s only one way to become a hitter. Go up to the plate and get mad. Get mad at yourself and mad at the pitcher.”

Tribute to San Diego Native Ted Williams at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Tribute to San Diego Native Ted Williams at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Lane Field’s former site is located eight miles southwest of the National League San Diego Padres former ballpark, Qualcomm Stadium, and only a mile and a half northeast of the Padres current home, Petco Park.

Petco Park - Current Home of the San Diego Padres

Petco Park – Current Home of the San Diego Padres

Although Lane Field is now a lost ballpark, with the addition of the new park honoring Lane Field, the short drive from the Padres current home to the intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Boulevard is certainly worth the trip.

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City of Pompano Beach Municipal Baseball Park

March 2nd, 2015

Municipal Stadium was located on Northeast 8th Street near the intersection of  Northeast 18 Avenue in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Third Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Third Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, Circa 2007

The stadium was constructed in 1957 and dedicated that same year as City of Pompano Municipal Baseball Park, although it was more commonly referred to as Municipal Stadium.

Dedication Plaque, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Dedication Plaque, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

In 1961 the ballpark became the spring training home of the expansion 1961 Washington Senators.

Ted Williams, New Manager of the Washington Senators,  Feb. 25, 1969, Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium (AP Photo/Robert H. Houston)

Ted Williams, New Manager of the Washington Senators, Feb. 25, 1969, Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium (AP Photo/Robert H. Houston)

When the Washington Senators franchise moved to Texas in 1972, the Rangers continued to train at Pompano beach, where they remained through the 1986 spring season.

Ticket Booth, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Ticket Booth, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, the Home Plate Grandstand Once  Sat Behind This Structure, Circa 2007

Municipal Stadium also hosted minor league baseball. From 1969 to 1973, the Florida State League Pompano Beach Mets played at the ballpark. In 1976, the FSL Pompano Beach Cubs moved to Municipal Stadium, having played the previous season at Wicker Stadium in Key West, Florida. The Cubs played in Pompano Beach through the 1978 season.

Road Entrance to Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Road Entrance to Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, Circa 2007

In 1987, the Rangers moved to what is now Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. Known then as Rangers Stadium,the Rangers left Charlotte for Surprise, Arizona, after the 2002 season. After an extensive renovation, Charlotte Sports Park it is now the spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Charlotte Sports Park, Charlotte, Florida, Spring Training Home of the Tampa Bay Rays

Charlotte Sports Park, Charlotte, Florida, Spring Training Home of the Tampa Bay Rays

After the Rangers departed Pompano Beach, the Senior Professional Baseball Association Gold Coast Suns, managed by Earl Weaver, played their home games at the ballpark from 1989 to 1990.

Exterior, Third Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Exterior, Third Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, Circa 2007

After the Gold Coast Suns departed, and unable to find any other major league teams interested in training at Municipal Stadium, the city reconfigured the ballpark for soccer, although the field also was still used for high school and amateur baseball.

Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, Circa 2007

View from Third Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

View from Third Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, Circa 2007

Municipal Stadium was damaged by two hurricanes, first in 1991 and then in 2005, yet miraculously most of the stadium structure remained at the site for an additional two decades.

View from First Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

View from First Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, Circa 2007

The first significant stadium structure to be demolished was the modest grandstand behind home plate, which was removed at some point during the late 1990s.

Former Site of Home Plate Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Former Site of Home Plate Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, Circa 2007

Third and First Base Grandstands with Home Plate Grandstand Already Demolished, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Third and First Base Grandstands with Home Plate Grandstand Already Demolished, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, Circa 2007

The concrete and steel covered third base grandstand remained at the site.

View of Third Base Grandstand From Former Location of Home Plate Grandstand,Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

View of Third Base Grandstand From Former Location of Home Plate Grandstand,Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

The uncovered grandstand along the first base line remained at the site as well.

Exterior of First Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Exterior of First Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

First Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

First Base Grandstand, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

The first base dugout was located underneath the first base grandstand.

First Base Dugout, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

First Base Dugout, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

The third base dugout was located under the third base grandstand.

Third Base Dugout, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Third Base Dugout, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

In 2005, Hurricane Wilma – the second hurricane to hit the stadium – destroyed the metal bleachers that sat along the first base foul line just past the first base grandstand.

Twisted Bleachers Located Along First Base Foul Line, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Twisted Bleachers Located Along First Base Foul Line, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Right Field Bleachers, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Right Field Bleachers, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

By 2007, the stadium was in terrible shape. However, the field still was used for amateur baseball, as well as a baseball training academy.

Right Field Wall, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Right Field Wall, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

In 2008, the City of Pompano demolished the stadium and the remaining structures.

Players Clubhouses, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

Players Clubhouses, Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida

The city refurbished the practice fields that surrounded Municipal Stadium and constructed a soccer field where once sat the entrance to the ballpark, the third base grandstand, and the home plate grandstand. An additional practice field was built with home plate located in the approximate site of what was once Pompano Stadium’s first base.

View of Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, From Beyond Right Field Corner

View of Municipal Stadium, Pompano Beach, Florida, From Beyond Right Field Corner

Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium is now just a memory, another lost ballpark. However, the practice fields where the Senators and the Rangers once trained remain at the site, as does a new field placed about 90 feet north of the original stadium playing field.

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Nicollet Park – Home Of the Minneapolis Millers

October 16th, 2013

Nicollet Park was a minor league ballpark in Minneapolis, Minnesota, located approximately two and one half  miles south of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Entrance to Nicollet Park (Hennepin County Library – The Minneapolis Collection)

The distinctive Tutor building that was the main entrance to Nicollet Park (shown in the photograph above) was located behind the former right field corner at the intersection of 31st Street and Nicollet Avenue.

Wells Fargo Bank at the Intersection of Nicollet Avenue and 31st Street, Looking Toward Former Right Field Corner

Home plate was located at the corner of Blaisdell Avenue and 31st Street. The ballpark faced northeast.

Aerial View of Nicollet Park (Courtesy of Baseball Bugs)

A Wells Fargo Bank is located in the area that was once right and center field. The former infield is now the bank’s parking lot.

Wells Fargo Nicollet-Lake Office, 3030 Nicollet Avenue, Former Location of Infield Looking Toward Right Field Corner

Located near the former infield is a Minnesota Historical Marker celebrating the 60 years, from 1896 to 1955, that baseball was played at the site.

Historical Marker, Nicollet Park

The historical marker notes that Nicolett Park enjoyed one of the longest running ground leases for a sports venue, running from 1896 until 1951, when the property was purchased by Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis. The bank building that now occupies the site was originally constructed in 1957.

Historical Marker, Nicollet Park

Beyond the left field fence that ran parallel to Lake Street were several one story brick commercial buildings, since demolished and replaced by a four story apartment building constructed in 1981.

Blaisdell Avenue and West Lake Street Looking Toward Former Left Field Corner

Nicolett Park was home to the Minneapolis Millers of the Western League (1896 -1899), the American League (1900 – in 1900 the American League was a minor league), and the American Association (1902 – 1955). The American Association Millers won nine pennants, including one in its last season of play in 1955. From 1908 to 1911, Nicollet Park was also home to the Minneapolis Keystones, an independent, barnstorming black ball club. The Keystones were not a formal negro league team, having played over a decade before the formation of the Negro National League.

Nicollet Avenue and West Lake Street, Looking Toward Former Location of Center Field

Notable Minneapolis Millers who played at Nicollet Park include future Hall of Famers Ray Dandridge, Willie Mays, and Ted Williams. Dandridge, a standout Negro League  player for the Newark Eagles, played for the Millers at the end of his career, from 1949 to 1952. Mays played for the Millers at the beginning of his career, in 1951, for only 35 games (in which he batted .477, hit height home runs, scored 38 runs, and drove in 30). Williams played for Minneapolis as a 19 year old in 1938. That season he led the American Association in home runs, batting average, and RBI. Other future Hall  of Famers who played for the Millers include Roger Bresnahan (1898-1899), Jimmy Collins (1909), Rube Waddell (1911-1913), Orlando Cepeda (1957), and Carl Yastrzemski (1959-1960). Babe Ruth played in at least two exhibition games (1924 and 1935) at Nicollet Park as well.

Minneapolis Miller Ted Williams in 1938

According to Lawrence Ritter’s Lost Ballparks, it was at Nicolett Park that General Mills (a Minneapolis company) first used the slogan “Breakfast of Champions” in a sign on the outfield fence. The advertising billboard was installed at the park in 1933 following the Miller’s pennant winning season of 1932. Nicollet Park is also the setting for what is perhaps just baseball folklore, when Minneapolis Miller Andy Oyler (a former Baltimore Oriole) purportedly hit the shortest home run in professional baseball. The story goes that a ball off the bat of Oyler got stuck in the mud in front of home plate and before the opposing team could retrieve the ball, Oyler had scored on an inside  the park home run.

Across from the former left field corner, at the intersection of Lake Street and Blaisdell Avenue, is Champions Bar and Grill which dates back to the last few years of Nicollet Park’s existence.

Champions Bar and Grill Dates to the 1950’s And the Time of Nicollet Park

Champions appears to be the only building located next to the ballpark site that remains from the time of Nicollet Park. The historical marker placed in the Wells Fargo parking lot is the only clue that there once was a ballpark located in this nondescript city block south of downtown Minneapolis.

Postscript: Thanks to Rubin Latz for sharing his picture of  a foul ball caught by his father at Nicollet Park on April 28, 1946. The baseball was manufactured by Wilson and is stamped “Affiliate of the American Association.”

Foul Ball Caught at Nicollet Field on April 28, 1946

On that April day, the Minneapolis Millers played a double header against their cross town rivals, the St. Paul Saints. According to Stew Thornley’s  “Baseball in Minnesota: The Definitive History,” a record crowd of 15,761 fans attended the game, with some 5000 fans standing on the field. Twenty-four doubles were hit during those two games, with the Saints victorious in both games.

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Albert Spalding and Point Loma Nazarene University

January 25th, 2013

Baseball pioneer and Hall of Famer Albert Spalding played for two early major league teams in the 1870s, the Boston Red Stockings (who later became the Braves) and the Chicago White Stockings (later known as the White Sox). Towards the end of his playing days he helped form the National League and, with an eye toward life after baseball, started a sporting goods store with his brother in Chicago in 1877.

Albert Spalding (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

When he was 51 years old he moved to San Diego, California, and built a home near the cliffs of Point Loma.

Former Residence of Baseball Pioneer Albert Spalding

His home was located in a community known as Lomaland, a Theosophical commune started in 1900 by Katherine Tingley.

Front Entrance to Former Home Of Albert Spalding

Constructed in 1901, Spalding’s home was a one level Victorian style home. The home was painted white as were all the other buildings that made up Lomaland.

Front Porch, Albert Spalding Home, Point Loma, California

Spalding lived in the house until his death in 1915 at the age of 65.

Wood Trim In Spalding House Created By Sculptor Reginald Machel

The Theosophical community departed Lomaland in 1942 and the land and buildings were subsequently purchased for use by Balboa University.

Scoreboard at Carroll B. Land Baseball Field, Point Loma Nazarene University

Spalding’s home and the remaining buildings that made up Lomaland are now part of Point Loma Nazarene University. Spalding’s former residence, known as Mieras Hall, houses the office of the university president and the office of academic affairs.

View of Ball Field at Point Loma Nazarene University

Just to the south of Spalding’s former home is the Carroll B. Land Baseball Field.

Batting Practice At Point Loma Nazarene University

The baseball field, with its modest seating area, has to be one of the most beautiful in the United States.

The Pacific Ocean Lies Just West of the Outfield Wall At Carroll B. Land Field

Set on the cliffs of Point Loma, the Pacific Ocean is located just to the west, beyond the outfield wall.

Good Work If You Can Get It - Manning Right Field at Point Loma Nazarene University

The Albert Spalding Home and Point Loma Nazarene University are located seven miles west of Petco Park, Home of the San Diego Padres, just across San Diego Bay. Like the Boyhood Home of Ted Williams, the Spalding Home is worth a visit because of its connection to a baseball Hall of Famer. Carroll B. Land Baseball Field at Point Loma Nazarene University is worth a stop as well, if for no other reason than to experience the beauty of the ball field set on the cliffs of Point Loma, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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Ted Williams – His Boyhood Home When “The Kid” Was Just A Kid

January 18th, 2013

Ted Williams, the Splendid Splinter, grew up in the North Park section of San Diego, California.

Ted Williams’s Boyhood Home at 4121 Utah Street

His boyhood home is located at 4121 Utah Street.

Front Door Entrance to Boyhood Home of Ted Williams

His home on Utah Street is located in the North Park section of San Diego, just northeast of Balboa Park.

North Park Section of San Diego, California, Location of Ted Williams Boyhood Home

North Park Section of San Diego, California, Location of Ted Williams Boyhood Home

The home is a modest, one story bungalow.

Side View of Ted Williams’s Boyhood Home

Williams lived there with his family from 1924 until left San Diego to play for the Boston Red Sox in 1939.

Detached Garage Behind Boyhood Home of Ted Williams

One half block south down Utah Street and one block west on Polk Avenue is North Park Community Park, where Williams played as a child. The park includes a baseball field named in Williams’s honor.

Sign Commemorating Ted Williams and the Ball Field Where He Played as a Child

The Kid played youth baseball on this same field when he was just a kid.

Ted Williams Field, San Diego, California

Both Williams’s house and the ball field look much like they did when Williams lived in the neighborhood.

First Base Side, Ted Williams Field

Williams played baseball for Herbert Hoover High School in San Diego and signed with the minor league San Diego Padres in 1936 when he was just 17 years old. He played two seasons for the Padres, in 1936 and 1937.

Third Base Side, Ted Williams Field

Twenty miles north of William’s boyhood home is the Ted Williams Freeway, California State Route 56, which runs east-west between I-5 and I-15.

Ted Williams Parkway, Route 56, San Diego, California

Ted Williams Parkway, Route 56, San Diego, California

Lane Field, home of the San Diego Padres, was located just five miles south of Williams’s house. Williams played for the Padres at Lane Field the year that it opened in 1936. It was his first season of professional ball. While the ballpark has been gone now for over 50 years, recently the city has constructed a monument to Lane Field, including a historic marker and a granite outline of the infield and the former site of home plate. On top of the home plate monument is a quote from Ted Williams” “There’s only one way to become a hitter. Go up to the plate and get mad. Get mad at yourself and mad at the pitcher.”

Historical Marker, Lane Field, San Diego, California

Historical Marker, Lane Field, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

If you are interested in baseball history, certainly Williams’s former home and youth baseball field are worth a stop. They are both just five and a half miles north of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and easily accessible by taking the Cabrillo Freeway north to Washington Street east and then east on El Cajon Boulevard. Lane Field’s former site is located just a mile and a half northwest of Petco Park, straight up North Harbor Drive.

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