Carpenter Complex

The Carpenter Complex is a complex of four baseball fields, training facilities, and offices in Clearwater, Florida. It opened as Carpenter Field in 1967. It is the Florida home of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball operations, spring training site for the Phillies’ minor league players, home to the Gulf Coast League Phillies, and adjacent to Spectrum Field, spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies and regular season home of the Clearwater Threshers. While the Complex is now adjacent to Spectrum Field, the Phillies, until 2004, played spring training games a short drive away, which gave the Complex its own identity in the Phillies organizational structure and the team's history.

The Complex has four fields, each named for Phillies Hall of Fame players (all of whom trained with the Phillies in Clearwater and also were the first four Phillies to have their uniform numbers retired), Rich Ashburn Field, Robin Roberts Field, Mike Schmidt Field, and Steve Carlton Field. In 2004, the Phillies officially renamed the Complex The Paul Owens Training Facility at Carpenter Complex, which honored Paul Owens' memory but also served to distinguish the training fields from the primary spring ballpark, Spectrum Field, which is also at Carpenter Complex.

Carpenter Complex
Full namePaul Owens Training Facility at Carpenter Complex
Former namesCarpenter Field
Location651 Old Coachman Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
United States
Coordinates27°58′18″N 82°43′54″W / 27.97167°N 82.73167°WCoordinates: 27°58′18″N 82°43′54″W / 27.97167°N 82.73167°W
Capacity500
Field sizeLeft – 340 ft.

Left-Center – 370 ft.
Center – 400 ft.
Right-Center – 370 ft.

Right – 340 ft.
Surfacegrass
Construction
Broke ground1966
OpenedMarch 5, 1967
Renovated1987, 2009
Construction cost$250,000
Tenants
Gulf Coast League Phillies (Gulf Coast League) (1984–present)

History and Expansion

The Carpenter Complex was dedicated on March 5, 1967 where Clearwater mayor Joe Turner surprised Phillies owner and president Bob Carpenter by naming the field in his honor. The complex was financed by a no-interest $250,000 loan from the Phillies to the City of Clearwater and repaid over 10-years.[1]

The complex was built on the site of a former city trash dump. Through the years, settling garbage has left dips and holes in the field and required repairs to the clubhouse buildings.[2]

During the 1987–1988 off-season, the City of Clearwater renovated the Complex along with Jack Russell Stadium in exchange for the Phillies' commitment to an additional eight years in Clearwater. Improvements included the additions of four covered batting tunnels, new lockers, and new fencing for all four fields.[3]

During the summer of 2009, the Carpenter Complex was gutted and reconstructed with new offices, new locker rooms, a larger training room, and an elevated observation walkway that allows coaches and scouts to walk around to any of the three sections. The major league Phillies enjoyed these new renovations for the first time during Spring Training 2010.[4]

In 2013, the Phillies opened a $4 million facility as the first indoor climate-controlled training center at a major-league spring-training site. It is used by the team year-round in Clearwater for training, rehabilitation, and daily workouts. On March 22, 2018, the Phillies honored the team's long time president David Montgomery, and renamed the indoor facility the "David P. Montgomery Baseball Performance Center".[5]

Teams

The Gulf Coast League Phillies play their home games at the Complex.

Many Florida Winter Instructional League teams – both affiliated with and not affiliated with the Phillies – played their home games at the Complex at what was then called 'Carpenter Field' in the late 1960s and 1970s.

In December 2010, the Penn State Nittany Lions practiced at the complex prior to their appearance in the 2011 Outback Bowl at nearby Raymond James Stadium.[6]

Identification with Paul Owens

Paul Owens became identified with the Carpenter Complex due to his success with the franchise beginning with the opening of the Complex in 1967. His death in 2003 resonated with those who worked with and under Owens at the Complex. In 1955, Owens was named the Olean Oilers's playing manager. The following year, Oleans became a Phillies' affiliate and Owens moved into their organization and he eventually became director of the Philadelphia farm system. On June 3, 1972, he replaced John Quinn as the Phillies' general manager and his farm system produced players including Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Oscar Gamble, and Dick Ruthven. He worked many hours at the Complex, sitting atop the fields, smoking cigarettes, and watching prospects. He remained with the Phillies as a senior adviser and special scout until his death, in 2003, at age 79.

References

  1. ^ Albury, Chuck (1967-03-06). "Clearwater Dedicates Minor League Complex". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  2. ^ Steinle, Diane (1987-08-19). "City is considering repairs to field house at complex". St. Petersburg Times. p. 5. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
  3. ^ Reinwald, Pete (1988-02-20). "Phillies return to renovated quarters". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1.
  4. ^ Murphy, David (2010-02-17). "Aumont looks like a starter; Complex Renovated". Philadelphia Daily News. p. W-23.
  5. ^ Breen, Matt (March 22, 2018). "Phillies name Clearwater facility after David Montgomery". philly.com. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  6. ^ Bill Conlin (2010-12-23). "Greatness at work in Clearwater". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 2010-12-23.

External links

Clearwater Threshers

The Clearwater Threshers are a minor league baseball team that currently plays in the Florida State League. Since 2009, the team competes in the North Division.

The team plays its home games at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida, which opened in 2004. Spectrum Field seats more than 7,000 fans. A single-game attendance record of 9,090 was set on July 3, 2008.The team is the High-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. The team has always been affiliated with the Phillies since 1985, the franchise's first season. From 1985 to 2003, the Clearwater Threshers were called the Clearwater Phillies. While as the Clearwater Phillies, the team played at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium from 1985 to 2003. When the team moved to the new Spectrum Field, it changed its name from Phillies to Threshers.

David Montgomery (baseball)

David Paul Montgomery (June 26, 1946 – May 8, 2019) was an American businessman and baseball executive. He served as chairman, minority-owner, and president of the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball.

Gulf Coast League

The Gulf Coast League is a rookie-level Minor League Baseball league that operates in Florida, United States. Together with the Arizona League, it forms the lowest rung on the North American minor-league ladder.

GCL teams play at the minor league spring training complexes of their parent Major League Baseball clubs and are owned by those parent clubs. Admission is not charged and no concessions are operated at the teams' games. The players assigned to this level are first-year players who are drafted in the MLB entry draft a few weeks prior to the start of the GCL season, and emphasis is therefore placed on skill development, rather than competitive play.

Gulf Coast League Phillies

The Gulf Coast League (GCL) Phillies are a minor league baseball team located at the Carpenter Complex, in Clearwater, Florida. A member of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, the Phillies are an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. The team is composed mainly of players who are in their first year of professional baseball as either draftees or non-drafted free agents from the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and various other countries.

The GCL Phillies played some games at the Joe DiMaggio Complex in Clearwater in 2009 while the Carpenter Complex was being renovated. The GCL Phillies also play some home games at Bright House Field.

Beginning in the 2018 season, the Phillies have fielded two GCL teams, "East" and "West", named for the division in which it competes.

Jack Russell Memorial Stadium

Jack Russell Memorial Stadium is a stadium in Clearwater, Florida. It opened as Jack Russell Stadium in 1955. It had a capacity of 4,744 when it opened; in 2003 seating capacity was 6,942 people. It was the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team from 1955 through 2003. Since 2017, it has been home to the Clearwater High School and St. Petersburg College baseball teams.The Clearwater Bombers, a softball team that won 10 National Amateur Softball Association titles between 1950 and 1973, played their home games there from 1955 through 1984. The name of the stadium was changed to Jack Russell Memorial Stadium following Jack Russell's death in November 1990.

In 2004, the Philadelphia Phillies moved to Bright House Networks Field, 4 miles to the east. Most of the ballpark was demolished on July 21, 2007. The dugouts, offices, and other elements were retained as the field has continued to be used for amateur baseball.

In 2019 it is serving as the temporary home field of the Dunedin Blue Jays.

List of Minor League Baseball leagues and teams

This is a list of Minor League Baseball leagues and teams in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Spectrum Field

Spectrum Field (formerly Bright House Networks Field and Bright House Field) is a baseball stadium located in Clearwater, Florida, in the United States. The stadium was built in 2004 and has a maximum seating capacity of 8,500 people (7,000 fixed seats with additional grass berm seating for 1,500).

The ballpark is the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies, and also the home of their Class A affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers of the Florida State League. A sculpture titled The Ace—by artist Kevin Brady—stands at the ballpark's west entrance plaza.

Whiz Kids (baseball)

The Whiz Kids is the nickname of the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball. The team was largely made up of rookies; The average age of a member of the Whiz Kids was 26.4 The team won the 1950 National League pennant but failed to win the World Series.

After owner R. R. M. Carpenter, Jr. built a team of bonus babies, the 1950 team won for the majority of the season, but slumped late, allowing the defending National League champion Brooklyn Dodgers to gain ground in the last two weeks. The final series of the season was against Brooklyn, and the final game pitted the Opening Day starting pitchers, right-handers Robin Roberts and Don Newcombe, against one another. The Phillies defeated the Dodgers in extra innings in the final game of the season on a three-run home run by Dick Sisler in the top of the tenth inning. In the World Series which followed, the Whiz Kids were swept by the New York Yankees, who won their second of five consecutive World Series championships.The failure of the Whiz Kids to win another pennant after their lone successful season has been attributed to multiple theories, the most prominent of which is Carpenter's unwillingness to integrate his team after winning a pennant with an all-white team.

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