Clearwater Athletic Field

Clearwater Athletic Field was a stadium in Clearwater, Florida. It was first used by professional baseball teams for spring training in 1923 and was the Phillies' first spring training ballpark in Clearwater. The grandstand sat approximately 2,000 and bleachers increased capacity to close to 3,000. Home plate was located on Pennsylvania Avenue, which ran south to north along the third base line, near Seminole Street. Left field ran parallel to Palmetto Street, and right field ran parallel to Greenwood Ave. The grandstand was destroyed by fire in April 1956.[1]

The North Greenwood Recreation and Aquatic Complex now stands on the site of ballpark. On March 19, 2016, the site of the ballpark was recognized as a Florida Heritage Site and the location added to the state's heritage map.[2]

Coordinates: 27°57′25″N 82°47′29″W / 27.956994°N 82.791499°W

Clearwater Athletic Field
Clearwater Athletic Field
Former namesBrooklyn Field
LocationPennsylvania Ave and Seminole St, Clearwater, Florida
OwnerCity of Clearwater
Capacity3,000
Field sizeLeft – 340 ft.

Center – ft.

Right – 290 ft.
Surfacegrass
Construction
Broke groundDecember 1922
OpenedMarch 15, 1923
Closed1954
Demolished1956
Construction cost$25,000
Tenants
Brooklyn Dodgers (MLB) (spring training) (19231932; 19361941)
Clearwater Pelicans (FSL) (1924)
Newark Bears (IL) (spring training) (1933–1935)
Cleveland Indians (MLB) (spring training) (1942 and 1946)
Clearwater Bombers (ASA) (1945–1954)
Philadelphia Phillies (MLB) (spring training) (19471954)
Clearwater Black Sox (FSNBL) (1952)

History

In October 1922, the Brooklyn Dodgers agreed to train in Clearwater in 1923 provided the city would clear a field and construct grandstands. The Clearwater city council voted to issue $25,000 in bonds for construction. The Dodgers' move to Florida brought the number of major league clubs conducting spring training in the state to seven.[3] The first game was played on March 15, 1923 between the Dodgers and the Boston Braves, who trained in St. Petersburg. The game was preceded by a parade to the park and Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis threw out the first pitch to Clearwater mayor Frank J. Booth.[4] More than 4,000 fans saw the Dodgers defeat the Braves 12-7.[5]

It was the spring training home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Newark Bears (when the top minor league baseball teams held their own spring training), Cleveland, and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Florida State League's Clearwater Pelicans[6] and the Amateur Softball Association national-champion Clearwater Bombers played their home games at Athletic Field.[7] The Florida State Negro Baseball League Clearwater Black Sox played at the park in 1952.[8]

Phillies in Clearwater

Cleveland was sold in June 1946 to Bill Veeck and a note soon appeared in the Sporting News that the team was considering a spring training move to Tucson, Arizona for 1947. Paul Ficht, secretary of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, along with Mayor J.C. House, and City Manager F.L. Hendrix spoke with the St. Louis Browns, Newark Bears, Kansas City Blues, and Phillies about training in Clearwater in 1947. On July 27, 1946, Hendrix announced that the Phillies had accepted Clearwater's invitation to train at Athletic Field in 1947 on a one-year agreement. On March 7, 1947, the Phillies and city signed a 10-year deal for the Phillies to train in Clearwater.

The Phillies lost their first spring training game in 1947 at Athletic Field to the Detroit Tigers by a score of 13-1. The Phillies' attendance that spring was 13,291 which was ninth out of the ten teams training in Florida.[9]

One of the largest crowds for a spring training game was on March 24, 1951, when the Phillies drew 3,851 against the Boston Red Sox.[10]

After 1955

It was replaced in 1955 by Jack Russell Stadium, into which both the Phillies and Bombers moved after the 1954 season. Even after moving into Jack Russell in 1955, the Phillies continued to practice at the field.[11]

Fire destroyed the grandstand in 1956 but the field remained in use. The Baltimore Orioles team in the Winter Instructional League trained at Athletic Field in October 1959 and played their home games next door at Jack Russell Stadium.[12]

At the time of the fire which destroyed the grandstands on April 12, 1956, it was reported that city managers planned to tear down the grandstands in 1957 and replace them with temporary bleachers.[13] Ray Green Field was also used for parking for games at Jack Russell Stadium.[14]

The North Greenwood Recreation and Aquatic Complex now stands on the site of the ballpark. In 2003, the city opened the Ray E. Green Aquatic Center, named in honor of the mayor.[15]

In February 2018, football team D.C. United trained in Clearwater and used the grass fields at Walter C. Campbell Park between the recreation center and Jack Russell Memorial Stadium.[16]

Name

The ballpark is often identified as "Clearwater Athletic Field" or "Clearwater's Athletic Field". It was renamed Ray Green Field in honor of Ray Green, mayor of Clearwater from 1935 to 1938,[17] who was instrumental in upgrading the facility during his tenure as mayor.[18] In a 1980 interview, Eddie Moore, director of Clearwater parks and recreation from 1938 to 1978, recalled that the ballpark was called "Brooklyn Field" during the Dodgers' tenure.[19] A 1939 news article recounts the Clearwater Senior Softball League playing at "Brooklyn field".[20]

References

  1. ^ "Clearwater Fire Destroys Grandstand". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1956-04-14. p. 13. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  2. ^ Landgon, Sherri (March 15, 2016). "Clearwater Athletic Field Earns Historic Designation". Clearwater Patch. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  3. ^ "Big Leaguers Seek Grounds". St. Petersburg Times. 1922-10-22. p. 7. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
  4. ^ "Braves to Meet Dodgers in Clearwater Thursday". St. Petersburg Evening Independent. 1923-03-12. p. 14. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
  5. ^ "Dodgers Win From Boston". St. Petersburg Times. 1923-03-16. p. 6. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
  6. ^ De Quesada, Alejandro M.; Larry Shenk (2007). Spring Training in Clearwater: Fencebusters and Fastballs from the Philadelphia Philles and the Clearwater Threshers. The History Press. p. 24. ISBN 1-59629-214-8.
  7. ^ Dailey, Lester R. (2008-02-20). "Bombers put Clearwater on the map: The home-grown softball team won 10 national championships". Clearwater Citizen. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  8. ^ McLin, E. H. (1952-04-29). "Pelicans face Ocala in League Opener Sunday". St. Petersburg Times. p. 24. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
  9. ^ Lewis, Allen (March 1986). "Philadelphia '47 '86 Clearwater". 1986 Phillies: Spring Training 40th Year in Clearwater. Clearwater, Florida: Philadelphia Phillies. pp. 4–5.
  10. ^ "Phillies Beat Red Sox; Goliat Clouts Homer". Reading Eagle. 1951-03-25. p. Section 4, page 27.
  11. ^ "Boston Pitchers Wild, Ineffective". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1955-03-17. p. 13.
  12. ^ "Winter League Orioles Open Workouts Today". St. Petersburg Times. 1959-10-08. p. 5-C. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
  13. ^ Al Hackett (1956-04-12). "Wind-Whipped Blaze Levels Stands, Home". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  14. ^ Henry, Kaylois (1989-09-17). "Clearwater gets go-ahead on parking spaces, stadium". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  15. ^ Kennedy Wynne, Sharon (2003-04-13). "Metro Week in Review: Coming up this week". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  16. ^ Goff, Steven (February 5, 2018). "With Yamil Asad deal almost done, D.C. United sorts through midfield options". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
  17. ^ "Mayor & City Council: Frequently Asked Questions". My Clearwater.com: The Official Website of the City of Clearwater, Florida. Archived from the original on 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  18. ^ Arnold, Lois V. (1993-08-17). "A stadium conjures up memories". St. Petersburg Times. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  19. ^ Kouzmanoff, Tommy (1980-03-16). "Jack Russell Stadium Has Continued To Be Of Benefit To Clearwater". St. Petersburg Times. p. 4. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  20. ^ "Senior Leaguers to Resume Play at County Seat". The Evening Independent. 1939-08-14. p. 11. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2009-09-21.

External links

1947 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1947 Philadelphia Phillies season saw the Phillies finish in seventh place in the National League with a record of 62 wins and 92 losses. It was the first season for Phillies television broadcasts, which debuted on WPTZ.

Baseball in the Tampa Bay Area

Baseball in the Tampa Bay Area, both amateur and professional, has had a long and storied history, even though the Tampa Bay Rays are one of the two youngest franchises in Major League Baseball.

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 Major League Baseball spring training ballparks

The following is a list of current and former Major League Baseball spring training ballparks.

List of baseball parks in Tampa Bay, Florida

This is a list of venues used for professional baseball in the region of Florida called Tampa Bay. It includes Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and neighboring cities. The information shown is a summary of the information contained in the references listed.

(name unknown)

Occupant: Tampa, Florida State League (1892 only)Plant Field (opened 1899) known as Pepin-Rood Stadium in final years (1971–2002)

Occupants – spring training:

Chicago Cubs – National League (1913-16)

Boston Red Sox – American League (1919)

Washington Senators – AL (1920s)

Detroit Tigers – AL (1930s)

Cincinnati Reds – NL (1930-54)

Chicago White Sox – AL (1954)

Occupants – minor league and university

Tampa Smokers – Florida State League (1919–1927)

Tampa Smokers – Southeastern League (1928–1930)

Tampa Smokers – West Coast League (1932)

Tampa Smokers – Florida International League (1946–1954)

University of Tampa (1933-36)

Location: Horse race track – on grounds east of North Boulevard and south of Cass Street.

Currently: University of Tampa athletic fields complex(name unknown) (opened fall 1908)

Occupant: St. Petersburg Saints (1908–1911)

Location: "Northeast side of Mirror Lake". Flooded by the expanding lake in 1911. Would have been about Third Avenue North and Sixth Street North.Symonette Field

Occupant: St. Petersburg Saints (1912–1914)

Location: "Tangerine Avenue just west of 40th Street."Coffee Pot Park a.k.a. Sunshine Park (opened 1914)

Occupants – spring training:

St. Louis Browns – AL (1914)

Philadelphia Phillies – NL (1915–1918)

Indianapolis Indians – American Association (1921)

Occupant – minor league:

St. Petersburg Saints – Independent (1914–1919), FSL (1920–1928)

Location: St. Petersburg – "The head of Coffee Pot Bayou" – approximately 22nd Avenue North and First Street North (the actual bayou is northeast of that site a few blocks)

Currently: Residential housing.Moore Field

Occupant – spring training:

Indianapolis Indians AA (1921) (sources contradict)

Occupant – minor league:

St. Petersburg Saints – Florida State League (1920) (sources contradict)

Location: St. Petersburg – "Fourth Street, Seventh Avenue South".Clearwater Athletic Field orig. Brooklyn Field

Occupants – spring training:

Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) – NL (1923–1932)

Cleveland Indians – AL (1942)

Philadelphia Phillies – NL (1947–1954)

Occupant – minor league (unconfirmed):

Clearwater Pelicans – FSL (1924 – partial season)

Location: Clearwater – Pennsylvania Avenue (west – third base?), Seminole Street (north – left field?), Palmetto Street (south – first base?), Greenwood Avenue (now North Martin Luther King Jr Avenue) (east – right field?) "Home plate was located on Pennsylvania Avenue, which ran south to north along the third base line, near Seminole Street. Left field ran parallel to Palmetto Street, and right field ran parallel to Greenwood Ave. The grandstand was destroyed by fire in April 1956."

Currently: North Greenwood Recreation and Aquatic Complex.St. Petersburg Athletic Park a.k.a. Waterfront Park (opened 1923)

Occupants – spring training:

Boston Braves NL (1921 or 1922–1937)

New York Yankees – AL (1925–1942,1946–1947)

St. Louis Cardinals – NL (1938–1942,1946–1947)

Occupant – minor league:

St. Petersburg Saints – Florida State League (1921–1928)

Location: Same as Al Lang Field (see below)Al Lang Stadium (opened 1947) a.k.a. Al Lang Field

Occupants – spring training

New York Yankees – AL (1947–1950, 1952–1961)

St. Louis Cardinals – NL (1947–1997)

New York Giants – NL (1951)

New York Mets – NL (1962–1987)

Baltimore Orioles – AL (1991–1995)

Tampa Bay Rays – AL (1998–2008)Canada national baseball team (2011–present)

Netherlands national baseball team (2011–present)

Nexen Heroes (spring training) Korea Baseball Organization (2011–present)Occupants – minor league and university

St. Petersburg Saints – Florida International League (1947–1954); Florida State League (1955–1965); St. Petersburg Cardinals – FSL (1965–1997)

St. Petersburg Pelicans – SPBA (1989–1990)

ACC Tournament (1997, 2002)

St. Petersburg Devil Rays – FSL (1998–2000)

C-USA Tournament (2000)Location: St. Petersburg – Second Avenue Southeast (north – home plate), Bay Shore Drive Southeast and then Tampa Bay (east – left field corner), Fourth Avenue South (south – center field), First Street Southeast (west – right field corner).

Currently: Used for soccer.Jack Russell Memorial Stadium (1955–2003) org. Jack Russell Field

Occupants – spring training:

Philadelphia Phillies – NL (1955–2003)

Occupants – minor league:

Clearwater Phillies – FSL (1985–2003)

Location: Clearwater – 800 Phillies Drive (west – third base); Palmetto Street (north – left field), North Jefferson Avenue (east – right field), Seminole Street (south – first base) – one block directly east of the site of Clearwater Athletic Field.Al Lopez Field (opened 1955)

Occupants – spring training

Chicago White Sox – AL (1955–1959)

Cincinnati Reds – NL (1960–1987)

Occupant – minor league

Tampa Tarpons – FSL (1957–1988)

Location: Tampa – Northeast quadrant of what is now the Raymond James Stadium complex.Tropicana Field (opened 1990) previously Florida Suncoast Dome and Thunderdome

Occupant:

Tampa Bay Rays – American League (1998–present)

Location: St. Petersburg – 1 Tropicana Drive – Stadium Drive and then Interstate 175 (south), 16th Street South and then Interstate 275 (west), Pinellas Trail and then First Avenue (north), parking lots and then 10th Street South (east). Edge of complex is about 10 block straight west of Al Lang Field.George M. Steinbrenner Field (opened 1996)

Occupant – spring training:

New York Yankees – AL (1996–present)

Occupants – minor league:

Tampa Tarpons – FSL (1996–present)

Gulf Coast Yankees – Gulf Coast League (1990–present)

Location: Tampa – 1 Steinbrenner Drive – Immediately northwest of Raymond James Stadium complex, across North Dale Mabry HighwayBright House Field

Occupant – spring training:

Philadelphia Phillies – NL (2004–present)

Occupant – minor league:

Clearwater Threshers – FSL (2004–present)

Location: Clearwater – 601 Old Coachman Road – Just east of where Sharky Road T's into Old Coachman Road

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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