Payne Park

Payne Park is a former baseball field from 1924 to 1990 in Sarasota, Florida. The stadium and field were built on a portion of 60 acres (0.24 km2) of land donated by Calvin Payne and his wife, Martha.[2] Payne Park today is a 29-acre (0.12 km2) public park used for recreational events.

Payne Park
Payne Park is located in Florida
Payne Park
Payne Park
Location within Florida
Address2050 Adams Lane
Sarasota, FL 34237
LocationSarasota, Florida
Coordinates27°20′03″N 82°31′45″W / 27.3340696°N 82.5290683°WCoordinates: 27°20′03″N 82°31′45″W / 27.3340696°N 82.5290683°W
OwnerCity of Sarasota
Field size1924–1962
Left field – 375 ft (114 m)
Center field – 500 ft (150 m)
Right field – 375 ft (114 m)

1963–1990 (Final)
Left field – 352 ft (107 m)
Center field – 415 ft (126 m)
Right field – 352 ft (107 m)[1]
Broke groundOctober 18, 1923
OpenedFebruary 1, 1924
Renovated1950, 1962
ClosedApril 1988
DemolishedNovember 1990
Construction cost$18,000 (1923)
New York Giants (NL)
Sarasota Gulls (FSL)
Sarasota Tarpons (FSL)
Indianapolis Indians (AA)
Boston Red Sox (AL)
Chicago White Sox (AL)
Sarasota Sun Sox (FSL)
Sarasota White Sox (FSL)
1933–1942; 1946–1958


The ballpark was erected in 1924 and was a long time spring training and minor league site for baseball clubs such as the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants. The park ceased its association with professional baseball in 1989 with the construction of Ed Smith Stadium and the ballpark was demolished. Until 1963, the ballpark's dimensions were 375 feet (114 m) down the foul-lines and 500 feet (150 m) to center-field.[3]

The ballpark was refurbished on multiple occasions. Prior to Spring Training 1951, the City of Sarasota added 600 permanent bleachers, increasing capacity to just over 4,000. The size of the press-box was doubled as well.[4]

Norman Rockwell's 1957 painting The Rookie is set in the Red Sox' spring training locker room, which at the time was located at Payne Park.[5]

The White Sox moved their spring training games from Tampa to Sarasota in 1960. Prior to spring training 1963, The City of Sarasota changed the ballpark's dimensions to 352 feet (107 m) down the foul-lines and 415 feet (126 m) to center field to match the White Sox' Comiskey Park dimensions.[6]

The Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers played the last major league spring training game at Payne Park on March 30, 1988.[7][8]

The Sarasota White Sox began play in 1989 at Payne Park.

Payne Park today

Payne Park Hist Marker front
Historical marker located at former stadium location

The City of Sarasota reopened the former ballpark-site as Payne Park on October 6, 2007 as a 29-acre (0.12 km2) public park space. The public park was built at a cost of $8.8 million, funded by a county-wide penny surtax.[9]

It features a public skateboard park, Frisbee golf course, tracks for walking and riding bikes, lakes and a cafe serving lunches and refreshments. In 2012 the city opened the "circus playground," featuring a small waterpark on site.


  1. ^ "Chisox To Find Comiskey-Sized Diamond Feb. 21". Sarasota Journal. 1963-01-17. p. 32.
  2. ^ "Payne Park Historical Marker". 2000 Adams Lane, Sarasota, FL: Sarasota History Alive!. Sarasota County Historical Commission. 1996. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  3. ^ "Chisox to Find Comiskey-Sized Diamond Feb. 21". Sarasota Journal. 1963-01-28. p. 32.
  4. ^ "Bosox Greeted By A Shiny Payne Park". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1951-02-28. p. 1.
  5. ^ Anderson, Chris (May 21, 2014). "Who was the rookie in Norman Rockwell's painting?". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  6. ^ "Sox Here For Sixth Spring". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1965-02-28. p. 2.
  7. ^ Hurley, Paul (March 31, 1988). "Sarasota's Payne Park goes the way of the dinosaur". Poughkeepsie Journal. Poughkeepsie, New York. p. 1D. Retrieved November 4, 2018 – via
  8. ^ Sherman, Ed (March 31, 1988). "Williams hurts ankle, may miss opener". Chicago Tribune. p. 56. Retrieved November 4, 2018 – via
  9. ^ "City Celebrates Payne Park Grand Opening". City of Sarasota. 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2010-07-03.

External links

Al Lopez Field

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In 1988, the Reds moved their spring training home to a new facility in nearby Plant City, Florida, and Al López Field did not host spring training for the first time since 1955. The Tarpons became an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox for the 1988 season and played one more summer at the ballpark. After the season, the White Sox bought the minor league team from its local owners and moved the club to Sarasota, Florida as the Sarasota White Sox, leaving Al López Field without a tenant. The facility was razed in 1989 in the hope of building a larger stadium for a potential major league team at the site, but those plans never came to fruition. Raymond James Stadium was built at the former location of Al López Field in 1998.

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Chicago White Sox

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One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the franchise was established as a major league baseball club in 1901. The club was originally called the Chicago White Stockings, but this was soon shortened to Chicago White Sox. The team originally played home games at South Side Park before moving to Comiskey Park in 1910, where they played until Guaranteed Rate Field (originally known as Comiskey Park and then known as U.S. Cellular Field) opened in 1991.

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Sarasota Reds

The Sarasota Reds were a professional minor league baseball team, located in Sarasota, Florida, as a member of the Florida State League. However team originally started play in Sarasota as the Sarasota White Sox in 1989. They remained in the city for the next 21 seasons, going through a series of name changes due to their affiliation changes. They were known as the White Sox from 1989–1993, as the Sarasota Red Sox from 1994–2004, and the Reds from 2004–2009. In Sarasota, the team played in Payne Park (1989) and then Ed Smith Stadium (1990–2009). They won two division championships, in 1989 and 1992, and made playoff appearances in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, and 2007.

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South West Football League

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The Rookie (painting)

The Rookie or The Rookie (Red Sox Locker Room) is a 1957 painting by American artist Norman Rockwell, painted for the March 2, 1957, cover of The Saturday Evening Post magazine.The painting depicts several Boston Red Sox baseball players in a locker room, joined by an apparent new player who is dressed in street clothes and carrying a suitcase, along with his baseball glove and baseball bat. The painting was sold in a 2014 auction for over twenty million dollars.

The club
Past team ties
Key personnel
World Series
championships (3)
American League
championships (6)
Division championships (5)
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World Series
Championships (9)
Pennants (14)
Division championships (10)
Wild card berths (7)
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Pre-World Series Champions (2)
Temple Cup Champions (1)
World Series Champions (8)
National League
Championships (23)
Division titles (8)
Wild card (3)
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