Thursday, May 25, 2006

From Davis Barker Found in TSN, April 25, 1935

From Davis Barker: Found in The Sporting News, April 25, 1935

The following Davis Barker found on the Portsmouth, Ohio ballpark.  Its dimensions are equal distance from home plate at 349 feet.  Davis has never come across such a ballpark, but I know of three: Venice Park in the early PCL, the Sunset League park in Las Vegas, and now this park.  

Portsmouth, O., Dedication, May 8

$40,000 Ball Park Will Be Thrown Open on First Day of Season

Portsmouth, O.— After an absence of 20 years, Portsmouth will make an elaborate re-entrance in Organized Ball as a member of the Middle Atlantic League, May 8.  On that date, the new $40,000 ball park will be dedicated, with the Huntington team here as guests for the opener.

From 1905 to 1915, Portsmouth was the backbone of the old Ohio State League and it is quite a coincidence that the club was moved here from Springfield, O., because the present club representing this city likewise was moved here from Springfield.  Alex Pisula, owner of the Pirates, as the team is known, found the city most receptive when he decided to pull away from Springfield, where he had operated in 1933 and 1934, with the result that the municipality got behind the park project, which will be the best in the league.

The grandstand, seating 3,000, is of brick, while the field is surrounded with a solid brick wall, nine feet-high.  The plant will be quite a novelty, in that the fence is of semi-circular construction from left field to right field, making every part of the enclosure exactly 349 feet from the plate [italics mine].

The grandstand, in addition to its large seating capacity, has 248 box seats.  Every conceivable convenience for fans and players has been provided.  The club rooms under the stands are equipped with rubbing tables and six shower baths.  Accommodations for the women have not been overlooked, for, besides a tiled rest room, there will be a ladies’ parlor, completely equipped with lounging chairs and tables.

The chamber of commerce will have complete charge of the dedicatory exercises on opening day.  To that end invitations have been sent to several of the baseball dignitaries of the nation.  F. W. SHERIDAN

The May 8 dedication was also Picasso’s birthday, though I doubt they opened the park on that day to honor him.  It might have made a unique promotion, none-the-less.  


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