Municipal Stadium (Hagerstown)

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Municipal Stadium
Location 274 Memorial Boulevard East
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Coordinates 39°37′58″N 77°42′45″W / 39.63278°N 77.71250°W / 39.63278; -77.71250Coordinates: 39°37′58″N 77°42′45″W / 39.63278°N 77.71250°W / 39.63278; -77.71250
Broke ground March 13, 1930[1]
Opened May 8, 1930[1]
Renovated 1981, 1995
Owner City of Hagerstown
Operator Hagerstown Baseball, LLC
Surface Grass
Capacity 4,600
Field size Left Field: 335 feet
Center Field: 400 feet
Right Field: 330 feet
Tenants
Hagerstown Suns (SAL) (1981–present)

Municipal Stadium is a stadium in Hagerstown, Maryland, United States. It is primarily used for baseball, and is the home field of the Hagerstown Suns minor league baseball team. It was built in 1930 in a short time period of six weeks. It holds 4,600 people. On June 28, 1983, Municipal Stadium hosted the Class A Carolina League All-Star Game, in which the South Division defeated the North Division, 5–2.[2] In 2005 a movement arose to rename an adjacent street to honor Willie Mays, who played his first game at the park as a minor league rookie. The proposal, however, was shot down due to protests by various American war veterans groups who wanted to keep the original road name of Memorial Boulevard.[3]

Municipal Stadium entrance showing ticket booth and press box at top of stands.

Historical Plaques[edit]

Around the base of the stands are several plaques commemorating historical baseball events in Hagerstown.

George H.W. Bush at Municipal Stadium[edit]

In 1990 as a sitting president, George H.W. Bush enjoyed a Hagerstown Suns game at Municipal Stadium. Although he later visited the Frederick Keys for two games at their stadium, the visit to the Suns game was the first for a minor league baseball team.

Jim Palmer at Municipal Stadium[edit]

Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer spent a week with the Hagerstown Suns on a rehabilitation assignment in 1983. Palmer pitched for the Orioles from 1965 to 1984 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990.

Amateur Baseball in Municipal Stadium[edit]

Since its construction in 1930, Municipal Stadium has hosted countless high school, American Legion and semi-pro games.

The Negro Leagues at Municipal Stadium[edit]

Hagerstown's Municipal Stadium hosted several games featuring Negro League teams during the first decade and a half of its existence. Among the Negro League teams that played in Hagerstown were the Indianapolis Clowns, Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords.

The Hagerstown Owls (1941-1949)[edit]

From 1941 to 1949, the Hagerstown Owls played in the Class B Interstate League and called Hagerstown's Municipal Stadium home.

The Hagerstown Braves (1950-1953)[edit]

In 1950, the Hagerstown entry in the Class B Interstate League was sold and was renamed the Hagerstown Braves. The Hagerstown Braves remained in existence from the 1950 season through the 1953 season. The Braves won one championship with the Interstate League in 1952.

Hall of Famers in Hagerstown[edit]

A number of major league Hall of Fame inductees have played in Hagerstown. From 1915 to 1931, the Hagerstown Hubs played in the Class-D Blue Ridge League, which featured teams from the towns surrounding the Blue Ridge Mountains - including Hagerstown, Frederick, Martinsburg, Chambersburg, and Waynesboro. The Hubs played their games in Willow Lane Park, where Bester Elementary School is now located. The league featured several greats from the early years of baseball, such as Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove and Lewis "Hack" Wilson. Willie Mays played his first professional game at Hagerstown's Municipal Stadium on June 24, 1950. On that historical day, the Trenton Giants played against the Hagerstown Braves of the Class-B Interstate League.

Hagerstown Suns Hall of Fame[edit]

On the underside of the first base stands is the Hagerstown Suns Hall of Fame. For each member there is a commemorative plaque.

  • Grady Little, manager for the Suns only league championship in 1981. Inducted April 13, 2009.
  • Matt Cain, pitcher for the Suns who later threw a perfect game for the San Francisco Giants. Inducted April 13, 2009.
  • Mike Mussina, pitcher for the Suns who was later inducted in the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame. Inducted April 13, 2009.
  • Vernon Wells, South Atlantic League All Star in 1998, three time major league all-star, second all time in Toronto Blue Jays hits, home runs, doubles, runs, runs batted in, and total bases. Inducted April 13, 2009.
  • Bryce Harper, youngest position player ever selected to play in a major league all-star game. Inducted August 4, 2012.
  • Carol Gehr, Rawlings 2008 Woman Executive of the Year for all of Major and Minor League Baseball. Inducted August 27, 2010.
  • Michael Young, Suns career leader in games played in a single season and seven time major league all star. Inducted April 8, 2010.
  • Brady Anderson, outfielder who is one of only three major league players to hit 50 home runs and steal 50 bases in a season and a member of the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame. Inducted April 8, 2010.
  • Jim Palmer, Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher also honored with a separate historical plaque. Inducted April 8, 2010.
  • Brian Wilson, pitcher whose only three professional starts were in Hagerstown; holder of San Francisco Giants record for saves in a single season. Inducted August 6, 2011.

Municipal Stadium Wall of Fame[edit]

The right field wall at Municipal Stadium honors four individuals.

  • 24: Honoring Willie Mays, mentioned as one of the Hall of Fame players in a separate plaque.
  • 50: Honoring John Henry Moss, president of the South Atlantic League for 50 years. The number 50 has been retired throughout the South Atlantic League.
  • Adenhart: Honoring Nick Adenhart, a major league player from Washington County, Maryland where Hagerstown is located, who died on April 9, 2009 in a car accident.
  • MRA: Mitchell Ronald Akers, a Hagerstown Sun employee who died in an accident at Municipal Stadium on April 11, 2012.

Large Crowds at Municipal Stadium[edit]

  • August 10, 1983, Hagerstown Suns versus Durham Bulls, rehabilitation start for Jim Palmer (6,192)[4]
  • May 14, 2010, Hagerstown Suns versus West Virginia Power, largest crowd of 2010 season (5,822)[5]
  • April 15, 2011, Hagerstown Suns versus Lakewood BlueClaws, 2011 Season Home Opener, debut of Bryce Harper (6,017)[6]
  • August 7, 2011, Hagerstown Suns versus Greensboro Grasshoppers, Stephen Strasburg rehabilitation start (6,000+)[7]

Tenants[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ballparks of the Negro Leagues and Barnstorming Black Baseball Teams
  2. ^ "2014 Carolina League Media Guide and Record Book". Carolina League. 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ Daemmrich, JoAnna (May 5, 2005). "Md. City's Tribute to Mays Fouls Out". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ Wulf, Steve (August 15, 1983). "Biggest Bird In The Bushes". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Suns Shut Down Power 3-1". Minor League Baseball. May 14, 2010. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  6. ^ Cannon, John (April 16, 2011). "Clamoring to Watch This Sun Rise". The Frederick News-Post. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  7. ^ Pentis, Andrew (August 7, 2011). "Strasburg Solid in First Rehab Start". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]