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
Owner City of Hagerstown
Operator Hagerstown Baseball, LLC
Capacity 4,600
Field size Left Field: 335 feet
Center Field: 400 feet
Right Field: 330 feet
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground March 13, 1930[1]
Opened May 8, 1930[1]
Renovated 1954, 1981, 1995
Construction cost $14,000[2]
($198 thousand in 2014 dollars[3])
Architect J.B. Ferguson Company
Tenants
Hagerstown Suns (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.

Image Gallery[edit]

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 historic 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 35, pitcher for the Suns who later threw a perfect game for the San Francisco Giants. Inducted April 13, 2009.
  • Mike Mussina 21, pitcher for the Suns who was later inducted in the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame. Inducted April 13, 2009.
  • Vernon Wells 24, 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 34, 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 3, Suns career leader in games played in a single season and seven time major league all star. Inducted April 8, 2010.
  • Brady Anderson 9, 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 22, Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher also honored with a separate historical plaque. Inducted April 8, 2010.
  • Brian Wilson 38, 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]

Portion of plaque displaying likeness of John Henry Moss at Municipal Stadium

The right field wall at Municipal Stadium honors five individuals.

  • 24: Honoring Willie Mays, mentioned as one of the Hall of Fame players in a separate plaque.
  • 42: Honoring Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era. His number has been retired throughout all professional baseball.
  • 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. A separate plaque is on display at Municipal Stadium.
  • 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 Suns 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]

*April 15, 2011: Hagerstown Suns versus Lakewood BlueClaws, 2011 Season Home Opener, debut of Bryce Harper (6,107)[5][6]

*August 7, 2011: Hagerstown Suns versus Greensboro Grasshoppers, Stephen Strasburg rehabilitation start (6,758)[7][8]

Other events[edit]

Besides professional baseball, Municipal Stadium has hosted numerous other events.

  • Hagerstown High School Hubs football[9]
  • Semi-professional football (Hagerstown Merchants)[10]
  • Carnivals[11]
  • Turtle Derby[12]
  • Professional wrestling[13]
  • Amateur baseball[14]
  • Model aircraft competitions[15]
  • Youth football[16]
  • Professional boxing[17]
  • Drum and bugle corps competition[18]
  • Youth baseball[19]
  • Hagerstown Junior/Community College baseball[20]
  • Music concerts[21]
  • Dog Show[22]
  • Women's professional softball[23]
  • Club soccer[24]
  • Barnstorming baseball teams of the Negro Leagues[25]


Other Important Dates at Municipal Stadium[edit]

Besides those dates listed above, there were other important dates at Municipal Stadium.

*May 8, 1930:The Hagerstown Hubs hosted the first professional baseball game at Municipal Stadium.[26] The Hubs defeated the Frederick Warriors 14-6 before a crowd of 1,400 fans.[27]

*August 12, 1930: The first night game was played at Municipal Stadium pitting Hagerstown against Frederick. The American Daylight Company installed the lights in five days for a cost of $8,000[28]($113 thousand in 2014 dollars[3]). A standing room only crowd estimated between 2,500 and 3,000 saw the Hubs defeat the Warriors 9 to 6.[29]

*June 19, 1931: The Hubs defeated the Clarksburg Generals by a score of 7 to 2. [30] After playing some road games, the Hubs debuted as the Parkers on June 28 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, leaving Municipal Stadium bereft of a professional baseball team. [31]

*May 2, 1941: After a decade absence, professional baseball returned to Hagerstown and Municipal Stadium when the Hagerstown Owls played their opening home game against the Harrisburg Senators.[32] The Owls defeated the Senators by a 9-6 score with over 2,000 fans in attendance.[33]

*September 3, 1949: In the first game of a doubleheader, the York White Roses defeated the Hagerstown Owls by a 3-2 score in a 23 inning Inter-State League contest. The game was completed in 4 hours and 25 minutes before a crowd of 560 fans. The second game was postponed.[34]

*February 1, 1950: The Hagerstown Field Athletic Association, the group which originally constructed Municipal Stadium, transferred ownership of the facility to the City of Hagerstown.[35] The facility, previously just known as the Stadium would henceforth be referred to as Municipal Stadium.

*September 21, 1952: Before a crowd of 1,606, the Braves won the Interstate League championship as pitcher Bob Giggie tossed a five-hit shutout against the Lancaster Red Roses, winning 4-0. The Braves won the championship series, 4 games to 2.[36]

*April 21, 1954: A new upgraded lighting system is installed. The band from Woodland Way Junior High School gave a concert to mark the occasion.[37]

*September 12, 1955: The Hagerstown Packets played the last two home games of the 1955 season, splitting a double header with the Lancaster Red Roses. The Packets won the first game by a 5 to 1 score, while the Red Roses won the second game by a score of 6 to 2.[38] It would be the last professional baseball game at Municipal Stadium for over a quarter century.

*April 29, 1961: Fire destroyed the old wooden grandstand of Municipal Stadium. The flames razed the 900 seat grandstand, as well as the dressing room, refreshment stand, press box and offices located beneath the grandstand. A contributing factor to the blaze was the fact that the nearest fire hydrants were 750 feet away.[39] Charles William Redmond, Jr. confessed to setting fire to the stadium when he was arrested for burglary and arson of radio station WHAG in Hagerstown on August 14, 1962.[40]

*April 10, 1981: After a hiatus of over two decades, professional baseball returned to Municipal Stadium with the debut of the Hagerstown Suns. The game was attended by 2,643 fans. The installation of new lights was incomplete, forcing the game to be played in the afternoon. Dane Anthony pitched a complete game in a 6-2 victory for the Suns over the Peninsula Pilots.[41]

*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, before a crowd of 1,043.[42] This is the only time Municipal Stadium hosted a minor league All-Star Game.

*April 15, 1985: The Hagerstown Suns played their parent club Baltimore Orioles in an exhibition game.[43]

*July 16, 1988: The 1988 USA baseball team played an exhibition game at Municipal Stadium. Team USA played Team Taiwan (Chinese-Taipei) in the contest, giving Hagerstown fans the opportunity to see both teams before the Olympics began. The USA team won the game by a 10-2 score and would go on to win the Gold Medal at the Olympics.[44]

*May 3, 2003: Clay Hensley threw the only perfect game in Hagerstown Suns history and the only perfect game at Municipal Stadium. Hensley accomplished the feat against the Kannapolis Intimidators in the second game of a doubleheader, winning 2-0. No balls were hit out of the infield.[45]

*June 19, 2005: Pitcher Gaby Hernandez's 115-pitch no-hitter in a 1–0 win over the West Virginia Power on June 19 set up a one-game playoff between the Suns and Lexington Legends on June 25 for the South Atlantic League Northern Division first-half crown. In the one game playoff on June 26, the Suns defeated the Legends, 9–4, with Hernandez again taking the mound and the win.[46]

*July 22, 2011: A light pole fell onto the baseball field at Municipal Stadium during a storm, causing the cancellation of the Hagerstown Suns' game against the Augusta GreenJackets. The pole fell between the end of the bleachers and the picnic area on the third-base side of the field. The pole crushed a section of chain-link fence and came to rest on the playing field just behind third base. There were no injuries. The Hagerstown Light Department made repairs. The Suns were able to play the next day.[47]

*September 13, 2014: The fifth and deciding game of the South Atlantic League championship series was played. The Southern Division Asheville Tourists defeated the Northern Division Hagerstown Suns by a 4-1 score, winning the series three games to two.[48]

Effort to Rename Memorial Boulevard[edit]

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.[49]

Tenants[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ballparks of the Negro Leagues and Barnstorming Black Baseball Teams
  2. ^ "Drive Launched for Funds for Local Stadium". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). March 18, 1930. 
  3. ^ a b Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  4. ^ Wulf, Steve (August 15, 1983). "Biggest Bird In The Bushes". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  5. ^ Cannon, John (April 16, 2011). "Clamoring to Watch This Sun Rise". The Frederick News-Post. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Scoreboard Box Score Lakewood Blueclaws at Hagerstown Suns". April 15, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  7. ^ Pentis, Andrew (August 7, 2011). "Strasburg Solid in First Rehab Start". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Scoreboard Box Score Greensboro Grasshoppers at Hagerstown Suns (2nd game)". August 7, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Hubs Favored in Turkey Day Classic Here". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). November 22, 1950. 
  10. ^ "Merchants Top Front Royal for Second Straight, 13-0". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). November 9, 1950. 
  11. ^ "20th Annual Cedar Carnival". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). July 11, 1958. 
  12. ^ "Let's All Go See Hagerstown's Great Turtle Derby". The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). June 9, 1950. 
  13. ^ "Stage Set for Big Wrestling Card at the Stadium Tonite". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). July 15, 1931. 
  14. ^ "North, South Stars to Meet". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). July 22, 1959. 
  15. ^ "Exchange Club's Model Aircraft Contest On June 4 At The Municipal Stadium". The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). May 21, 1955. 
  16. ^ "Junior Football League Opens Here". The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). September 6, 1966. 
  17. ^ Kelly, Dick (June 6, 1953). "Spotlight on Sports". The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). 
  18. ^ "Youngsters Collapse On Field". The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). July 21, 1962. 
  19. ^ "Legion In Upset: Morris Frock "9" Spills Frederick". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). July 11, 1957. 
  20. ^ "Hawks and Smitties in Home Games". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). April 22, 1959. 
  21. ^ "Rock Concert". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). August 28, 1971. 
  22. ^ "Dog Show". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). September 6, 1957. 
  23. ^ "The Civitan Club of Hagerstown, Maryland Presents The Arcade Pontiacs of Washington D.C. vs. Loyal Order of Moose of Hagerstown, Md.". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). August 26, 1949. 
  24. ^ "Game at Stadium". The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). March 3, 1962. 
  25. ^ "Funfest: Clowns at Stadium Tonight". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). May 28, 1959. 
  26. ^ Coley, Frank (May 3, 1930). "Between You and Me". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). 
  27. ^ "Hubs Bat Out Victory in Opening Game of Season", The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland), May 9, 1930 
  28. ^ "Night Baseball Game On Tap at the Stadium Tonight". The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). August 12, 1930. 
  29. ^ Colley, Frank (August 13, 1930). "2,500 Fans See Night Baseball Game". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). 
  30. ^ "Cambria and Griff to Confer on Fate of Hagerstown". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). June 20, 1931. 
  31. ^ "Parkersburg Supplants Hagerstown in League". Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, West Virginia). June 28, 1931. 
  32. ^ "Stage is Set for Opening Battle Here: Harrisburg to Meet Owls in Opening Game Tonight", The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland), May 2, 1941 
  33. ^ "Another Victory Tonite and the Owls Will Be Even", The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland), May 3, 1941 
  34. ^ Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Baseball America. 2007. p. 754. 
  35. ^ "Hagerstown Baseball Club Will Make Improvements at Stadium". The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). February 1, 1950. 
  36. ^ "Braves Shut Out Lancaster 4-0, Win Governor's Cup". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). September 22, 1952. 
  37. ^ ""Open House" at Municipal Stadium". The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). April 21, 1954. 
  38. ^ "Packets Close Season With Almost Same Record As Last Year's Club", The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland), September 13, 1955 
  39. ^ "Fire Destroys Old Grandstand at Municipal Stadium". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland). May 1, 1961. 
  40. ^ "Confessed Arsonist Held In $5,000 Bond; Will Get Exam; Deputy Tells Capture Story". The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). August 16, 1962. 
  41. ^ Spadden, Zach. "Year of the Suns". Hagerstown Magazine: The Best of Life in Washington County and Beyond. RidgeRunner Publishing, LLC. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  42. ^ "2014 Carolina League Media Guide and Record Book". Carolina League. 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Hagerstown Suns 35: Honoring Your Tradition". Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  44. ^ "1988 National Team Schedule and Results". USA Baseball. 1988. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Hensley Achieves Perfection". Baseball America. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  46. ^ "South Atlantic League Notebook for June 22, 2005". 
  47. ^ "Light pole falls at Municipal Stadium, Suns' game canceled". The Herald-Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). 22 July 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  48. ^ Perlstein, Eli (September 13, 2014). "Suns finish runner-up for second straight year following 4-1 loss". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  49. ^ Daemmrich, JoAnna (May 5, 2005). "Md. City's Tribute to Mays Fouls Out". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]