Tinker Field

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For the US Air Force Base in Oklahoma originally known as "Tinker Field", see Tinker Air Force Base.
Tinker Field
Tinkerafterreconstruction.jpg
Tinker Field, ca. 1964
Tinker Field is located in Florida
Tinker Field
Location 1610 West Church Street, Orlando, Florida 32805
Coordinates 28°32′20″N 81°24′16″W / 28.53889°N 81.40444°W / 28.53889; -81.40444Coordinates: 28°32′20″N 81°24′16″W / 28.53889°N 81.40444°W / 28.53889; -81.40444
Public transit Lynx
Owner City of Orlando
Capacity 1,500 (1914)
5,014 (1964)
Field size Left Field340 ft (100 m)
Center Field425 ft (130 m)
Right Field320 ft (98 m)
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground 1914
Opened 1914
Renovated 1923
1963[1][2]
Construction cost $50,000
($1.18 million in 2014 dollars[3])
Tenants
Orlando Caps (FSL) (1919-1920)
Orlando Tigers (FSL) (1921)
Orlando Bulldogs (FSL) (1922-1924)
Cincinnati Reds (NL) (spring training) (1923-1933)
Orlando Colts (FSL) (1926-1928)
Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) (spring training) (1934-1935)
Washington Senators (AL) (spring training) (1936-1942 and 1946-1960)
Orlando Gulls (FSL) (1937)
Orlando Senators (FSL) (1938-1941 and 1946-1953)
Orlando Seratomas (FSL) (1956)
Orlando Flyers (FSL) (1957-1958)
Orlando Dodgers (FSL) (1959-1961)
Minnesota Twins (AL) (spring training) (1961-1990)
Orlando Twins (FSL) (1963-1972)
Orlando Twins/SunRays/Cubs/Rays (SL) (1973-1999)
Orlando Juice (SPBA) (1989-1990)
Pine Castle Christian Academy Eagles (2006)
FCC Suns (NCCAA) (2012-Present)
Tinker Field
Tinkerfield1950s.jpg
Tinker Field in the 1950's, pre-renovation
Location Orlando, Florida
Area Downtown Orlando
Built 1914
Governing body City of Orlando
NRHP Reference # 04000456
Added to NRHP May 14, 2004

Tinker Field is an outdoor-baseball stadium in Orlando, Florida, USA. It is named after baseball Hall of Famer, Joe Tinker. Tinker Field is located in Downtown Orlando, in proximity to the Citrus Bowl, Amway Center, and the soon to be constructed Orlando City Stadium.

Constructed in 1914, Tinker Field was the spring training home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Senators, and the Minnesota Twins. It was also the home park of the Orlando Rays minor league baseball team before they moved to Cracker Jack Stadium in 2000. It is located directly adjacent to the western side of the Citrus Bowl, at 1610 West Church Street, and boasts a capacity of 5,100 people. Due to the reconstruction of the Citrus Bowl, the fate of Tinker Field is currently unknown.

History[edit]

The field first saw use for baseball in 1914, the first known stadium built on the site was in 1923, It was all wood construction and seated 1,500. For the next ten years the Cincinnati Reds would call Tinker field their spring training home til 1933. The Brooklyn Dodgers trained there in 1934 and 1935. In 1936 Clark Griffith moved the Washington Senators to Orlando where the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins would train until after the 1990 season.[4] The stadium was rebuilt again in 1963. When Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. was demolished, nearly 1,000 of the stadium's seats were moved to Tinker Field, where they remain today.[5] The Old press box next to the home side dugout is the original press box and can be seen in photo's as early as the 1920's.

On May 14, 2004, Tinker Field was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. One of the most historical events to take place at Tinker Field was the visit from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964. He spoke before thousands of people from the pitchers mound in his only visit ever to Orlando.[6]

Future[edit]

Tinker Field may be refurbished or redeveloped possibly as part of the refurbishment of the Citrus Bowl. Although some plans for "Downtown Master Plan 3", a redevelopment plan for that section of Orlando, suggest tearing down Tinker Field, such plans would prove difficult given its status on the National Register of Historic Places.[7]

In both 2011 and 2012 Tinker field was and is being used as the home to Insomnaics Electric Daisy Carnival Orlando, Florida festival which features two days of DJ's, carnival rides, and other events held inside of the stadium.[8]

On January 28, 2014, during the groundbreaking of the rebuild for the new Citrus Bowl it was announced that Tinker Field will be destroyed. The reasons cited were that the expansion of the Citrus Bowl will shorten right field to make it unusable,even if it was renovated. Also, the stadium still utilizes the original plumbing from the 1923 stadium and overflows into the home dugout constantly. The city council made suggestions to build a miniature 500-650 seat replica of the original Tinker Field next door at McCracken Field, the long time training field of Tinker.[9] In February 2014, it was announced that Tinker Field will not be destroyed and plans for saving the structure were in the works. Exact plans for the stadium are currently unknown.

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