Athletic Park (Wausau)

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The newly renovated stadium May 31, 2014
Athletic Park
Location 324 E. Wausau Ave. Wausau, WI 54403[1]
Coordinates 44° 58' 28.74 N 89° 37' 34.91 W
Owner Mark McDonald
Capacity 2500 (1946), 4400 (1951), 2500 (1987),[2] 7000 (2013)[3]
Field size 316-360-316[4]
Surface Grass
Construction
Built 1936
Opened 1936
Expanded 2013, 2015
Tenants
Wisconsin Woodchucks (1994-Present)
Wausau Timbers (1979-1990)
Wausau Mets (1975-1978)
Wausau Lumberjacks (1956-57; 1946-1949; 1936-1942)
Wausau Timberjacks (1950-53)

Athletic Park is a baseball stadium located in Wausau, Wisconsin. It is the home field of the Wisconsin Woodchucks baseball team of the summer collegiate Northwoods League. It hosted Wausau Minor League teams during 36 seasons between 1936-1990.

History[edit]

Athletic Park was built in 1936. It sits in a residential area, just north of downtown Wausau, with a stone wall around the perimeter.[5] The park was the home of the Wausau Timbers of the Class-A Midwest League until 1990. Additions during the era included a roof in 1950, concessions in 1977, and clubhouses in 1981. It held seating for 3,850 people.

After the 1990 season, the Wausau Timbers moved to Geneva, Illinois and became the Kane County Cougars. The ballpark has hosted the Wisconsin Woodchucks of the summer collegiate Northwoods League beginning in 1994.[6]

Athletic Park was the home of Wausau East, Wausau West, and Wausau Newman high school baseball teams during the 1990s.

Between the 2013 and 2014 seasons, the ballpark underwent major renovations. The grandstand was demolished and replaced with a handicapped accessible one, including an elevator to the three levels. The new stadium opened May 30, 2014 for the Woodchucks home opener, which they lost, 6-4. The renovations were estimated at 2.7 million dollars.[7] More took place in Phase II of 2015-2016 construction, with further improvements totaling 6.5 million dollars.[8]

Professional baseball[edit]

Professional baseball Wausau teams that have played at Athletic Park include: the Wausau Lumberjacks (1936-1942, 1946-1949, 1956–57), the Wausau Timberjacks (1950–1953), the Wausau Mets (1975-1978), and the Wausau Timbers (1979-1990).[2] The teams were affiliated with the following major league franchises: the Cleveland Indians (1936 1937, 1942), the Philadelphia Phillies (1940–1941), the St. Louis Browns (1947–1949), the Detroit Tigers (1951–1953), the Cincinnati Reds (1956–1957), the New York Mets (1975-1978), Co-op (1979-1980), the Seattle Mariners (1981-1989), and the Baltimore Orioles (1990).[9][10]

The Wausau teams were members of the following professional Minor Leagues: the Northern League (1936-1942, 1956–1957), the Wisconsin State League (1946-1953), and the Midwest League (1975-1990).[9][10]

1981 Midwest League Championship[edit]

The 1981 the Wausau Timbers finished 84-48 and defeated the Quad City Cubs for the Midwest League Championship at Athletic Park. The team was managed by Bill Plummer and had future MLB players Ivan Calderon, Darnell Coles, Edwin Nunez, Jim Presley, and Harold Reynolds on the roster.[9][10]

Notable players[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ballpark - Wisconsin Woodchucks : Wisconsin Woodchucks". Northwoodsleague.com. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  2. ^ a b "Athletic Park Minor League History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  3. ^ "Stadium Renovation - Wisconsin Woodchucks : Wisconsin Woodchucks". Northwoodsleague.com. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  4. ^ "Athletic Park (Wausau) - Baseball Fields | iSport.com". Baseball.isport.com. 2010-07-15. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  5. ^ Brian Gardner / gardnerphotos.com (2014-08-01). "Athletic Park, Home of the Wisconsin Woodchucks #2". Mn Artists. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  6. ^ "Wisconsin Woodchucks - Get Ready for the Show! : Wisconsin Woodchucks". Northwoodsleague.com. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  7. ^ "$2.7M Athletic Park renovation plan announced Tuesday - News - WSAU News/Talk 550AM 99.9FM". Wsau.com. 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  8. ^ "Second Phase Of Athletic Park Renovations Set". Ballpark Digest. 2015-04-16. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  9. ^ a b c "1981 Midwest League". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  10. ^ a b c "1981 Wausau Timbers - Midwest League". Thebaseballcube.com. Archived from the original on 2016-02-25. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
The old color
The new color

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°58′28″N 89°37′36″W / 44.974475°N 89.626585°W / 44.974475; -89.626585