Bosse Field

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Bosse Field
Bosse Field Lights.jpg
Location 23 Don Mattingly Way
Evansville, Indiana 47711
Owner Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation
Operator Evansville Otters
Capacity 5,181
Field size Left field – 315 ft
Center field – 415 ft
Right field – 315 ft
Surface Bermuda Grass
Construction
Opened June 17, 1915[1][2]
Construction cost $65,000[1]
Tenants
Evansville Otters (FL) (1995–present)
List of previous tenants

Bosse Field is a baseball stadium located in Evansville, Indiana. Opened in 1915, it was the first municipally owned sports stadium in the United States and is the third-oldest ballpark still in regular use for professional baseball, surpassed only by Fenway Park (1912) in Boston and Wrigley Field (1914) in Chicago.[1][2][3][4][5]

It is the home field for the professional minor league Evansville Otters of the independent Frontier League, as well as high school and American Legion games, and in the past hosted spring training for the Detroit Tigers, college baseball, high school, college, and NFL football, college soccer, and concerts.[2][3] Five Baseball Hall of Fame members played for Evansville teams at Bosse Field during their minor league careers, including Chuck Klein, Hank Greenburg, Warren Spahn, Bob Uecker, and Bert Blyleven.[1][3][4][6][7] The historic stadium was also used in 1991 by Columbia Pictures for filming numerous game scenes in the movie A League of Their Own.[5][8]

History[edit]

Benjamin Bosse, mayor of Evansville from 1914 to 1922, reached an agreement with Thomas Garvin's family shortly after taking office in January 1914 to purchase land on the north side of the city for a park. However, the city was in a deficit and could not afford the full $50,000 price. Mayor Bosse conceived of the plan to sell part of the land to the school board who would then build a new stadium to be used for school functions as well as Evansville's baseball team, of which Bosse was a co-owner. When the president of the school board opposed the plan, Bosse had him replaced with a friend, and the new school board both approved the project and also voted to name it Bosse Field in honor of the mayor. Construction was completed the following summer, and Bosse Field opened on June 17, 1915.[9] A Central League record crowd of 8,082 fans attended the stadium dedication and opening game, a 4–0 Evansville victory.[10] Evansville was in third place when they moved to Bosse Field, but went on to win the league championship in 1915.[11]

"If it had not been for his wise and energetic management of the affairs of our city, Garvin's Park would not have been purchased by the city, and this stadium would not have been built. No more fitting name could therefore have been given this stadium than to call it Bosse Field."

—School board member Rev. J.U. Schneider honoring Mayor Bosse at Bosse Field's dedication in 1915[12]

Ten baseball teams other than the Otters have played at Bosse Field. Some of the most famous are the Evansville Triplets (1970–84), Evansville Braves (1946–57), Evas/Pocketeers/Hubs (1919–1931) and the Evansville River Rats (1914–15). The River Rats had played in Evansville previously from (1903–1910) and (1901–1902). The Triplets won the American Association titles in 1972, 1975, and 1979. The River Rats won the Central League title in 1908 and 1915. The Braves won the Three-I League title in 1946, 1948, 1956, and 1957.[1]

From 1921 to 1922, Bosse Field was used as a football stadium and was home to the Evansville Crimson Giants of the NFL.

The Otters franchise came to Evansville in 1995 and have attracted a record number of fans for the league.[13] In 2006 the Otters won the Frontier League title.

Baseball Hall of Fame members Hank Greenberg, Chuck Klein, Edd Roush, Warren Spahn, and Sam Thompson played at Bosse Field during their careers. There have been over 20 Major League Baseball players from Evansville and dozens of Minor Leaguers.

Former/current professional teams[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Sports in Evansville.

Former/current professional teams who have called Bosse Field home, have won a combined 9 league titles.

Team Sport League Played Class Affiliation Championships
Evansville River Rats Baseball Central League 1915 B Central League Title 1915
Evansville Evas Baseball Central League 1916–1917 B None
Evansville Black Sox Baseball Three-I League 1919 B None
Evansville Evas Baseball Three-I League 1920–1923 B None
Evansville Crimson Giants Football National Football League 1921–1922 Major Professional None
Evansville Little Evas Baseball Three-I League 1924 B None
Evansville Pocketeers Baseball Three-I League 1925 B None
Evansville Hubs Baseball Three-I League 1926–1931 B Detroit Tigers, 1928–1931 None
Evansville Bees Baseball Three-I League 1938–1942 B Boston Bees, 1938–1940
Boston Braves, 1940–1942
None
Evansville Braves Baseball Three-I League 1946–1957 B Boston Braves, 1946–1953
Milwaukee Braves, 1953–1957
Three-I League Title 1946, 1948, 1956, 1957
Evansville White Sox Baseball Southern League 1966–1968 AA Chicago White Sox None
Evansville Triplets Baseball American Association 1970–1984 AAA Minnesota Twins, 1970
Milwaukee Brewers, 1971–1973
Detroit Tigers, 1974–1984
American Association Title 1972, 1975, 1979
Evansville Otters Baseball Frontier League 1995–present Independent Frontier League Title 2006

Concerts[edit]

  • July 2, 1972: Freedom Festival and Ice Cream Social with Ike & Tina Turner Revue, Edgar Winter, Dr. John 'The Night Tripper', Cactus, Black Oak Arkansas, Spirit, Country Joe & The Fish, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Boones Farm and New Riders of the Purple Sage[14][15][16][17]
  • August 20, 1974: Allman Brothers Band, Elvin Bishop, REO Speedwagon[14][18][19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Bosse Field Facts". Evansville Otters. Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  2. ^ a b c Ethridge, Tim (2015-03-08). "ETHRIDGE: 100 on 100, the history of Bosse Field". Evansville Courier & Press. Archived from the original on 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  3. ^ a b c Engelhardt, Gordon (2015-06-17). "Bosse Field a comfortable Evansville fixture for 100 years". Evansville Courier & Press. Archived from the original on 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  4. ^ a b Engelhardt, Gordon (2014-08-02). "Bosse Field still shines after all these years". Evansville Courier & Press. Archived from the original on 2016-02-20. Retrieved 2016-02-20. 
  5. ^ a b "Bosse Field". Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Archived from the original on 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  6. ^ "BOSSE FIELD: The all-time Evansville team". Evansville Courier & Press. 2015-04-29. Archived from the original on 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  7. ^ "Can you name Bosse Field's 100 Hall of Famers?". Evansville Courier & Press. 2015-05-19. Archived from the original on 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  8. ^ "A League of Their Own". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  9. ^ Bosse, Jeff (2015-04-29). "BOSSE FIELD: Ben Bosse's grand idea". Evansville Courier & Press. Archived from the original on 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2016-02-18. 
  10. ^ "BOSSE FIELD: Opening Day, 1915". Evansville Courier & Press. 2015-06-15. Archived from the original on 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2016-02-18. 
  11. ^ Johnson, Dave (2015-05-20). "BOSSE FIELD: Evansville's first home run". Evansville Courier & Press. Archived from the original on 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2016-02-18. 
  12. ^ "BOSSE FIELD: Loving Cup on opening day". Evansville Courier & Press. 2015-06-14. Archived from the original on 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2016-02-18. 
  13. ^ "Frontier League History". Frontier Professional Baseball. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  14. ^ a b Ethridge, Tim (2015-04-29). "BOSSE FIELD: It rocked, good and bad". Evansville Courier & Press. Archived from the original on 2016-02-19. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  15. ^ "Rock concert could draw 25,000". Evansville Press. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  16. ^ "The San Francisco Sound". Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  17. ^ "A Timeline". Country Joe's Place. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  18. ^ "Allman Brothers, Bishop coming". Evansville Press. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  19. ^ "Classic Rock Concerts". Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  20. ^ "Set Lists". Allman Brothers Band. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Falconi Field
Host of the FL All-Star Game
Bosse Field

2006
Succeeded by
Champion Window Field

Coordinates: 37°59′34″N 87°33′44″W / 37.99278°N 87.56222°W / 37.99278; -87.56222