Holman Stadium (Nashua)
|Historic Holman Stadium|
|Owner||City of Nashua|
|Capacity||Baseball – 4,000|
|Field size||Left Field: 307 ft
Center Field: 401 ft
Right Field: 315 ft
|Opened||September 23, 1937|
|Nashua Silver Knights (Futures Collegiate Baseball League) (2011–present)
American Defenders of New Hampshire (Can-Am League) (2009)
Nashua Pride (Atlantic League/Can-Am League) (1998–2008)
Nashua Hawks (North Atlantic League) (1995–1996)
Nashua Pirates (Eastern League) (1984–1986)
Nashua Angels (Eastern League)
Nashua Dodgers (New England League) (1946–1949)
Holman Stadium is a baseball stadium in Nashua, New Hampshire. It was constructed in 1937, as a multi-purpose stadium, by the City of Nashua. The official seating capacity is 4,000 people. Holman is currently the home of the Nashua Silver Knights of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
The stadium is named for Charles Frank Holman, who contributed $55,000 for the project. Holman Stadium, which also was funded by the federal Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, was dedicated to the youth and people of Nashua in memory of Holman's parents. Philip S. Avery, a Nashua native, was the architect. The original Holman Stadium was a plain seating bowl in which fans sat on bleachers and concrete steps. It was used for baseball and football. The stadium has hosted concerts by many famous artists, including Elvis Costello, The J. Geils Band, Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Warren Zevon, The Beach Boys, David Cassidy, and Whitney Houston, among others. In 1996, the stadium was a site for celebrations along the Olympic Torch Relay route.
The city-owned stadium was home to several minor-league affiliates of Major League Baseball organizations, beginning with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Nashua Dodgers were managed by Walter Alston. Holman hosted the first integrated U.S. baseball team in the modern era when Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe played for the Nashua Dodgers in 1946.
After the Dodgers' four-year run, baseball did not return to Holman Stadium until 1983, at the double-A level: an affiliate of the California Angels for one year, then the Pittsburgh Pirates. While home to the Nashua Pirates in 1985, Holman Stadium hosted the Eastern League All-Star Game.
The unaffiliated Nashua Hawks of the North Atlantic League played at Holman Stadium in the mid-1990s, until its mid-season eviction for nonpayment of rent.
In 1998, Holman Stadium became home to the Nashua Pride of the independent Atlantic League. The Pride acquired turquoise-colored stadium seating from Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The Pride's pre-emption of dates from high-school football became a focus of neighborhood opposition, but eventually, the city built Stellos Stadium for football.
Between the 2001 and 2002 seasons, the stadium was upgraded generally: The open-air desks in the brick press box were raised, enclosed and modernized; a new level of luxury boxes was built above it, the concourse outside the seating bowl was upgraded with a ticket office and gift shop, and the business offices were upgraded. In 2003, Holman Stadium hosted the Atlantic League All-Star Game.
In 2006, the Pride switched to the Can-Am League with its shorter season, and in 2008, the team was sold and renamed the American Defenders of New Hampshire. The Defenders played a single season in 2009, concluded on the road because of non-payments to the city; in 2010, the team moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts to become the Pittsfield Colonials.
In 2011, the Nashua Silver Knights brought baseball back to Holman Stadium. In 2012, Holman Stadium hosted the inaugural FCBL All-Star Game. The former football bleachers, down the left-field line, were removed, reducing the stadium's capacity from 4,375 to the current 4,000; the football press box remains but is now used as a storage shed.
Baseball clubs at Holman Stadium compete with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in Manchester (double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays); and with the Lowell Spinners (single-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox), which owned and operated the Nashua Silver Knights until 2016.
- "All-Stars here July 15". Nashua Telegraph. 1985-04-18. p. A9. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
- "Two minor league teams fight for local money, fans". New Hampshire Business Journal. 2004-05-10. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- Daly, Steve. 2002. Dem Little Bums. Concord, NH: Plaidswede Publishing Co. ISBN 0-9626832-4-8
- Nashua History Committee. 1977. The Nashua Experience: History in the Making, 1673–1978. Concord NH: Phoenix Publishing (see pp. 230–231).
- Roper, Scott C., and Stephanie Abbot Roper. 1998. "'We're Going to Give All We Have for this Grand Little Town': Baseball Integration and the 1946 Nashua Dodgers." Historical New Hampshire 53:1/2 (Spring/Summer 1998) 3–19.