Lawrence–Dumont Stadium

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Lawrence-Dumont Stadium
Lawrence-dumont.jpg
Southwest side of stadium (2009)
Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is located in Kansas
Lawrence-Dumont Stadium
Lawrence-Dumont Stadium
Location within Kansas
Former namesLawrence Stadium (1934-1978)
Address300 South Sycamore Street
Wichita, Kansas 67213 USA
LocationBounded by McLean Blvd (east side), Maple St (south side), Sycamore St (west side)
Coordinates37°40′53″N 97°20′45″W / 37.68139°N 97.34583°W / 37.68139; -97.34583Coordinates: 37°40′53″N 97°20′45″W / 37.68139°N 97.34583°W / 37.68139; -97.34583
Capacity6,400 (Baseball)
Field sizeLeft field: 344 ft (105 m)
Center field: 401 ft (122 m)
Right field: 312 ft (95 m)
Construction
Broke groundMarch 4, 1934
Opened1934 (1934)
Renovated2001, 2011
Tenants
Wichita Indians (Western League) 1950–1955
Wichita Aeros (American Association) 1970–1984
Wichita Pilots/Wranglers (TL) 1987–2007
Wichita Wingnuts (AA) 2008–2018

Lawrence–Dumont Stadium was a baseball stadium in Wichita, Kansas, United States. It was located on the northwest corner of McLean Boulevard and Maple Street, along the west bank of the Arkansas River, in the Delano neighborhood of downtown Wichita. The stadium holds 6,400 fans and is primarily used for baseball. The stadium most recently was the home field of the Wichita Wingnuts independent baseball team from 2008 until 2018,[1][2] and was home to the annual National Baseball Congress World Series from 1935 until 2018.[3]

The city of Wichita plans to tear down Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and build a new stadium for the relocating New Orleans Baby Cakes Triple-A baseball team.[4][5] The Baby Cakes filed a relocation application that is subject to league approval before the club can relocate to Wichita. The official decision is expected before the end of 2018.[5]

History[edit]

Previous stadiums[edit]

Baseball was played at other locations around Wichita in the earlier years. Island Park baseball stadium was built in 1912 on what was then Ackerman Island in the Arkansas River, north of the Douglas Street bridge.[6] Baseball was played there from 1912 to 1933, when the stadium was torn down so the island could be removed to widen the river into one channel.[7]

20th century[edit]

Charles S. Lawrence, former Wichita mayor (1929,1930,1933,1934) who died on September 20, 1934, after convincing the city to move the stadium and rebuild within the city limits at a location that was known as "Payne’s Pasture" (owned by Charles Payne).[8] The construction of the stadium was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project during the Great Depression. The new stadium was named Lawrence Stadium in honor of the former mayor.[9]

Ray "Hap" Dumont had promised to hold semi-pro games in the new ballpark. He paid Satchel Paige $1,000 to bring the Bismarck Churchills to the stadium to play in the first NBC Championship.[10][11]

In 1949, the ballpark was the last to host the College World Series before Omaha, Nebraska became its permanent address the following year.

In 1978, it was renamed to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, adding the last name of Raymond "Hap" Dumont, who was a sports writer for the Wichita Eagle-Beacon, sports editor for the Hutchinson News, founder of the National Baseball Congress in 1935, and was instrumental in building Lawrence Stadium in Wichita.[12]

21st century[edit]

The stadium underwent renovations in 2001 which brought improvements to the stadium sound system, new infield turf, a new outfield fence with tables behind it, and fresh paint to the seating area.

The stadium was again renovated in 2011. It was one of the few stadiums in the world that features a natural grass outfield with an AstroTurf infield. This would change during the April 2011 renovation when the entire field (including the grass outfield) would be replaced with RamTurf. Other changes included all new lights, exterior cosmetic improvements, new infield turf, dugout expansion, and improvements to the concourse areas.

It was home to the Wichita Wranglers minor league baseball team. The Wranglers left Wichita at the end of the 2007 season and moved to Springdale, Arkansas, where the team was renamed the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The Wichita Wingnuts of the independent American Association most recently played at Lawrence-Dumont.

See also[edit]

  • Eck Stadium at Wichita State University (northeast Wichita)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wingnuts play final game at Lawrence-Dumont". KWCH. September 3, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  2. ^ Douglas, Kendra (September 3, 2018). "Lawrence-Dumont Stadium hosts last home game ever". KSNW. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  3. ^ Barber, Hayden (August 12, 2018). "History made at final NBC World Series in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium". The Wichita Eagle. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Lefler, Dion (September 6, 2018). "New Orleans pro baseball team planning move to Wichita, mayor says". The Wichita Eagle. Archived from the original on September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Triple-A baseball will come to Wichita with new downtown stadium". KSNW. September 6, 2018. Archived from the original on September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  6. ^ 1917 photo of aerial view of downtown Wichita looking east, showing Island Park baseball stadium and Douglas Street bridge on right.
  7. ^ List of newspaper articles about early Wichita baseball; Tihen Notes; Wichita State University Department of Special Collections.
  8. ^ List of newspaper articles about Payne's Pasture, Payne's Park, Charles Payne; Tihen Notes; Wichita State University Department of Special Collections.
  9. ^ List of newspaper articles about Lawrence Stadium; Tihen Notes; Wichita State University Department of Special Collections.
  10. ^ Steiz, Dale (2006). "Lawrence Dumont Stadium History". Wichita's Historic Delano District. Archived from the original on August 27, 2008. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  11. ^ Lutz, Bob (October 17, 2010). "The night he took on a legend". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  12. ^ Raymond "Hap" Dumont, 1975 Inductee, Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.

External links[edit]

Historical
Events and tenants
Preceded by
QuikTrip Park
Host of the AAB All-Star Game
Lawrence-Dumont Stadium

2010
Succeeded by
future