Highland Park Mill #3 Baseball Field
Backstory and Context
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What was a mill employee to do for entertainment in North Charlotte (what we know now as NoDa) during the first half of the 20th Century? One word – baseball. Summer evenings meant Twilight League baseball games. These were not friendly, pick-up games; this was competitive amateur baseball. Games and standings against local teams, such as the Lantz Cracker Mil, were covered in the Charlotte Observer. These Twilight League teams were sponsored by the mills and fielded by mill employees – some hired to work in the mill specifically for their baseball prowess.
The 1920s through the 1950s was the heyday of mill baseball teams, and the Highland Park Mill #3 team played on a field across the railroad tracks from the site of the mill. The field was complete with grandstands and lights, which is particularly important as they played after work, at night. The highpoint of North Charlotte mill baseball came in 1941, when the Highland Park Mill #3 team went to the National Amateur Baseball World Series in Battle Creek, Michigan.