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Parkway Field

Time Capsule-Historic Images and Recollections (Images and Recollections)

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Parkway Field was a minor league baseball field and later college baseball park in Louisville, Kentucky. Built in 1923, the field was home to the Louisville Colonels of the American Association until 1956. The park also served the Louisville White Sox of the Negro National League, the Louisville Black Caps of the Negro Southern League, and the Louisville Buckeyes of the Negro American League. Rich with history and sport, Parkway Field could hold 13,000 baseball fans. After most of the Negro Baseball Leagues disbanded,the grandstand was demolished in 1961, but the University of Louisville used the original field until 1998. Today, the new field is used for intramural football and soccer at the University of Louisville.

Parkway Field, Louisville, Kentucky (Postcard Publisher Kyle Co., Louisville KY)
Parkway Field, July 4th, 1926- ULPA CS 073881, Caufield & Shook Collection, Photographic Archives, University of Louisville.
Photograph from the inside of the park- "Baseball Park, Crowd, Parkway Field," http://hdl.handle.net/10602/10494
Photograph of the baseball diamond at Parkway Field

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Parkway Field was home to many different baseball leagues and teams, but the field was originally designed for the Louisville Colonels, a minor league team in 1923After their original ball yard, Eclipse Park, was destroyed by a fire on November 20, 1922, club president William F. Knebelkamp quickly began planning for the new field. Parkway Field was built to include a concrete and steel grandstand designed by Leslie Abbot to attract local baseball fans. Due to a delay in construction, the Colonels' were forced to cancel their exhibition schedule for the 1923 season. However, the team won their first game in the new ballpark 5 to 1 on May 1, 1923 against the Toledo Mud Hens.

Parkway Field is also remembered as home to Earle Combs' final minor league game as a Louisville Colonel before he went on to become a New York Yankee. As a center fielder, Combs was a great ball player for the Colonels by quickly running down fly balls and hitting .344 on average. Combs batted .380 for the Louisville Colonels in 1923, leading to the Yankees to acquire his contract the following year. Combs was  was later induced into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970.

Although Parkway Field no longer exists, some of the remains have been put to good use as a result of a beautification project. Headed by Jane Ramsey, wife of University of Louisville President James Ramsey, the old green bricks from the original Parkway Field wall were sold to support the program and enhance the areas surrounding Cardinal Park, the new Jim Patterson Baseball Stadium, Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, the neighborhoods adjoining Belknap Campus and the University of Louisville campus. At the Jim Patterson Baseball Stadium, the first eight feet of the roof supports of an adjacent building from the stadium are constructed with the green bricks from the left wall at the historic Parkway Field. Infield dirt was also taken from Parkway field and placed in the batters box at the Jim Patterson Baseball Stadium as a tribute to the former ballpark.     

Sources

Parkway Field-Baseballreference.com 1- Ball Parks of the American Association (2010, June 14). In The American Association Almanac. Retrieved from http://www.almanacfield.com/index.php?p=1_4_-The-Ballparks
 Berger, R (n.d.). SABR Baseball Project: Earle Combs. In Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved from http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/62bcbcbd 
Berger, R (n.d.). SABR Baseball Project: Earle Combs. In Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved from http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/62bcbcbd 
Earle Combs (n.d.). In National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved from http://baseballhall.org/hof/combs-earle 
Parkway Field legacy benefits beautification (2005, November). In University of Louisville. Retrieved from http://php.louisville.edu/news/news.php?news=465
Louisville Athletics Jim Patterson Stadium: Home of Louisville Cardinal Baseball (n.d.). In Official Website of University of Louisville Athletics. Retrieved from http://www.gocards.com/facilities/lou-facilities-patterson-stadium.html

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Parkway Field
Louisville, KY 40208
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This location was created on 2015-02-27 by Mary Lewis .   It was last updated on 2017-03-11 by Clio Admin .

This entry has been viewed 752 times within the past year

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