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Old Tacoma Athletic Park

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  • Old Tacoma Athletic Park

    Most of you probably don't care about this, but it's something I find very, very cool. In 1913, Joe McGinnity, the famed "Iron Joe" of the New York Giants, purchased the Tacoma Giants and moved to the city. He bought their ballpark (Athletic Park, built in 1907) and remodeled it. Articles from both the Tacoma Daily Ledger and the Tacoma Daily News refer to the park as "the most up-to-date ballpark in the west" (1913). For the last few years, I've been trying to find pictures of the old Athletic Park. I never could though. Then, today, I was going through some of my Grandfather's old boxes (my Grandmother brought them to me about 2 weeks ago). As I looked through his photo album, I found these great old photos of the ballpark. I was amazed. I had no idea these photos existed, and I was further amazed that my own Grandfather had kept them. So I'm sharing with you all Tacoma's Athletic Park. It's not Safeco Field or even Cheney Stadium, but it's a nice little park.

























  • #2
    I'm guessing it wasn't always in that weird track configuration from the bottom photograph. Talk about having a short porch!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PeteU
      I'm guessing it wasn't always in that weird track configuration from the bottom photograph. Talk about having a short porch!
      When I saw that final picture, it confused me too. Then I found this article in the Tacoma Daily Ledger talking about how the Ballpark in the 1930s was once used for something called "Midget Racing". The article talks about how they had to reconfigure the ballpark. I assume that's the reason the park looks the way it does in that photo.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tearforamariner
        When I saw that final picture, it confused me too. Then I found this article in the Tacoma Daily Ledger talking about how the Ballpark in the 1930s was once used for something called "Midget Racing". The article talks about how they had to reconfigure the ballpark. I assume that's the reason the park looks the way it does in that photo.
        Midget racing: America's other national pasttime.

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        • #5
          Ok, I get wrestling, but wouldn't those little guys get awfully tired running around that big track lap after lap?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PeteU
            Midget racing: America's other national pasttime.
            haha.

            The Tacoma Public Library has a photo of a "midget racer" in Tacoma, preparing to go to Athletic Park. Here's that photo.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Seriously, here's a shot of an actual midget track that was used for baseball - Gilmore Stadium. It was the first stadium specifically built for midget races and was later used for football, most noteably hosting the first two NFL pro-bowls. For several games in 1939 it hosted the Stars (below) while their own stadium was being completed next door.



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              • #8
                Originally posted by Elvis
                Seriously, here's a shot of an actual midget track that was used for baseball - Gilmore Stadium. It was the first stadium specifically built for midget races and was later used for football, most noteably hosting the first two NFL pro-bowls. For several games in 1939 it hosted the Stars (below) while their own stadium was being completed next door.

                Shades of the L.A. Coliseum.
                Last edited by PeteU; 02-22-2007, 09:52 AM.

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