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  • Early Spring Training - Jacksonville FL

    Doing some research for www.digitalballparks.com and this week's ballpark of the week and was wondering if anyone could help with this.

    This is the list that exists of all spring training that has ever existed in Jacksonville ...
    Yet from 1903 to 1909 ... everything exists as "unknown" as to where these teams played.

    The book "San Marcos" states that Dixieland Park was built 1907 and its adjoining baseball stadium was built in 1908.
    However the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and the Central Florida Magazine "The Coastal" both state that "Southside Park" was home to the Jacksonville Jays Sally League team starting in 1904. "Southside Stadium or Southside Stadium or South Jacksonville Stadium" are all names for that same baseball park that was located in Dixieland Park.

    Trying to prove for certain that the ballpark in Dixieland Park was there before the Amusement was built and not afterwards... but can't seem to find any photographs of players at Spring Training showing the stadium that was used except for some photos that are so small that you can't really make it out.



    • 1903 - Philadelphia Athletics - unknown
    • 1905 - Cincinnati Reds - unknown
    • 1906 - Boston Braves - unknown
    • 1907 - Brooklyn Dodgers (Superbas) - unknown
    • 1908 - Brooklyn Dodgers (Superbas) - unknown
    • 1909 - Brooklyn Dodgers (Superbas) - unknown
    • 1914 - Philadelphia Athletics - Durkee Field
    • 1915 - Philadelphia Athletics - Durkee Field
    • 1916 - Philadelphia Athletics - Durkee Field
    • 1917 - Philadelphia Athletics - Durkee Field
    • 1918 - Philadelphia Athletics - Durkee Field
    • 1918 - Pittsburgh Pirates - Durkee Field **
    • 1919 - Brooklyn Dodgers - Durkee Field
    • 1919 - New York Yankees - Southside Park @ Dixieland Park
    • 1920 - Brooklyn Dodgers - Durkee Field
    • 1920 - New York Yankees - Southside Park @ Dixieland Park
    • 1922 - Brooklyn Dodgers - Durkee Field

    Minor Leagues:
    1904-1910 - Jacksonville Jays - South Atlantic League (aka today's Double-A Southern League)
    1911-1916 - Jacksonville Tarpons - South Atlantic League (aka today's Double-A Southern League)
    1917 - Jacksonville Roses - South Atlantic League (aka today's Double-A Southern League)
    1921 - Jacksonville Scouts - Florida State League
    1922 - Jacksonville Indians - Florida State League
    - Many Researchers show that Durkee Field / James P. Small Stadium was not used for anything other than amateur baseball until 1921 when it was finally taken over by the city and that professional baseball was played elsewhere until then.
    - The 1917 Jacksonville Roses played at Southside Park and because of that, the article by Harry Cully - Florida Times-Union Sports Editor states that Southside Park was also called "Roses Park" when Babe Ruth hit some very deep HRs there during Spring Training in 1919-1920
    https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Culley-66
    - Gord Brown (SABR - Ontario) states that in the 1922 Jacksonville Indians Florida State League media book at the Hall of Fame Library - it lists "Southside Park" and not Durkee Field or Barrs Field or whatever it was called at that time as the team's home ballpark.


    Dixieland - HP Grandstand Close V4T.jpg
    This is Southside Park located in Dixieland Amusement Park. This photograph was taken during the first ever professional game that Shoeless Joe Jackson appeared in (this is Greenville vs. Jacksonville at Southside Park) and was used by the New York Yankees for Spring Training in 1919 and in 1920 from the "Dixieland Park" gallery on http://www.digitalballparks.com


    Found this Dixieland - Brooklyn Superbas V4T.jpg


    If you look at this photo above "The Batting Squad Awaiting Their Turn at the Plate" you can see to the right of the larger guy at the plate and above the guy sitting ... what looks like a tiny dugout that sticks up a little above the grandstand wall with a pole coming up next to it. Compare that to the above photograph. It does look a little like this but the top of the grandstand has a little corner to it that doesn't look like the photograph above.

    Dixieland - Team 1906 V4T.jpg

    In this 1906 photo above to the right of 6. Baker there looks like just the beginning of that same dugout but again... too small of an image to really make out.

    The point is ... there are 6 years of Spring Training in Jacksonville and it may all have been at the Southside Park aka Dixieland Park but don't want to put any misinformation without solid proof.

    Also there is one other thing about Pittsburgh in 1918. Notice that in 1919 and 1920 both the Dodgers and Yankees trained in Jacksonville... but they played at the two separate facilities ... the Yankees at Southside Park @ Dixieland Park and the Dodgers played at Durkee Field (built in 1912) known today as James P. Small Stadium (which has had as many name changes as the Buffalo Bisons stadium making it all the more confusing). Yet the lists show that the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Athletics the season before both played in Jacksonville and shared the same Durkee Field. That doesn't make much sense as Southside Park @ Dixieland Park was certainly active during that time. The Roses had just played there the season before all season long. The Yankees used it for Spring Training during the two years from 1919-1920. So why would the Pirates and the A's share little Durkee Field in 1918 when there was a 2nd perfectly usable ballpark which the Yankees would use the following year and year after for spring training? Wondering if that Durkee Field for the Pirates Spring camp was more of an assumption than fact.

    If anyone does any research... today's James P. Small Stadium has had the following names and was built in 1912. (Rebuilt after fire in 1936):
    • Durkee Field
    • Joseph H. Durkee Athletic Field
    • Barr's Field or Barrs Field
    • Douglas Field
    • Jacksonville Baseball Park
    • Red Cap Stadium
    • Myrtle Avenue Stadium or Myrtle Avenue Field

    • James P. Small Field

    Meanwhile the ballpark shown below \/

    Dixieland - Aerial From South Jackson V4T.jpg

    Has had the following names:
    • Dixieland Park
    • Southside Park or Southside Base Ball Park
    • South Jacksonville Baseball Park or Base Ball Park

    • Rose Field or Rose's Field


    Any help in figuring out exactly who played where ... especially the 1903-1908 Spring Training franchises ... would be greatly appreciated!
    (Also if anyone finds any photos please post them here of these or any other Spring Training facilities that are no longer standing).

    Unfortunately the people that ran digitalballparks all these years have had some health issues and we are trying to keep the site up and running and even improve on it a bit and make sure it is completely factual. They were doing the best they could with it but as their health deteriorated their ability to get everything that was backlogged for the past 20 years was just too much for them with all the fact checking.

    Any help you could give we certainly appreciate

    And also... one last thing. For those of you who post any of the 16,600 digitalballparks.com baseball stadium photos on baseball-fever forums (and other forums and blogs) which we've seen quite a bit over the years ... those of you who have been putting a clickable link back to http://www.digitalballparks.com under the photos (which nearly all of you have done)... Thank you! We really appreciate it. Digitalballparks has no problem with anyone posting up to 10 baseball stadium photos on baseball forums directly from the website as long as there is a clickable link back to the home page under it. Except for the little web-counter, there are no trackers or anything on the site that sells information or generates funding. Digitalballparks is completely free ... does not require any log in or email address to gain access and does not generate any funding of any kind in advertising or tracking dollars so please use it as much as you like and enjoy it. It was always meant to simply be a labor of love and nothing more and hopefully will continue to be forever. Thank you
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Digitalballparks; 02-22-2020, 01:32 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Digitalballparks View Post
    This is the list that exists of all spring training that has ever existed in Jacksonville ...
    Yet from 1903 to 1909 ... everything exists as "unknown" as to where these teams played.

    The book "San Marcos" states that Dixieland Park was built 1907 and its adjoining baseball stadium was built in 1908.
    However the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and the Central Florida Magazine "The Coastal" both state that "Southside Park" was home to the Jacksonville Jays Sally League team starting in 1904. "Southside Stadium or Southside Stadium or South Jacksonville Stadium" are all names for that same baseball park that was located in Dixieland Park.

    Trying to prove for certain that the ballpark in Dixieland Park was there before the Amusement was built and not afterwards... but can't seem to find any photographs of players at Spring Training showing the stadium that was used except for some photos that are so small that you can't really make it out.


    This is Southside Park located in Dixieland Amusement Park. This photograph was taken during the first ever professional game that Shoeless Joe Jackson appeared in (this is Greenville vs. Jacksonville at Southside Park) and was used by the New York Yankees for Spring Training in 1919 and in 1920 from the "Dixieland Park" gallery on http://www.digitalballparks.com[/SIZE][/FONT]

    Found this Dixieland - Brooklyn Superbas V4T.jpg


    If you look at this photo above "The Batting Squad Awaiting Their Turn at the Plate" you can see to the right of the larger guy at the plate and above the guy sitting ... what looks like a tiny dugout that sticks up a little above the grandstand wall with a pole coming up next to it. Compare that to the above photograph. It does look a little like this but the top of the grandstand has a little corner to it that doesn't look like the photograph above.

    The point is ... there are 6 years of Spring Training in Jacksonville and it may all have been at the Southside Park aka Dixieland Park but don't want to put any misinformation without solid proof.
    The April 1, 1908, edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle stated that "a deal has been completed by managers Donovan and Burbridge to have the Superbas return again next spring. They will do their work at Dixieland Park as the old grounds are to be abandoned in a few days."

    The April 5, 1908, edition of that same paper stated that four Brooklyn players who stayed behind in Jacksonville (after their teammates headed north) "are now practicing in the new grounds adjoining Dixieland Park. These grounds will be used by the Superbas for training purposes next season."

    BTW, there is a nice spring training photo of the Superbas from 1907 that was taken in Jacksonville:

    1907 NL Brooklyn 2.jpg


    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Digitalballparks View Post

      Unfortunately the people that ran digitalballparks all these years have had some health issues and we are trying to keep the site up and running and even improve on it a bit and make sure it is completely factual. They were doing the best they could with it but as their health deteriorated their ability to get everything that was backlogged for the past 20 years was just too much for them with all the fact checking.
      Real sorry to hear about their health issues. Please wish them our best. The Pastores are great people.
      Put it in the books.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by RUKen View Post

        The April 1, 1908, edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle stated that "a deal has been completed by managers Donovan and Burbridge to have the Superbas return again next spring. They will do their work at Dixieland Park as the old grounds are to be abandoned in a few days."

        The April 5, 1908, edition of that same paper stated that four Brooklyn players who stayed behind in Jacksonville (after their teammates headed north) "are now practicing in the new grounds adjoining Dixieland Park. These grounds will be used by the Superbas for training purposes next season."

        BTW, there is a nice spring training photo of the Superbas from 1907 that was taken in Jacksonville:

        1907 NL Brooklyn 2.jpg

        That kid looks like he's about to blow a snot rocket on somebody's head.
        They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RUKen View Post

          BTW, there is a nice spring training photo of the Superbas from 1907 that was taken in Jacksonville:

          1907 NL Brooklyn 2.jpg

          I'm wondering what the story is with the fellow in the back right wearing a Fordham jersey. New recruit? Practice opponent who snuck into the squad? Really big fan of WFUV?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JohnCropp View Post
            I'm wondering what the story is with the fellow in the back right wearing a Fordham jersey. New recruit? Practice opponent who snuck into the squad? Really big fan of WFUV?
            That's Ed McLane, who was 25 years old at the time of the photo and had attended Fordham University, which had been named St. John's College prior to 1907. (Perhaps it was informally known as Fordham before the official name change.) He was an outfielder who had played for Springfield in the Connecticut State League in 1906, and was with the Brooklyn team during spring training in 1907. He did not make the team, and played for Wilmington of the Tri-State League instead. Brooklyn repurchased his contract late in the season, and he played one game, on October 5th, 1907, the second game of a double-header against Boston that was the final game of that season. He was 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch by Sam Frock, who completed a 4-hit shutout. McLane made two errors in left field. He never played again in the major leagues, but played five more seasons in the minors.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RUKen View Post

              That's Ed McLane, who was 25 years old at the time of the photo and had attended Fordham University, which had been named St. John's College prior to 1907. (Perhaps it was informally known as Fordham before the official name change.) He was an outfielder who had played for Springfield in the Connecticut State League in 1906, and was with the Brooklyn team during spring training in 1907. He did not make the team, and played for Wilmington of the Tri-State League instead. Brooklyn repurchased his contract late in the season, and he played one game, on October 5th, 1907, the second game of a double-header against Boston that was the final game of that season. He was 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch by Sam Frock, who completed a 4-hit shutout. McLane made two errors in left field. He never played again in the major leagues, but played five more seasons in the minors.
              Wow! Thank you, RUKen!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RUKen View Post

                The April 1, 1908, edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle stated that "a deal has been completed by managers Donovan and Burbridge to have the Superbas return again next spring. They will do their work at Dixieland Park as the old grounds are to be abandoned in a few days."

                The April 5, 1908, edition of that same paper stated that four Brooklyn players who stayed behind in Jacksonville (after their teammates headed north) "are now practicing in the new grounds adjoining Dixieland Park. These grounds will be used by the Superbas for training purposes next season."

                BTW, there is a nice spring training photo of the Superbas from 1907 that was taken in Jacksonville:

                1907 NL Brooklyn 2.jpg

                That is a fantastic photograph RUKen! Certainly the first one we've seen of the Jacksonville stadium prior to 1908's Dixieland Park. If we use it (and when we get enough for a full gallery we certainly will), do you want us to use your real name under the photograph? cause we certainly do like to credit anyone for a proper find... and that's a proper find! (feel free to IM us and give it if you don't want to here).

                Your finding of that article has proven that the Dodgers utilized Dixieland Park in 1909 after years of research showed only the Yankees (and a big question mark for the Dodgers from 1907-1909). Now we know that the Dodgers trained there first. That is huge so thank you very much for that.

                Also... in the meantime we found this while searching through the application of Jacksonville's James P. Small Field for a historical marker. Finally some news on what this ballpark may be in your photograph.

                "Over the next several years, the Giants were followed by the Philadelphia Athletics that trained at Phoenix Park northeast of Springfield (North Jacksonville) in 1903, the Cincinnati Reds in 1905, the Boston Braves in 1906, the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1907 to 1909, the Philadelphia Athletics from 1914 to 1918, the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1918, the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers from 1919 to 1920. The last Major League spring training held in Jacksonville was by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1922 after which most of the teams had relocated further south.
                Before 1907, these professional teams, as well as local teams, probably practiced and played at the field off North Main Street adjacent to the site of the Subtropical Expositions at Phoenix Park, or at the Moncrief Springs resort".


                So there you have it. You have identified the first photograph of Phoenix Park! Early research shows that if you pop in Phoenix Park (now that we know what its called) there are some matches to early spring training history. Cheers mate!
                Last edited by Digitalballparks; 03-06-2020, 12:04 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by milladrive View Post

                  Real sorry to hear about their health issues. Please wish them our best. The Pastores are great people.
                  Milladrive... I have shared your sentiment with the Pastore's and they thank you very much for your appreciation and concern and respect for what they have done. It's weird how everyone is making so much of a deal about this Coronavirus and believe me it is something to be quite wary of... but this too shall pass and for many who do contract it, it's just some sniffles and its gone in a week. Being bit by a tick meanwhile (which no one in the CDC wants to even think about making a big deal about) can absolutely destroy your life forever. Please all you of you who are searching old ballparks, be wary of these awful things. Like scorpions, the smaller and tiny they are, the more damage they can do. I've watched two wonderful people who lived life to the fullest be unable to move even a fraction of inch for days at a time. It's just unbelievable how devastating a little tick bite can be.

                  That said there are still a more than a few thousand photographs that Wendy took herself and thousands of photographs of now demolished ballparks that they've been able to find so www.digitalballparks.com will hopefully be updating for quite a long time to come.
                  Last edited by Digitalballparks; 03-06-2020, 12:06 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Digitalballparks View Post

                    That is a fantastic photograph RUKen! Certainly the first one we've seen of the Jacksonville stadium prior to 1908's Dixieland Park. If we use it (and when we get enough for a full gallery we certainly will), do you want us to use your real name under the photograph? cause we certainly do like to credit anyone for a proper find... and that's a proper find! (feel free to IM us and give it if you don't want to here).

                    Your finding of that article has proven that the Dodgers utilized Dixieland Park in 1909 after years of research showed only the Yankees (and a big question mark for the Dodgers from 1907-1909). Now we know that the Dodgers trained there first. That is huge so thank you very much for that.
                    You're welcome, but the credit for finding the photo should go to BSmile, who posted it in his Vintage Panoramic Pictures thread in the Baseball Photography forum in 2011. I then re-posted it in my Brooklyn Superbas of Washington Park thread in the Brooklyn Dodgers forum the following year. I'm glad that I was able to help a bit.

                    Comment

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