The old Tulsa ballpark

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An e-mail from Tulsa baseball history expert Wayne McCombs led me to this Digital Ballparks feature on Oiler Park, home of Tulsa minor league baseball from 1934 to 1976. It's a sequence of historic photographs accompanied by text setting out the history and highlights of the park and the players who called it home.

Wayne has published two books about Tulsa baseball history: Let's Goooooooo, Tulsa, and Baseball in Tulsa, one of Arcadia Publishing's books of historic photographs. That last link leads to a Google Books preview, where you can digitally rifle through the pages.

On the Digital Ballparks website, I found this feature about Ray Winder Field in Little Rock, which was home to the Arkansas Travelers through 2006. It was a wonderful place to watch a ballgame, as was Durham Athletic Park, former home to the Bulls.

You don't need much to make a classic minor league ballpark. A framework of steel beams, a canopy over the stands, a canopy over the concourse where the concession stands are. It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.

If you want to be fancier, put a brick or concrete facade around the stands, something like Greensboro's War Memorial Stadium, New Haven's Yale Field, or Savannah's Grayson Stadium. (More here about Grayson and talk of replacing it.)

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4 Comments

mark said:

That picture of the Greensboro ballpark does not do it justice--it really is stunning in person. My friends who work in downtown GSO have commented how it has completely changed the "vibe" of downtown Greensboro to have a ballpark there where workers can walk to a day game or head over right after work.

the Tulsa park would be a bit of hike of most downtowners, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out well. I really wish they'd go for a nostalgic look.

sbtulsa Author Profile Page said:

This points to the folly of expensive construction projects in cities the size of Tulsa. People do not go to games for the luxury of sitting in a "state of the art" stadium. People are more likely to be fans of the team, not the park. Spending all this money on a "downtown" stadium is not necressay. Lamson was in the oldest stadium in the Texas League and was looking to get the best deal he could. Fine.

But I would have continued to go to Driller games at the old place and so would many others. And then to 60 mill could have gone rto hire cops.

Yogi Author Profile Page said:

I love this post.
I'm also looking forward to the new stadium.

S. Lee Author Profile Page said:

The great thing about concentrating all the action downtown is that thieves know exactly where to go now. My car was stolen last week parked right next to the BOK center. It took the TPD almost seven hours to show up and take the report.

That giant sucking sound you hear is population and business abandoning Tulsa to its vanity and crime.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 30, 2008 12:36 PM.

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