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Gary Jarvis a graduate student in history at the University of Iowa. Here's a photo of Gary and Ruffy, the mascot of the Frontier League River City Rascals. He's the one on the left. (Photo by Jay Thomas, June 1999).
Web work was done by Karl Nelson, formerly a graduate student at the University of Iowa. He now currently resides in Issaquah, WA, and watches his baseball at Safeco Field (although he does have fond memories of Veteran's Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, IA
While the photos and comments about the ballparks are all mine, quite a bit of the factual information was gleaned from other sources: Books, web sites, team front offices, and so on. This page is more or less designed to serve as a bibliography, and as a jumping-off place for anyone who wants additional information. Web sites devoted to ballparks, as well as other sites of interest to anyone wanting to know more about the minors or baseball in general are listed on my links page. But as vast as the web is and as much content is out there (for those who can actually find it), old-fashioned reference books provided much of the data on this site. The books I used were:
Baseball America's 1999 Directory Alan Simpson, ed. (Baseball
As most everyone already knows, this indispensible guide to all major and minor league teams includes stadium names and directions, the year the stadiums opened, outfield dimensions, seating capacity, attendance figures, front office staffs, addresses, phone numbers, web addresses, and just about anything a fan needs in a nice, compact, affordable package. I also used the directories from 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 for information about ballparks that are no longer in use.
The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd edition Lloyd
Johnson & Miles Wolff, eds. (Baseball America, 1997).
This is an incredibly detailed compilation of information about minor league franchises. Covering the years 1883-1996, it includes listings of teams by league, by state, and by city, as well as active and inactive league records. But the majority of the book is devoted to a year-by-year breakdown of the individual leagues and teams. For each league that was active in any year there are won-loss records, final standings, attendance figures, and info about league leaders, managers, and playoffs. I used this book mainly to compile the different leagues in which the various ballparks have fielded teams.
Ballparks of North America Michael Benson. (McFarland &
Though ten years out of date and at times maddeningly inconsistent in its coverage, this is another invaluable reference for ballpark fans. Benson lists cities alphabetically, and then describes the ballpark (or ballparks) that have called that city home. Many ballparks are skipped entirely, but for the ones that he lists (and there are hundreds), Benson usually includes seating capacities, outfield dimensions, and fence heights at different points in the stadium's history, as well as noting when it was built and when it's been renovated. There's no rhyme or reason to how much information is printed about any given ballpark (Hooker Field in Martinsville, for instance, gets a tiny paragraph, while Riverview Stadium in Clinton gets almost two and a half pages), but the important thing is that there's a ton of information in here.
Green Cathedrals Philip. J. Lowry. (Addison Wesley, 1992).
Although this book purports to cover only major league stadiums, it thankfully includes the Negro Leagues. SInce the Negro Leagues played in many old minor league ballparks, there's information about them here. Included are figures for seating capacities, fence heights, outfield dimensions, location, and the teams occupying the ballpark, as well as short anecdotes and random facts about the stadia. I used it to help ascertain what Negro League teams may have played in some of the minor league ballparks I've been to.
The Minor League Baseball Book Bruce Adelson, Rod Beaton, Bill
Koenig, Lisa Winston. (Macmillan, 1995).
Though not an essential book (and now four years out of date), this USA Today title contains brief franchise histories, notes about the ballpark, ticket and address information, and more for the National Association teams in existence at the beginning of the 1995 season. I used this book primarily to confirm information that I already had but was unsure about, as well as jogging my memory about some of the places I visited several years ago.
Mud Hens and Mavericks Judith Blahnik and Phillip Schultz.
(Viking Penguin, 1995).
This book is not so much a reference book as a gee-whiz, gung-ho introduction to the minors designed for folks that don't know much about them. Lots of space devoted to how wacky some team's mascot is or how many silly promotions another team does, and it doesn't cover short season teams or the indies. Still, there's some factual information scattered around, and as with the USA Today book, I used it mainly to occasionally verify information from other sources.
Other books of interest (though not used specifically for this site) include:
STATS Inc. Ballpark Sourcebook: Diamond Diagrams Oscar Palacios and Eric Robin. (STATS, Inc., 1998).
The Minor Leagues: A Celebration of the Little Show Mike Blake. (Wynwood Press, 1991).
Professional Baseball Franchises from the Abbeville Athletics to the Zanesville Indians Peter Filichia. (Facts on File, 1993).
Small Town Heroes: Images of Minor League Baseball Hank Davis. (University of Iowa Press, 1997).
It's Raining Rock Cats and Sea Dogs: A Fan's Guide to the AA Ballparks and Towns of the Eastern League Steve Holcomb. (Pax River Press, 1997).
The Diamonds of Dixie: Travels Through the Southern Minor Leagues Ernest J. Green. (Madison Books, 1995).
Minor Miracles: The Legend & Lure of Minor League Baseball David Pietrusza. (Diamond Communications, 1995).
And there are many, many more.
Credit is also due to John Skilton for graciously creating and maintaining (for over four years) my previous "Minor League Ballpark Photos" web site, and John Jarvis (my dad) for providing space for this site on his server in South Carolina prior to the recent upgrade. Thanks!