Louisville's Parkway Field, Part One
April 27, 2010
The most recent issue of the American Association Almanac is now available to the general public. This issue deals with Louisville's Parkway Field, home of the Louisville Colonels from 1923-56. Focussing on the early history of the stadium, the narrative begins as club President William F. Knebelkamp must deal with the effects of losing Eclipse Park to fire in November 1922.
A discussion of the various plans brought forth via the club's general manager, Cap Neal, and architect Leslie Abbott emerges as a central aspect of the Parkway Field story, and the construction process resulted in unexpected challenges which caused President Knebelkamp serious concerns. The Almanac deals with questions surrounding the Eclipse Park fire and examines possible motives for why the fire may have been intentionally set.
As in past issues of the series on American Association Ballparks, this Almanac presents a close look at the opening game as the Colonels hosted the Toledo Mud Hens on May 1, 1923. The Almanac extracts a variety of topics from local reports reflecting on the home opener with a spotlight on the local reaction to the Colonels new playground.
You'll read about Earle Combs, the Kentucky Colonel, who cut his teeth on American Association baseball, first at Eclipse Park and then at Parkway Field. You'll learn about the five future Hall of Famers on the field during the home opener, representing a collision of fate in the extreme, the sort of irony adored by baseball historians no matter the color of their flag. Other pearls line the walls of this issue, as well.
A detailed description of the Parkway Field physical plant and playing follows. Subsequent sections examine key dates of the 1923 season with a focus on events which involved action on the field; the post-1923 season is covered as well, including the first night game, and the four no-hitters tossed there.
Finally, a focus on attendance patterns during the park's lifetime is presented, first by looking at general attendance patterns during the first season, followed by a homestand-to-homestand look at daily attendance patterns at Parkway Field, and finally attendance patterns by season through 1956.
A colorful sampling of graphics enhances the content of this issue. Using photos and graphs, the reader will be well acquainted with the history of Parkway Field as these devices help bring out the highlights and reinforce general concepts regarding quantitative aspects of the park's history.
In all, this issue represents the culmination of hundreds of hours of work, distilled into a highly readable format containing over 25,000 words in this 48-page edition. The Almanac continues to bring out the best of the history of the American Association through original research and collaboration with local baseball historians.
You won't want to miss out on this one. Contact me at email@example.com for details on how to order a copy for yourself or as a gift.