|Baseball Fields & Stadiums|
Wiedenmayer Park was built in 1902. - Former Home of the Newark Sailors / Indians, between 1908 and 1911 in the Eastern League and between 1912 and 1916 in the International League. and then the Newark Bears from 1917 until 1918. In 1919, the team moved to Harrison Field (Peppers Park) in Harrison New Jersey. Wiedenmayer's Park would burn to the ground in 1925 leaving only the playing field much the way the rest of the Wiedenmayer empire would come crashing down, as prohibition shut down his beloved brewery.
Charles A. Davids from Bayside NY purchased the land for $125,000 and erected Davids Stadium in 1926 using the footprint of Wiedenmayer's Park's burnt stands. The stadium had a seating capacity of 12,000. Less than two years later (1927) the owner and publisher of the Newark Star Eagle, Paul Block, purchased the stadium for $360,00 plus $147,00 in debts. Col. Jacob Ruppert, owner of the NY Yankees, purchased the baseball club and stadium in 1931 increasing the capacity to 19,000. In 1932 the stadium became the home of the AAA Yankees. He owned them until 1949.
Lights were installed in the stadium and the first night game was played on June 11, 1935 against the team from Cincinnati.
Stock car racing was introduced to the stadium in 1950.
On November 25th 1952 the Newark Board of Education purchased Ruppert Stadium for $275,000. The board also recommended that another $50,000 be spent to make the stadium a school sports center.
Newark Indians: 1908-1911 & 1912-1916
Newark Bears: 1926-1949
Newark Eagles: 1936-1948
Seton Hall Pirates: Negotiations in 1928, unknown if they played there.
Stock Car Racing
Ruppert Stadium History from Nat Bodian
Ruppert Stadium was built in 1926. It was built by the New York Yankees organization and named after its beer baron owner, Jacob Ruppert on a 15 acre plot of land bounded by Wilson Avenue, and Avenues K and L.
The stadium was designed by Charles A. Davids. It was built with a seating capacity of 12,000, but on special occasions in its 41-year life was known to have sandwiched in as many as 22,000.
Ruppert Stadium served as a home for the ‘old’ Newark Bears in the international League, as well as for the Newark Eagles, a pennant-winning team in the African-American league. This was an era when baseball was still a segregated sport.
The Ruppert Stadium outfield fence was 410 feet from home plate, a feature found mainly in major league ballparks.
The Down Neck stadium had also been used as a high school sports field and had been leased out for special sporting events.
As baseball attendance in the late 1940s fell off and African-American baseball stars began making their way into the major leagues after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the 1940s, the Yankee organization sold the stadium to the City of Newark for $325,000.
The stadium was leveled to the ground in 1967.
From Pete Bruno
Future Yankee All-Stars, Red Rolfe (40 2B, 7 HR, .326 - 1933 International League MVP) and George Selkirk (28 2B, new Ruppert Stadium record 15 3B, R.S. tying 22 HR, .306) returned to do some damage. Another future All-Star by the name of Myril Hoag (31 2B, 21 HR, .297) nearly joined Selkirk for the all time HR lead at this ballpark. On the mound, Jim Weaver was phenomenal tying for 2nd all-time in wins with 25 (25-11, 2.72). Future All-Star Johnny Murphy returned as well to put up a 9-6, 2.97. The 1933 Bears went 102-62 on the season to again take 1st place but lost in the first round of the playoffs. They would try again in 1934 putting up a 93-60 to take 1st place for the 3rd straight season behind the monster bat of Vince Barton who easily took over the all time HR title with 32 2B, 32 HR and a .261... beating the previously held record of22 (Jack Fournier/George Selkirk) by 10 bombs.
George Selkirk returned again to bat .357, taking over Ruppert Stadium's batting title from Ike Boone (.356) with 23 2B and 10 HR and Jumbo Brown was 20-6 but they would lose again in the 1st round. In fact, the Bears would lose in 1935 and in 1936 in the first round as well for 4 straight seasons of stumbling to the finish line. 3 more future MLB All-Stars came to the Bears during this time with Pinky May hitting .280 with 37 2B and 10 HR; Spud Chandler posting a 14-13 record and Cliff Melton going 7-15, 4.48. Ernie Koy took over the all time Ruppert Triple's mark with 24 2B, 19 3B, 16 HR, .297 beating out George Selkirk's 15.
Then 1937 came and all of that "lost in the 1st round" nonsense would be put to rest. A killer lineup of future MLB All-Stars came together with 6 time future All-Star George McQuinn (.330, 30 2B, 21 HR); 5 time future MLB All-Star Charlie Keller (34 2B, 14 3B, 13 HR, .353); Phillies future All-Star Babe Dahlgren (34 2B, 12 3B, 18 HR, .340); Future 5 time MLB All-Star Buddy Rosar (15 2B, 8 HR, .332) and the leader of this motley bunch... future Hall of Famer (the first ever produced by this ballpark), Joe Gordon (33 2B, 26 HR, .280). Even future 5 Time Yankee All-Star slugger Tommy Henrich got in on the act for 25 At Bats batting .440 before being called to the Majors. Jim Gleeson meanwhile would take over Herb Thomas' all time two-bagger lead with 47 doubles beating the all time Ruppert Stadium record by 4 while also slamming 10 3B and 16 HR and putting up a .298. On the mound was future All-Star Marius Russo (8-8, 3.63) and he was joined by 4 pitchers who would define one of the top 3 greatest teams in the history of professional Minor League Baseball on the mound... led by Joe Beggs (21-4, 2.61) and followed by Atley Donald (19-2, 3.22), Vito Tamulis
|Copyright 1998 - 2021 Glenn G. Geisheimer|