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From the Alan O'Connor Collection

Brief History of Sacramento's Professional Ballparks

by Alan O'Connor

09/01/2011

 

Before the River Cats opened Raley Field in 2000, Sacramento had a history of professional baseball parks dating from 1886 through 1976. Sacramento’s first professional team, the Altas, played at Agricultural Park (20th & H Streets) in the mid-1880s and moved to Snowflake Park (28th & R) in the late 1880s.

In the late 1890s the Sacramento Gilt Edge home field was Snowflake Park, but in 1899 they moved to Oak Park (5th Avenue & 33rd Street) where Sacramento’s professional baseball was played through 1909.

Buffalo Park opened in 1910 at the corner of what is now Riverside and Broadway. Over the years the park was torn down, rebuilt and renamed Moreing Field, Sacramento Baseball Park, Cardinal Field, Doubleday Field and finally Edmonds Field.

While the Solons played their last game at Edmonds Field in 1960, the park itself was not torn down until August 1964 (a Target store now occupies the space). The 1974-1976 Sacramento Solons played at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College.

 

Park  

Location 

Team Name 

Year(s) 

Agricultural Park

Between 20th & 23rd and E & H Sts

Altas

1886-88

Snowflake Park

Between 20th & 23rd and E & H Sts

Altas

1889

 

 

Senators

1890-91, 1893

Oak Park

5th Ave between 33rd & 37th Sts

Gilt Edge

1898-1900

 

 

Senators

1901-03

 

 

Cordovas

1906-07

 

 

Senators

1908-09

Buffalo Park

Riverside & Broadway

Senators

1910-1914

 

 

Senators

1918-1921

Moreing Field

Riverside & Broadway

Senators

1922-1933

Sacramento Baseball Park

Riverside & Broadway

Senators

1934-35

Cardinal Field

Riverside & Broadway

Solons

1936-43

Doubleday Field

Riverside & Broadway

Solons

1944

Edmonds Field

Riverside & Broadway

Solons

1945-60

Hughes Stadium

Sacramento City College

Solons

1974-1976



 

While not abundant, there is photographic evidence of all the ball parks from 1910 through 1976. However, photographic evidence of Agricultural Park, Snowflake Park and Oak Park is practically non-existent. In my book, Gold on the Diamond, I used an old map to illustrate Agricultural Park, a newspaper line drawing to illustrate Snowflake Park, and had to borrow the only known photograph of Oak Park baseball field.  

 

Recently, I was lucky enough to acquire 15 photographs of a game at the Oak Park baseball field between the Sacramento Cordovas and the San Jose Prunepickers. The Cordovas were Sacramento’s professional team in the “outlaw” California State League from 1906 through 1907. (Note, I did not discuss Sacramento’s participation in “outlaw” leagues in my book because they operated outside of organized baseball).  

 

 

 Oak_Park1


Five of the better photos of baseball action at Oak Park are shown here. It is interesting to note that a few of the houses seen over the left field fence in photo #1 are still there. 
 

 Oak_Park2

 
Also, note the Buffalo Brewery sponsored scoreboard on the left in photo #2. At that time most of the Sacramento area’s population was concentrated in the downtown area. While Oak Park was “out of town,” it was an easy trolley ride from central Sacramento to the ball park.   

 

 Oak_Park3


Some of the great baseball names of the day played at Oak Park. They include: Frank Arellanes, Spider Baum, Ping Bodie, George Borchers, Hal Chase, Demon Doyle, Truck Eagan, Chick Gandil, Charlie Graham, Cack Henley, Harry Hooper, Jay Hughes, Bobby Keefe, Duffy Lewis, Buddy Ryan, Elmer Strickland and George Van Haltren.

 

No one seems to know why the team used the Cordova name back then (Rancho Cordova did not exist until the 1950s). If anyone has information about this, please contact us. By the way, we’re still looking for photos of Agriculture Park or Snowflake Park.   

 

 

(All photos on this page are from the O'Connor Collection, © Alan O'Connor 2011)

 

 

Oak_Park4

Oak_Park5

If anyone has information about the persons appearing in these photos, please contact
Alan O'Connor:
alanoconnor@sbcglobal.net

 

 Uploaded 09/02/11
All contents © Rick Cabral 2011
(except where owner is identified above)

 

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