Eclipse Park (I)
|Home Teams: Louisville Colonels (AA 1882-1891, NL 1892-1893)||Opening Day: May 5, 1882 (AA) April 12, 1892 (NL)|
|Closing Day: September 27, 1891 (AA) May 4, 1893 (NL)||Dimensions: LF 360 LCF 432 CF 452 RCF 368 RF 320 (1885)|
|Capacity: 1,200, 3,000 (Jan. 1884), 5,860 (April 1884), 6,400 (1895)||AKA: Olympic Park (1874-1881)|
As early as 1874, two semi-pro teams, the Eclipse (who played here) and the Olympics who played near Eclipse Park were fierce rivals. This rivalry got national attention. Fights were so common between the fans of these two teams, so many local bars banned talk of baseball. Late during the 1874 season, the Olympics leased property on the estate of Dr. T.D. Elliott. A fence was put up with a grandstand and clubhouse inside. Bleachers were along the right field line. It was only 300 feet down to right field, so balls hit over the fence were doubles. In 1884, the owners built a new grandstand to hold 5,000 people. (They had already expanded the grandstand from 800 to 2,000). The new grandstand had a "club room" where men could enjoy a drink. A tower was placed on top of the grandstand with a spot to watch the game, creating the first "skybox". In 1885, grandstands down the left field were extended 160 feet and 96 feet the other way. The left field stand was double-decked. A new club room was also built. The left fence was moved back 45 feet that year, to create a "jury box" for fans to watch the game, 170 feet long and six rows high. There was a fire on September 26, 1892, which resulted in temporary seats. Instead of repairing the park, teams moved on, but this lot is still used for baseball today, with the diamond laid out the same way as it was back then. This site was the professional debut of the Louisville Slugger bat.
© 2004-17 Paul Healey.