War Memorial Stadium – Greensboro, North Carolina

September 5th, 2013
by Byron Bennett

War Memorial Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina, was opened in 1926. From 1930 until 2004, the ballpark was the home to a Greensboro’s minor league baseball teams.

War Memorial Stadium, Greensboro, South Carolina

The ballpark’s first minor league tenants were the Greensboro Patriots, an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Over the years, the major league affiliated teams that made War Memorial their home included the Red Sox, the Pirates, and the Yankees, through 1968. The Greensboro Red Wings, a minor Negro Leagues team, also played at War Memorial in the late 1940’s. After a ten year absence, in 1979, professional baseball returned to War Memorial when the Greensboro Hornets of the South Atlantic League began play. That team had the longest uninterrupted stretch of professional baseball at War Memorial, with the Hornets, later named the Bats, playing at the ballpark through the 2004 season.

War Memorial Stadium Concrete and Stucco Exterior

In 2005, Greensboro’s minor league team moved to a new stadium located just one mile west of War Memorial Stadium. The team changed its name as well, to the Greensboro Grasshoppers.

NewBridge Bank Park, Current Home of the Greensboro Grasshopers

War Memorial Stadium is dedicated “In Memory Of All Those Of Guilford County Who Made The Supreme Sacrifice In The World War.”

War Memorial Stadium Plaque Honoring Military Members Who Lost Their Lives

On either side of the main entrance to the stadium are large bronze plaques listing the names of people from Guilford County who died in World War I. The plaques also state: “They Served That Liberty May Not Perish From The Earth.”

Detail of War Memorial Stadium

Although professional baseball has left, the game is still played at War Memorial Stadium. These pictures of the ballpark were taken in July 2010 during the Metropolitan Junior Baseball League Classic Tournament.

Greensboro Bats Ticket Booth

In addition, the ballpark still hosts college baseball. It is the home field of both North Carolina A&T University and Greensboro College.

Main Entrance Under Grandstand, War Memorial Stadium

In July 2014, the Greensboro Yankees held a reunion at War Memorial Stadium. Ike Futch, an infielder for the Greensboro Yankees in 1961, was kind enough to send me pictures of the reunion.

Greensboro Yankees Reunion, 2014, War Memorial Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro Yankees Reunion, 2014, War Memorial Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina (Photo Courtesy Ike Futch)

The Greensboro Yankees also gathered inside the clubhouse. Around the table (clock wise) Johnny Smith (bat boy in 1961), Rudy Serrett, Jeff and Laura Womack’s daughters (Dooley Womack’s grandchildren), Butch Cretara, Ike Futch, Dooley Womack, Chuck Boone, Art Lopez, Unknown Local Sports Writer, Brian Dunphy (Producer, Channel 8, Greensboro Community TV), Judie Paul, Attonia Lopez, and Ron Paul.

Greensboro Yankees Reunion, 2014, War Memorial Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina (Photo Courtesy  Ike

Greensboro Yankees Reunion, 2014, War Memorial Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina (Photo Courtesy Ike Futch)

The craftsmanship that went into building War Memorial is evident throughout the ballpark.

Concession Booths Under Grandstand, War Memorial Stadium

A covered grandstand constructed of steel and concrete anchors the ballpark.

Main Grandstand War Memorial Stadium

The view of the playing field from the grandstand harkens back to an earlier era.

Playing Field at War Memorial Stadium

War Memorial made a cameo appearance in the 1989 movie Bull Durham, which was filmed primarily at Durham Athletic Park. About midway through the movie the team bus pulls up to the front entrance of War Memorial.

Steel and Wood Construction of the Main Grandstand

In addition, the locker room scenes in Bull Durham supposedly were filmed inside War Memorial’s locker room, including the late Trey Wilson’s famous “lollygag” scene. Apparently the locker rooms at Durham Athletic Park, where much of the movie was filmed, were considerably smaller.

War Memorial Stadium Entrance to General Admission Seating

With it’s major tenant gone since 2005, War Memorial has fallen into disrepair

War Memorial Stadium General Admission

Although the field is still maintained, the stadium structure itself shows signs of neglect.

Entrance to Concourse, War Memorial Stadium

In recent years there has been talk about tearing down War Memorial Stadium. However, the City of Greensboro has decided to renovate the stadium as part of a revitalization plan for the area surrounding the ballpark.

Entrance From Concourse To Third Base Seating

Although some parts of the ballpark have been demolished, such as some of the stands along third base and near left field, the future certainly seems brighter now for the ballpark. Perhaps now, with the help of the City of Greensboro, War Memorial Stadium will not become just another lost ballpark.

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Posted in North Carolina Ballparks, War Memorial Stadium | Comments (5)

  • Avatar Rob Noel says:

    Incredible pictures! Funny to see the ceiling fans in the grandstand pictures for the southern humidity. Still a beauty though. Glad to hear they are still going to use it.I recently was doing some homework on the War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo..another stadium that I was born to late for..sighhh

    Great work David

  • Byron Bennett Byron Bennett says:

    Hello Rob

    Thanks for the kind words. I too never had a chance to visit War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo. As a fan of the Natural, it would have been great to visit the park. I do understand, however, that they kept the front facade of the stadium. So at least there is something for people like you and me to see.

  • Avatar Ike Futch says:

    I played for the Greensboro Yankees in 1961. We had a reunion in July of this year of former players that played in War Memorial Stadium in the late 1950s and early to mid 1960s. Attendees included former New York Yankee players Jim Bouton, Art Lopez and Dooley Womack. Two of the main events of the reunion were touring War Memorial Stadium (including the clubhouse), and attending a game and each of us throwing a ceremonial first pitch at the new ball park. I have photos and video from the reunion if you would like me to post some on this web site. If so, I need a format on how to post.

  • Byron Bennett Byron Bennett says:

    Hello Ike

    Thanks very much for contacting me about your photos of the Greensboro Yankees reunion this past July. I would very much appreciate any photos you might be willing to share of War Memorial Stadium and the new ballpark. I will post them on the site with proper attribution to you. All that you need to do is email me a jpg of each photo and I will take care of the rest. In your email, please identify any of the former players so I can reflect that on the site. You might have to send one photo per email, depending on the size. My email address is huntingtonparkdbs@gmail.com. Thank you again for contacting me. I look forward to seeing your photos and posting them on the site. Regards, DBS

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