Posts Tagged ‘George Mira Football Field’

Wickers Stadium In Key West, Florida

December 14th, 2010

Professional baseball was once played in the southernmost point of the United States at a place known as Wickers Stadium (also known as Wickers Field) in Key West, Florida.

Former Site of Wickers Stadium in Key West, Florida

In 1952, the Key West Conchs played a portion of their Florida International League games there.

Former Location of Wicker Field's Third Base Grandstand Along Flagler Avenue

Former Location of Wickers Stadium Left Field along Flagler Avenue

In 1969, it was the Key West Padres (managed by Don Zimmer) and, during the early to mid 1970s, it was the Key West Sun Caps, Key West Conchs, and Key West Cubs, all of the Forida State League, that played their home games at Wickers Stadium.

Key West Sun Caps Circa 1971 - Photo Courtesy of Sun Cap Dave Horton (top row, third from left)

The grandstand covered only the two sections behind home plate (thanks to former Key West Resident Don for providing the following picture Wickers Stadium).

Wicker Stadium (Monroe County Florida Public Library Flicker File - Photo taken by Property Appraiser's office c1970; N. Roosevelt Blvd; Wicker's Field)

According to locals I spoke to at the site, the ballpark itself was of modest size, holding no more than a couple thousand fans.  According to alert reader Dave Roberts, the grandstand and home plate were at the corner of 14th Street between Duck and Pearl Ave. The third base line was parallel to 14th.

Center Field was located at the intersection of President Kennedy Drive and Flagler Avenue in Key West, Florida.

Corner of Kennedy and Flagler, Former Home of Wickers Stadium

Wickers Stadium is gone now, but the area remains a public park known officially as the Wickers Sports Complex.  The complex houses both a youth football field and a softball diamond.  Along what was once the third base grandstand now sits the George Mira Football Field.

George Mira Football Field at Wickers Sports Complex

George Mira, who was born in Key West, played quarterback for the University of Miami, and later played professional football for the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Miami Dolphins.

Former Site of Wickers Stadium Left Field

The football field today is used mainly for youth football, although, at the time of Wickers Stadium, high school teams used to play at there on a different configuration of the field.

Key West Junior Football League at Wickers Sports Complex

The DeWitt E. Roberts Softball Diamond sits on the first base side of old Wicker Stadium.

DeWitt E. Roberts Softball Diamond at Wickers Sports Complex, Key West, Florida

The infield sits in the approximate location of Wicker Stadium’s right field.

Former Right Field of Wickers Stadium Looking Toward Former Infield

Although Wickers Stadium has been demolished, a portion does remain, namely, a 10 foot tall concrete and cinderblock wall that once surrounded the center field portion of the stadium.

Original Wickers Stadium Outfield Wall

The wall is located beyond the softball diamond’s center field fence.

Wicker Stadium Outfield Wall With Scoreboard In Background

Wickers Stadium Outfield Wall With Scoreboard In Background

The original wall can be seen in this vintage photo of Wickers Stadium taken just prior to the stadium’s demolition. Former Key West Sun Cap Dave Horton kindly supplied the photo.

Wickers Stadium - Photo Courtesy of Dave Horton

The original wall is accessible through a gate in the current center field fence.

Entrance to Wicker Stadium Outfield Wall Through Center Field Fence

Entrance to Wicker Stadium Outfield Wall Through Center Field Fence

Who knows how many Conchs, Padres, Caps, and Cubs luminaries once might have sat on this now-forlorn bench.

Time Has Not Been Kind To This Once Proud Park Bench From Old Wickers Stadium

One additional vestige of Wickers Stadium remains across Flagler Avenue – a vintage sign advertising “Stadium Apartments” one block north of the former stadium on 14th Street.

Vintage Sign Across Flagler Avenue From Wickers Sports Complex Advertising Stadium Apartments

Although Wickers Stadium is now just another lost ballpark, its former site remains a place where one can still hear the crack of the bat (okay, the ping of the bat) at the DeWitt E. Reynolds softball field.  So, if you ever find yourself in the southernmost point of the United States, longing for a taste of the National Pastime’s “pastime,”  pay a visit to the Wickers Sports Complex.  When there, be sure to stop by the old outfield wall located beyond center field.  It’s part of the game’s history, although, I do not suggest anyone sit on the park bench.

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