Posts Tagged ‘Lane Field’

San Diego’s Lane Field – The Ballpark By The Bay

March 10th, 2015

Lane Field was located near the northern end of the San Diego Bay, in San Diego, California, at the northeast corner of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway California just across from the West Broadway Pier.

Entrance to Lane Field, Northeast Corner of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

San Diego Harbor Office Building and Athletic Field at Northeast Corner of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California, Soon to Become Lane Field (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The ballpark was constructed on land originally used by the City of San Diego and United States Navy as an athletic field beginning in the mid 1920s. In addition to the athletic field, the venue included a race track and uncovered bleachers.

City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

In 1936, Bill Lane, the owner of the Hollywood Stars, moved his Pacific Coast League franchise to San Diego and renamed them the Padres.

Key to Blueprints Showing Original and Proposed Improved Ball Park (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Key to Blueprints Showing Original and Proposed Improved Ball Park (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

That same year, in the course of just a few months, the Works Project Administration reconfigured the athletic field at North Harbor Drive and West  Broadway into a baseball park.

Detail of City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Detail of City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The ballpark was named Lane Field in honor of the Padres’ owner and hosted minor league baseball at that site for the next two decades.

Entrance to Lane Field at Northwest Corner of West Broadway and Pacific Highway (UT Photo  -utsandiego.com/news/2012/mar/07/lane-field-park-honor-padres-minor-league-history)

Entrance to Lane Field at Northwest Corner of West Broadway and Pacific Highway (UT Photo – utsandiego.com)

Ted Williams, who grew up in the North Park section of San Diego, played for the Padres during their first season in San Diego.

Ted Williams as a San Diego Padre, Lane Field, San Diego, California (Ted Williams Collection, My Turn At Bat)

Ted Williams as a San Diego Padre, Lane Field, San Diego, California (Ted Williams Collection, My Turn At Bat)

The Padres departed Lane Field after the 1957 season and by the 1960s the ballpark had been raised and turned into a parking lot for people departing from cruise ships in San Diego Bay.

Former Site of Lane Field, Intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California

Former Site of Lane Field, Intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Left Field Corner from Home Plate, San Diego, California

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Left Field Corner from Home Plate, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Home Plate from Right Field Corner, San Diego, California

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Home Plate from Left Field Corner, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

The United States Navy building at 937 North Harbor Drive, located just across the street from the the former site of home plate, parallel to first base foul line, dates back to the time of Lane Field and can be seen in many of the aerial photographs of the ballpark.

United States Navy Building (in Background) at 937 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California

United States Navy Building (in Background) at 937 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Since the mid 2000s, the Unified Port of San Diego has planned to redevelop the former site of Lane Field.

Sign Announcing Development of Lane Field Site, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Sign Announcing Development of Lane Field Site, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Those plans finally came to fruition with construction of a new commercial development known also as “Lane Field,” located at 900 West Broadway.

Former Site of Lane FIeld, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane FIeld, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California, 2015

Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California, 2015 (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The redevelopment of the site includes a tribute to Lane Field in the form a park with the outline of a small infield, which includes important dates in Lane Field’s history set into granite.

Historical Marker at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Historical Marker at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The site also includes a historical plaque placed at the site in 2003 by the Society for American Baseball Research.

Historical Marker, Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Historical Marker, Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The former site of home plate is marked with a granite monument topped with a baseball quote by Ted Williams, stating, “There’s only one way to become a hitter. Go up to the plate and get mad. Get mad at yourself and mad at the pitcher.”

Tribute to San Diego Native Ted Williams at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Tribute to San Diego Native Ted Williams at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Lane Field’s former site is located eight miles southwest of the National League San Diego Padres former ballpark, Qualcomm Stadium, and only a mile and a half northeast of the Padres current home, Petco Park.

Petco Park - Current Home of the San Diego Padres

Petco Park – Current Home of the San Diego Padres

Although Lane Field is now a lost ballpark, with the addition of the new park honoring Lane Field, the short drive from the Padres current home to the intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Boulevard is certainly worth the trip.

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Ted Williams – His Boyhood Home When “The Kid” Was Just A Kid

January 18th, 2013

Ted Williams, the Splendid Splinter, grew up in the North Park section of San Diego, California.

Ted Williams’s Boyhood Home at 4121 Utah Street

His boyhood home is located at 4121 Utah Street.

Front Door Entrance to Boyhood Home of Ted Williams

His home on Utah Street is located in the North Park section of San Diego, just northeast of Balboa Park.

North Park Section of San Diego, California, Location of Ted Williams Boyhood Home

North Park Section of San Diego, California, Location of Ted Williams Boyhood Home

The home is a modest, one story bungalow.

Side View of Ted Williams’s Boyhood Home

Williams lived there with his family from 1924 until left San Diego to play for the Boston Red Sox in 1939.

Detached Garage Behind Boyhood Home of Ted Williams

One half block south down Utah Street and one block west on Polk Avenue is North Park Community Park, where Williams played as a child. The park includes a baseball field named in Williams’s honor.

Sign Commemorating Ted Williams and the Ball Field Where He Played as a Child

The Kid played youth baseball on this same field when he was just a kid.

Ted Williams Field, San Diego, California

Both Williams’s house and the ball field look much like they did when Williams lived in the neighborhood.

First Base Side, Ted Williams Field

Williams played baseball for Herbert Hoover High School in San Diego and signed with the minor league San Diego Padres in 1936 when he was just 17 years old. He played two seasons for the Padres, in 1936 and 1937.

Third Base Side, Ted Williams Field

Twenty miles north of William’s boyhood home is the Ted Williams Freeway, California State Route 56, which runs east-west between I-5 and I-15.

Ted Williams Parkway, Route 56, San Diego, California

Ted Williams Parkway, Route 56, San Diego, California

Lane Field, home of the San Diego Padres, was located just five miles south of Williams’s house. Williams played for the Padres at Lane Field the year that it opened in 1936. It was his first season of professional ball. While the ballpark has been gone now for over 50 years, recently the city has constructed a monument to Lane Field, including a historic marker and a granite outline of the infield and the former site of home plate. On top of the home plate monument is a quote from Ted Williams” “There’s only one way to become a hitter. Go up to the plate and get mad. Get mad at yourself and mad at the pitcher.”

Historical Marker, Lane Field, San Diego, California

Historical Marker, Lane Field, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

If you are interested in baseball history, certainly Williams’s former home and youth baseball field are worth a stop. They are both just five and a half miles north of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and easily accessible by taking the Cabrillo Freeway north to Washington Street east and then east on El Cajon Boulevard. Lane Field’s former site is located just a mile and a half northwest of Petco Park, straight up North Harbor Drive.

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Posted in California ballparks, Ted Williams Boyhood Home and Ted Williams Field | Comments (2)