Chronological Tour: Stop 254

Jack Russell Memorial Stadium

Home plate entrance to Jack Russell Memorial Stadium, Aug-2003.

Looking in from the left-field line.

Like many fields, this one points northeast.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
Jack Russell Stadium was a modern park, I’m sure, when it was built in 1955. Its tenure came to an end in 2003; a new facility to accommodate all of the Philadelphia Phillies’ training needs opened in 2004, just off Route 19, and includes Bright House Networks Field, the new spring training and Florida State League home of the Phillies.

The park was named after a 15-year major league pitcher who came to settle in Clearwater and spearheaded the stadium construction drive. It consists of a lower section with stadium seats, as well as an upper section of aluminum seating that reminded me of The Diamond in Richmond, Va., and aluminum bleachers down the lines. A section along the third-base line had been converted into a picnic pavilion. The field faces a rather conventional northeast.

I saw the penultimate game at the park. The next night, Robin Roberts, among others, was to make a special appearance to close the park; however, I had other plans.

A note of irony accompanies the closing of the park. Wilbur Snapp was the organist at Jack Russell Stadium for two decades; in 1985 he was ejected by the umpires when he played “Three Blind Mice” after a particularly contentious call. He died 6-Sep-2003, exactly two weeks after his beloved ballpark shut down.

The main grandstand was torn down in July 2007, but the field continues to host amateur games, including the occasional college game. The aluminum bleachers down the lines are intact.

Game # Date League Level Result
628 Fri 22-Aug-2003 Florida State A CLEARWATER 4, Sarasota 1
Return to the Stadiums page
Return to Charlie’s home page

Site and images Copyright © 2003 Charles O’Reilly. All rights reserved.
This page updated 26-Feb-2010