Joe Bauman Made It Fly Here

Walking into Joe Bauman Stadium, Aug-2007.

The Spartan facilities currently in place.

An amateur game keeps the field occupied on a Sunday afternoon.

Quick Facts:
In 2004, the Roswell city council dedicated Fair Park Field, which had already gotten the name Coca-Cola Field from a sponsorship by a local distributor, to Joe Bauman (1922-2005). Bauman was one of the greatest minor league sluggers of all time, but he spent only part of one season above the Single-A level.

After playing briefly in Double-A and Triple-A for the Braves organization in 1948, he left organized baseball for three years but came back in 1952 to play low-level ball in New Mexico. After hitting 103 home runs for Artesia in 1952-53, he moved to Roswell, where he bought a gas station he operated for 50 years and played for the local Roswell Rockets for three seasons. In 1954, he won the Longhorn League (Class C) triple crown by batting .400 with 72 HR and 224 RBI for the Rockets. The RBI total and .916 slugging average he achieved that season are all-time pro records; the 72 HR stood until 2001, when it was broken by Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants, who was on his way to the career MLB record he established in 2007.

Unfortunately, the field is nothing like what Bauman played on (although he would remember it this way, as he attended the dedication to him, which took place in 2004 on the 50th anniversary of his slugging accomplishment). All that remains is a concession / press box / restroom building which appears to have been built in the 1970s, as well as aluminum bleachers. But at least the field where Bauman slugged his way into immortality still exists.

There was talk that an independent loop to be called the Southwestern League would play games here; the team would be called the Roswell Aliens, as the city is associated today with a UFO incident in 1947 that was investigated by officials from a nearby Air Force base. But the league, which would have also had teams in Alamogordo and Clovis, N.M., as well as Odessa, Texas, never got started. In 2011, another independent league, the Pecos League, placed a team called the Invaders at the park.

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This page updated 7-Aug-2012