|Chronological Tour: Stop 199|
Overhead view from the nearby Inclined Plane railway, Jul-2001.
The park is configured for football as well as baseball. Notice the long bleacher as well as the net running to the ground.
The river bridge to the Inclined Plane is visible during the national anthem.
It did double duty for baseball and football, and its shape was dictated by John Street, Washington Street, and the Stoneycreek. There really wasn’t enough room to put a baseball park in here, yet it served for years as the home of the annual All-American Amateur Baseball Association tournament, and it hosted the Negro Leagues during barnstorming trips.
It hosted an Eastern League team at one time, too, and they wanted to go back in there (before they went to nearby Altoona), but they couldn’t get the city to move John Street to make left field bigger. As a result, left field remained extremely shallow – perhaps 250 feet down the line – but both the 15-foot wall and a net of close to 30 feet above it were considered part of the fence, so anything hitting the net is alive and in play. Right field was shallow, too, but the football stand jutted out, creating a Fenway-like angle to go along with the Net Monster.
The locals said they draw capacity crowds of 10,000 for high school football, but the attendance for the Johnnies game I saw in 2001 didn’t get out of three figures.
In February 2003, the Frontier League announced that the anticipated move of the Johnnies to Florence, Ky., for the 2003 season was official. The team played at a temporary facility in Hamilton, Ohio, in 2003, and then moved to Florence for 2004.
A major renovation of Point Stadium began in October 2005, using state funds as well as other sources of revenue. On Monday 17-Oct, a crane knocked down the grandstand, and demolition was completed by mid-November. A new stadium opened 8-Aug-2006, in time for the AAABA tourney. The new park features artificial turf and will be suitable for events other than sports.
|463||Sat 7-Jul-2001||Frontier||Ind.||JOHNSTOWN 8, Kalamazoo 3|