|Chronological Tour: Stop 47|
The exterior of Watt Powell Park, Aug-2000.
The seating bowl and right-field picnic area, Jul-2003.
Here you can see the rapid and scenic rise of a hilltop just beyond the park – and of the field just inside the fence.
Most recently, it’s been in the South Atlantic League. The Charleston Wheelers entered in 1987, changing their name to the Alley Cats in 1994, the season after I visited.
West Virginia is known as the Mountain State, and that even applies here in its largest city and capital. Charleston is set in the valley of the Kanawha River, and here the mountains rise directly above the outfield wall for a picturesque effect. The outfield also has some waves in it, with a distinctive incline toward the right-field wall.
Dale Cooper, who first told me of Blackstone in an e-mail correspondence, also tells of the legend of the longest home run at the park, hit by Carlos Delgado of the Myrtle Beach Hurricanes. Delgado’s poke landed in a passing coal car, and rumor has it that the ball wound up in Pittsburgh. Anyone for some bituminous cowhide?
Starting as early as 1993, there were plans – vigorously opposed by the fans in Rowdy Alley as well as many ballpark aficionados – to move Charleston’s team downtown, near the state capitol. To help pay for the project, the land containing Watt Powell Park would be sold, and indeed the park is due to be demolished in the fall of 2005. The club adopted a new name for 2005 as well, to honor their move into the new park.
|96||Thu 19-Aug-1993||S Atlantic||A||CHARLESTON WV 6, Asheville 5|
|594||Sat 5-Jul-2003||S Atlantic||A||CHARLESTON WV 3, Lakewood 2|