Doubleday Field, Cooperstown
Doubleday Field has been home to baseball games for over a century and the current stadium was constructed in 1939 with the support of the Works Progress Administration. The field named in honor of Abner Doubleday and some people continue to believe that this was the location of the first baseball game in 1839. In reality, baseball evolved from other games with less than formalized sets of rules such as rounders. Variations of baseball were played from New England to the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic from the 1830s to the start of the Civil War. The war helped spread the game as soldiers were introduced to the game and variations of rules. This movement of people and ideas led to the emergence of a more standardized set of rules as men from all over the country played one another while in camp. The war also spread baseball to the South, and there are even sources that reveal games being played during organized truces between opposing armies. This stadium is located near the Baseball Hall of Fame and is home to the Hall of Fame Classic and other events that celebrate the history of America's Pastime.
Backstory and Context
In 1919, a baseball field was created here with the support of local volunteers. the first game was played in 1920 and baseball has been played here ever since. After being purchased by the Village of Cooperstown, the field would slowly turn into a stadium. In 1924, a wooden grandstand was built offering seats for 250 spectators, In 1939, the current stadium was constructed with funding from the Works Progress Administration. The first game played here included many baseball legends including Babe Ruth.
Many legends of the game have come to play on this field since 1939, The annual Hall of Fame Game was played by two major league teams from 1940 to 2008. The game continues as the Hall of Fame Classic but does not include players on current major league rosters. The field also hosts concerts and festivals.
“Doubleday Field.” Cooperstown, NY Official Site, www.thisiscooperstown.com/attractions/doubleday-field.
“Doubleday Field Historical Marker.” Historical Marker, 26 Sept. 2016, www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=43672.
“History of Doubleday Field.” Baseball Hall of Fame, baseballhall.org/about-the-hall/history/history-of-doubleday-field.