Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, August 06, 2020

The oldest league you never knew about

And for all that time, baseball, George Donnelly’s Sunset League Baseball—an homage to former player and famed Newport sportswriter George Donnelly—has been played inside. As Newport, and the world, has shifted and changed with newer sports, activities and pastimes, the country’s second-oldest continuously-run amateur league in perhaps America’s oldest ballpark has carried on.

“The ballpark has been around as a ballpark, you can go, some people say to the 1880s. Some people say 1909 was the first year,” La Rose says.

That’s older than Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. That’s older than “oldest ballpark in America” Rickwood Field.

La Rose, who took the job of commissioner on a dare nine years ago after boasting he could do it, has since fallen in love with the history of the ballpark—and who can blame him?

The area was first used as a water basin for neighboring steam locomotives in the late 19th century, but after complaints about the stagnant water by locals, the land was cleared. Railroad workers decided to then use the space to develop a baseball sandlot—perhaps as early as the 1890s (it’s still under debate). Long fly balls broke too many windows of nearby homes and businesses and the league was shut down. But again, in 1919, it was started up again as the still-existing sunset league to “provide working men with an opportunity to play ball.” They’ve been playing here every summer, ever since.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2020 at 10:37 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sunset league

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 06, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5968148)
Pretty cool. I've driven by the field a bunch of time. Unfortunately I'm almost never in Newport in the summer, so I'll have a hard time catching a game.
   2. The Mighty Quintana Posted: August 06, 2020 at 04:50 PM (#5968198)
Great story! Considering how much Newport real estate is worth, it is a testament to the town that they have kept it there.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
A triple short of the cycle
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - NBA Bubble Thread
(2719 - 11:32pm, Sep 19)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogWeekend OMNICHATTER for September 19-20, 2020
(22 - 11:15pm, Sep 19)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOT - August/September 2020 College Football thread
(29 - 11:10pm, Sep 19)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogMinnesota Twins' Josh Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt at plate after homer
(19 - 10:33pm, Sep 19)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogExpanded playoffs beyond 2020? Inside the MLB push — and the pushback
(13 - 9:46pm, Sep 19)
Last: Ziggy: social distancing since 1980

NewsblogIs 2020 finally the year for a DH to win MVP?
(29 - 9:21pm, Sep 19)
Last: flournoy

NewsblogWhite Sox Promote Garrett Crochet
(9 - 9:14pm, Sep 19)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Sox TherapyThe Imperfect Schedule - Games 152-162
(4 - 8:54pm, Sep 19)
Last: Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert

NewsblogClint Frazier’s Patience Pays Off For the Yankees
(6 - 6:33pm, Sep 19)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogJason Heyward is a Superstar Again
(15 - 5:18pm, Sep 19)
Last: Tin Angel

NewsblogRoger Angell Turns One Hundred
(6 - 3:48pm, Sep 19)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogOT - Soccer Thread - Brave New World
(112 - 12:08pm, Sep 19)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

Hall of Merit2021 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(349 - 10:53am, Sep 19)
Last: kcgard2

NewsblogOMNICHATTER has got that herd mentality, for September 18, 2020
(37 - 9:56am, Sep 19)
Last: Crispix Attacksel Rios

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(9674 - 9:28am, Sep 19)
Last: manchestermets

Page rendered in 0.2319 seconds
48 querie(s) executed