A milestone of sorts last week in Chattanooga, where Engel Stadium, the former home of the Chattanooga Lookouts (Class AA; Southern League), marked its 82nd birthday amid efforts for renovation.
One of the great old ballparks of baseball, Engel Stadium was opened by the entrepreneurial Joe Engel in 1930, beginning with a series of exhibition games that included a match featuring the mighty New York Yankees (with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the lineup) and culminated on April 15 with a crowd of 16,000 on hand to see the Lookouts host the Atlanta Crackers. Here’s a nice account of those festivities from the Chattanoogan.
Still up in the air: the ballpark’s future. It’s owned by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, with the goal to launch a varsity baseball program around a renovated facility. A nonprofit Engel Foundation has been working with a school on a renovation plan that would add a museum to the proceedings a la Rickwood Field.
Engel Stadium opened in 1930 and is very much a product of the era, with the classic grandstand and brickwork throughout the grounds. It’s not been maintained very well since the Lookouts moved to AT&T Field, as a lack of money has cut back on some essential repairs.
RELATED STORIES: Work continues on Engel Stadium preservation
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