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New Orleans to commemorate Pelican Stadium

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Pelican Stadium, the longtime home of professional baseball in New Orleans, will be honored with a commemorative plaque at a ceremony today.

The ballpark, located at the southwest corner of Tulane and South Carrollton Avenue, is long gone, but memories of the Pelicans persist. From NOLA.com:

The ballpark was used by the former minor league New Orleans Pelicans, by scores of Major League teams as a spring training facility, as a neutral site for Major League exhibition games, and by several New Orleans-based Negro League teams beginning in 1915, when grandstands were dragged through the streets by mules to be installed at the stadium.

Baseball was a neighborhood fixture at the park until it was demolished in 1957 to clear space for a motel, and later, Interstate 10.

That first pro game was played in 1887 by the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that became a mainstay in the Southern League. The team was also a solid draw: in 1947 the Pelicans drew 400,036 fans to Pelican Stadium (shown above). That ballpark was torn down in 1957, and the Pelicans played a few seasons at City Park Stadium before leaving town.

By the way, the New Orleans Pelicans will exist once again -- on the basketball court, as the NBA's New Orleans Hornets management announced a name change for the 2013-2014 season.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune has a nice history of pro baseball in New Orleans in the archives.

RELATED STORIES: Looking back at 125 years of New Orleans baseball

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