Historic Muzzy Field in Bristol (Ct.), which turned 100 years old this summer, will again see a higher level of baseball, as the summer-collegiate Futures League will field a team there in 2015.
The Futures League signed a three-year lease for Muzzy Field, the center of sports in Bristol for the majority of those hundred years, hosting the Bristol Owls (Class B; Colonial League) in 1949-50 and the Bristol Red Sox (Class AA; Eastern League) from 1973-82. Muzzy Field was also the site of many baseball and football games, including barnstorming MLB teams: Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees once appeared, as did notables like Jimmie Foxx, Minnie Minoso, Jackie Mitchell, Warren Spahn, Lefty Gomez, Casey Stengel, Bill McKechnie, Max Carey, Paul Waner, Kiki Cuyler and Pie Traynor all played there for the Boston Red Sox (1919 and 1922), Pittsburgh Pirates (1926), Boston Braves (1943 and 1944), Philadelphia Phillies (1943 and 1944) and New York Yankees (1945). Negro Leagues teams and other barnstormers, like 1934 All-Star Ranger Girls of Chicago and the House of David, also made appearances. Pro football teams also played there, including the 1943 Green Bay Packers, New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers. You can read of all these exploits in Douglas Malan’s Muzzy Field: Tales from a Forgotten Ballpark. (Thanks to Doug for passing along these images and information about the ballpark.)
Rick Muntean, most recently GM of the St. Joseph Mustangs (summer collegiate; MINK League), will run the team on behalf of owners David Lindland and Elliott Scheiner.
The Futures League has made a habit of moving into old ballparks and making them work: the North Shore Navigators play out of Fraser Field in Lynn, Mass., the Nashua Silver Knights play out of historic Holman Stadium, and the Pittsfield Suns play out of historic Wahconah Park. The addition of Bristol gives the Futures League 11 teams for the coming season.
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