Nice to see more improvements on tap for Muzzy Field, the 101-year-old home of the Bristol Blues (Futures League) and former home to MiLB ball, as city officials announce $1.5 million in additional upgrades.
This comes after the city spent $2 million on upgrades in the area surrounding the ballpark for this year’s baseball season. It represents quite the comeback for the ballpark. From the Bristol Press:
The $1.5 million second phase of improvements for the 101-year-old ballpark include putting a new press box behind home plate, extending the roof over the first baseline grandstand and even a new Wrigley Field-style sign with the name of the park….
Park Director Ed Swicklas said there will also be changes made to make it safer for players in the dugouts by adding a fence that would prevent foul balls or bats from flying into someone.
The city also intends to replace aging lights with new brighter, more energy-efficient ones. It’ll take 88 of the new light bulbs rather than 132 of the old ones, Swicklas said.
Muzzy Field was 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.