Remembering Sportsman's Park

1 decade 2 months 1 day ago February 23, 2007 Feb 23, 2007 Friday, February 23 2007 Friday, February 23, 2007 6:15:05 AM CST in Sports

Babe Ruth played there.

"[So did] Willie Mays and Hank Aaron," added Deborah Harris, operations manager for Boys and Girls Club. "There is a poster out there, near the entrance, that was the poster that was donated to us by the city because they were impressed with the history that was here."

The biggest names in baseball played here, so did Fulton's very own Charlie James.

"I think hitting the grand slam off Sandy Koufax," James recalled as his fondest memory of Sportsman's Park.

Another memory is captured in a photograph: the Cards beating the New York Mets to clinch the 1964 pennant.

When the Cardinals left old Busch Stadium, they moved downtown to a round, cookie-cutter stadium used for baseball and football. The new stadium is a throwback stadium. It's a new ballpark that's supposed to look like an old ballpark, sort of like Sportsman's Park.

"It just seems I have these memories of balls going out of that park," remembered Cardinal fan June Hoffman.

Charlie James' grand slam left Sportsman's Park. Babe Ruth hit one out, too. Imagine the big hits and memorabilia that will come out of the new place.

"The signage isn't that good," complained fan Vicki Ford. "Something is happening out there."

Something sure is happening out there in St. Louis, and Sportsman's Park is where it all started.

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