The capital of Illinois has a genuine classic. Opened in 1928, Lanphier Ball Park was home to minor league baseball serving the Browns, Tigers, Giants and Cardinals organizations including the Class AAA level, as well as a brief host to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League:
Springfield Browns, Class B Three-I League, 1932
Springfield Senators, Class B Mississippi Valley League, and
Springfield Cardinals, Class A Western League, 1933
Springfield Redbirds, Class B Central League, 1934
Springfield Senators, Class B Three-I League, 1935
Springfield Browns, Class B Three-I League, 1938-42
Springfield Browns, Class B Three-I League, 1946-49
Springfield Sallies, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, 1948
Springfield Giants, Class D Mississippi - Ohio Valley League, 1950
Springfield Redbirds, Class AAA American Association, 1978-81
Springfield Cardinals, Class A Midwest League, 1982-93
Sultans of Springfield, Class A Midwest League, 1994-95
Springfield Capitals, independent Frontier League, 1996-2001
So many minor league ballparks have train tracks just outside their confines, and this venue is no exception; they run beyond the right field fence here. The Frontier League game that I saw in the late 1990's featured ushers who were young ladies in cute uniforms who doubled as cheerleaders and dancers between innings. The Capitals team was successful on this field of play but the team relocated to upstate Rockford, becoming the RiverHawks, after affilliated minor league baseball moved out of there to Dayton.
Robin Roberts Stadium as it is now called does not stand up to most other Class AAA ballparks but it could still be considered serviceable to an independent pro team or a Class A Minor League team. The place was closed and locked when I stopped by with a camera, but I was able to squeeze off a few good pictures.
All of my original photos on this page are approximately one-quarter size. Netscape users can right-click and view-image to see the full-size images.
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