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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sarasota in Sarasota County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Payne Park

 
 
Payne Park Marker Side 1 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, October 29, 2019
1. Payne Park Marker Side 1
Inscription.  Side 1
Payne Park was host to many of Major League Baseball's most renowned figures from 1924, when the reigning champion New York Giants of the National League opened spring training, until 1988, when the Chicago White Sox of the American League played their last spring game. The stadium was torn down in 1990.

Calvin N. and Martha E. Payne sold the 60-acre tract of land upon which the Payne Park stadium was built to the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County for $18,000 in 1923. Terms of the sale required that it be developed as a fairground and public park. Space was available for a baseball diamond if a major league team agreed to conduct spring training in Sarasota.

The Sarasota County Fair opened the following January, a month before the arrival of the Giants. Circus owner and real estate developer John Ringling and theatrical performer Samuel Gumpertz were instrumental in convincing Giants' manager John McGraw to bring his team to Sarasota, where it played exhibition games from 1924-1927.

As Sarasota's downtown area grew, the fairgrounds were moved east; but professional baseball remained the
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popular focal point of Payne Park activities.
(Over)
Side 2
The Indianapolis Indians of the Midwest League played spring training games at Payne Park from 1929-1932. They were followed by the Boston Red Sox from 1933-1958. With the exception of three years during World War II when spring training was suspended, the Red Sox attracted crowds to Payne Park to watch some of the great names in baseball, including Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson.

After the Red Sox moved their spring games to Arizona, the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League played a handful of games here in 1959 while the Sarasota Sports Committee sought a commitment from another team.

When the Chicago White Sox began spring training in 1960, they began a relationship with Sarasota that outlasted the Payne Park baseball field. By the mid-1980's both City and County Commissions realized that it was time to phase out baseball activities at Payne Park and build a more modern sports stadium. The Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers played the last major league game at Payne Park on March 30, 1988. The White Sox' sign moved with them to their new spring quarters at Ed Smith Stadium on 12th Street.
 
Erected 1996 by Sarasota County Historical Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists:
Payne Park Marker Side 2 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, October 29, 2019
2. Payne Park Marker Side 2
Parks & Recreational AreasSports. A significant historical year for this entry is 1924.
 
Location. 27° 20.065′ N, 82° 31.733′ W. Marker is in Sarasota, Florida, in Sarasota County. Marker is on Adams Lane west of East Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2050 Adams Lane, Sarasota FL 34237, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. World Trade Center Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); John Hamilton Gillespie (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sarasota Terrace Hotel (about 700 feet away); Sarasota County Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Station (approx. ¼ mile away); Charles Ringling Building (approx. ¼ mile away); Mable Ringling Memorial Fountain / Luke Wood Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Smally, Donald J. P.E. (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sarasota.
 
Payne Park Marker looking south image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, October 29, 2019
3. Payne Park Marker looking south
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 1, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 198 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 1, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 1, 2024