Saturday, June 27, 2009

On this Day in 1935

On June 27, 1935, hundreds of Santa Clara residents lined up along Franklin, Alviso, and Washington Streets to watch a parade of night baseball teams, city officials and citizens as they marched to the new Washington Night Baseball Field where dedication ceremonies were being held.
Named after President George Washington, Washington Park (the first baseball park in Santa Clara) was built under the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) Program. Five area organizations contributed to underwriting the lighting units for the baseball field: the Greater Santa Clara Club, the volunteer Santa Clara Fire Department, the Santa Clara Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Navajo Tribe of the Independent Order of Red Men and the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce. The brilliant lighting system of 30 units furnished 30,000 watts for the night games. Three night baseball games were played after the dedication ceremonies with the following wins: the Chamber of Commerce beat the City and School Officials' team, the English Tailors girls' team upset the Villa Roma cafe waitresses, and the Pipes Hotel defeated the Growers' Supply Company!

One of the dedication speakers was Charles Graham, president of the San Francisco Seals, a professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League which played exhibition games at Washington Ball Park in the late 1930s and 1940s.

In September 1935 additional WPA money was granted to add a school field, grandstand, and playground to the new Washington Park Baseball Field.

written by mh, posted by mb