Okay, we all know how great Slugger Field is. Just take it from USA Today who ranked the ballpark as one of the top ten places to watch minor league baseball. Although by now it’s old news, here’s what Metro Lou was pushing back in April.
“Built on the banks of the Ohio River, this home to the Triple-A Louisville Bats is fronted by a restored 19th-century rail depot that serves as its main entrance and incorporates shops and restaurants,” the article said. “Depending on where you sit, you can glimpse the downtown skyline or the cantilevered bridge that spans the river to Indiana. Perks include a children’s play area in right field and a continuous concourse that surrounds the field.”
Baseball writer Graham Knight selected the nation’s best minor league ballparks, from 200 nationwide, to highlight in his “10 great places for a baseball pilgrimage.” Others making the list include Coca Cola Field in Buffalo and Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.
But did you know Slugger Field was once a mecca for the potato industry? Just check out all those rail cars full of potatoes headed to Slugger Field one hundred years ago. The catch line on the postcard reads, “Potato shipping, a leading industry in Louisville, Ky.”
That view was taken from where Interstate 65 sits today looking west towards Downtown. There once was a substantial rail yard there as evidenced by the oblique alignment of Hancock Street today as it makes its way into Butchertown.
And if you didn’t know, back then, we grew large potatoes in Louisville. And who said the Victorians didn’t have a sense of humor?
The guy with the wagon full of potatoes is a Louisville Spud Stud! How many bowls of mashed potatoes could you make per wagon load I wonder? Keep those post cards coming. They are fantastic!
It might interest BrokenSidewalk readers to know that Louisville, in the first half of the 1900’s, was one of the largest potato markets in the country (well, the 2nd largest market). Check out the wikipedia article
Thanks for the link, Jeff. I had forgotten about St. Matthews’ potato heritage. There some more info in the Encyclopedia of Louisville (http://lou.ly/8i). The area exported 13 million pounds of potatoes in 1913! Anyone know anything about the St. Matthews Potato Festival?