Athletic Park (Minneapolis)

From BR Bullpen

Athletic Park was located in Minneapolis, MN. It was the first prominent ballpark built in the city, at the corner of 6th Street and 5th Avenue North; earlier teams had used makeshift facilities that were little more than empty fields on which a diamond had been laid out. Opened in 1889, it was a veritable bandbox, with distances of barely 250 feet down the foul lines.

Athletic Park was home to an early incarnation of the Minneapolis Millers from 1889 to 1891, when the team disbanded in August because of financial problems. Later that season, the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association scheduled its final series of the season here, in the hope of drawing better attendance than in its home city. Weather forced the cancellation of two of the three scheduled games against the Columbus Solons, but the game of October 2nd, won 5-0 by Milwaukee behind the pitching of Frank Killen, would stand as the only major league game to be played in Minnesota until the relocation of the Washington Senators in 1961.

The Millers were re-created in 1894, playing in the Western League, and used the ballpark until 1896. Those years were characterized by the slugging feats of Perry Werden, who took advantage of the park's small dimensions to slug 42 home runs in 1894 and 45 in 1895, the latter a professional record that would stand until the days of Babe Ruth.The Millers were evicted form the site early in the 1896 season, as the land had been sold for commercial development. Three weeks later, the Millers moved to Nicollet Park, which would be their home until 1955.

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