Gene Hooks Field at David F. Couch Ballpark

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(Redirected from Ernie Shore Field)

Gene Hooks Field at David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem, NC, was the home of Winston-Salem affiliated baseball from 1956 through 2009, ending the tenure as Ernie Shore Field. After that, the Winston-Salem Dash of the Carolina League began playing in a new ballpark in downtown Winston-Salem.

Still as Shore, it was a filming location for Mr. Destiny (1990).

The ballpark was sold in 2008 to Wake Forest University, which renamed it Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park after a former Demon Deacon athletics director. During a subsequent renovation, the school renamed the ballpark for Couch while keeping the Hooks name on the playing field. Couch, a 1980 Oakland Athletics high-school draftee who instead played for WFU, was a key donor to the reno project.

When construction on the Dash's new playpen ran late, WFU hosted the Dash in their old playpen for the 2009 season and nearly half of the 2010.

Ernie Shore, who pitched from 1912 through 1922 in the big leagues and served as Forsyth County sheriff from 1934 through 1970, led the drive to replace South Side Park after it burned down in 1955.

The local favorite son is also known for being involved in one of baseball's knottiest problems: on June 23, 1917, starting pitcher Babe Ruth walked the first Washington Senator he faced and was ejected for arguing about it, Shore replaced him, the runner was thrown out stealing, and Shore retired the next 26 batters to end the game. This unique event generated debate over whether Shore had thrown a perfect game. Today, officially, he and Ruth are credited with a combined no-hitter but no perfect game.

The ballpark seats 6,000 fans.