Ray Winder Field

From BR Bullpen

(known as Travelers Field, 1932 to 1966)

BUILT: 1932

FIRST GAME: April 13, 1932

LAST GAME: September 3 2006

Ray Winder Field in Little Rock, AR, was the home of Little Rock affiliated baseball from 1932 through 2006. After that, the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League began playing in a new ballpark in North Little Rock.

Winder hosted Negro Leagues baseball at least into the 1940s.

Opened in 1932, the ballpark was originally named for its team - then the Little Rock Travelers. The ballpark's exact name is vague; research yields Travelers Field, Traveler Field, and even Traveler's Field. It was renamed in 1966, for the man who became a ticket taker in 1915, part owner in 1944 and repeatedly saved professional baseball for Little Rock. After the city lost three Double-A teams in six years, Winder landed a Triple-A franchise in 1963. He retired in 1965.

Despite the usual credit to the Minnesota Twins, the Travs are likely the first American professional sports team to go by the name of its state rather than its city. The former Washington Senators took the Twins brand as they moved to Minneapolis, MN, in 1961, but the Little Rock Travelers became the Arkansas Travelers no later than 1967.

Located in War Memorial Park, Travelers replaced Kavanaugh Field, which opened in 1901 as West End Park. "The Fenway Park of the South" was torn down in 2012 - except its iconic clocked-topped scoreboard, which still overlooks what is now a hospital parking lot.

The Travs' 1966 franchise swap with the Double-A Texas League's Tulsa Oilers finally brought stability. The 12,246 attendance at Fernando Valenzuela's 1991 rehabilitation start at Ray Winder remains the state's largest pro baseball crowd ever.