Rocky Point Grounds

From BR Bullpen

Rocky Point Grounds was a ballpark located in Warwick, RI that was regularly used by teams from nearby Providence, RI because local blue laws prevented the playing of baseball on Sundays. That was because it was part of a resort on Narragansett Bay that did most of its business on week-ends. In fact, until 1900, it was the only ballpark in New England allowed to stage games on the Sabbath. The first such game took place in 1891.

A few major league games were played at the park over the years, the first on June 3, 1891, one of five such games hosted on a Sunday by the Boston Reds in the final season of the American Association. After their demise, however, the Boston Beaneaters of the National League declined to take advantage of the opportunity to stage Sunday contests there, as they held to a strict policy of not playing games on Sundays - including on the road - until 1903. However, the creation of the Boston Americans in the new American League in 1901, changed things. They used the park for exhibition games and on September 6, 1903, they hosted the Philadelphia Athletics in a regular season contest, winning 3-2. The two teams had a string of doubleheaders scheduled, and when rain wiped out the second game on the Saturday, they had no choice but to find an alternate venue to get a game in on the Sunday.

Sunday crowds for the Providence minor league teams who played here were excellent, in the 5,000 to 7,000 range, so team owners wanted to schedule as many games there as possible, including exhibitions against major league squads visiting Boston, MA who would otherwise have been idle on Sundays. However, by the time of World War I, the facilities began to fall into disrepair because of poor maintenance and the final game was played in September of 1917. The state of Rhode Island allowed Sunday baseball in 1919, whereas New York, NY became the preferred venue when the two Boston teams wanted to play Sunday games (they were only allowed in Massachusetts in 1929). The grounds around Rocky Point became an amusement park, which operated until 1995, albeit without a ballpark, as it was demolished in 1920.

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