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Association Park

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A view of Association Park from an 1887 map of Little Rock.

Association Park, also known as the High Street Grounds, was a baseball park in Little Rock, AR and was the home field of the Arkansas Travelers Base Ball Club in 1885, the Little Rock Base Ball Association in 1886 and the Little Rock Giants in 1887.

History

Association Park was built in 1885 for the use of the amateur Arkansas Travelers. The grounds were surrounded by 11th, 12th High, and Victory streets in Little Rock. The area was known as Jacobi Grove and included a vineyard and a saloon.

In 1886, the ballpark became known as Association Park when the Little Rock Base Ball Association, the city's first professional baseball team, leased the grounds. The association built a grandstand and a 10-foot fence, making Association Park Little Rock's first enclosed baseball grounds. That fall, Association Park hosted a series of exhibition games between Little Rock and the major league St. Louis Browns and St. Louis Maroons.

In 1887, Association Park was the home of the city's first minor league team, Little Rock Giants of Southwestern League.

Association Park continued to be the center of baseball in Little Rock until the mid 1890s when West End Park was built in the city and became Little Rock's main baseball park.

Exhibitions

The following is a list of exhibition games played at Association Park:



Excerpts

"The greatest drawback to base-ball in Little Rock has been in getting suitable grounds to play on. This has been remedied to a great extent, the Arkansas Travelers Base-ball Club of last year having got permission from Mr. Dutlinger to use the grounds near Jacobi's Grove, Eleventh and High streets. The management have gone to the expense of putting the grounds in proper shape, leveling, etc., and practice is indulged in every evening. In a few days lovers of the national game will be again treated to the sport which they have been deprived of so far this season."1

"A back stop has been built on the new grounds in the shape of a fence, seven by Thirty-two feet. The game can now proceed without delay."2

"The grounds at Eleventh and High streets are to undergo a change soon. The diamond will be placed back and to the right of where it now is, some sixty-five or seventy feet, thus securing a longer outfield. Seats will probably be erected at an early day in the rear of the diamond, from the sale of which the boys hope to make expenses."3

"The proposition of Col. Zeb Ward to furnish a park with all improvements at the corner of Eleventh and High streets at a rental of $300 a year, was accepted. The grounds were leased for three years with the privilege of renewing for five year once the lease expires. Work will commence on the grounds tomorrow. The park will be enclosed by a ten-foot fence and a grand stand fifty-feet one way and 100 another in the shape of a quadrangle, will be constructed on the west side of the enclosure. The grand stand will accommodate about 800 persons."4

1. Arkansas Gazette, 7/31/1885
2. Arkansas Gazette, 8/14/1885
3. Arkansas Gazette, 8/19/1885
4. Arkansas Gazette, 8/22/1886


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