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Jones Park

Jones Park was a baseball park located in Pine Bluff, AR, and was the home of the Pine Bluff Lumbermen in 1905.

History

Jones Park was was approximately bordered by what is today Harding, South Main and Talbot streets in Pine Bluff.1 It built and named for wealthy African-American Wiley Jones, who was the proprietor of a number of successful enterprises in Pine Bluff. The park's primary attraction was a half mile racing oval, but also hosted baseball as far back as the early 1890s.

Jones Park may have been used by the Pine Bluff Lumberman of the Cotton States League early in the 1903 season before Forest Park was completed. After the 1904 season, the Pine Bluff baseball association chose to move home games back to Jones Park because it was much closes to the center of town. 23 A new grandstand was constructed and Pine Bluff began playing at Jones Park in May of 1905.4 The following season, the Pine Bluff Barristers in the Arkansas-Texas League returned to playing at Forest Park.5

Excerpts

"It is probable that next season will find the Pine Bluff team playing at Jones Park once more, as the 1904 park is entirely too far from the centre of town. Jones Park can be reached in half the time, and what is equally important, it is supplied with water, thus making it possible to keep the grounds In good condition at all times."2

"Pine Bluff, Jan. 11. --President N. T. White of the local baseball association announces positively that the games next season will be played at Jones Park instead of Forest Park. Arrangements will be completed in a few weeks for the removal of the grand stand and bleachers, and the new park will be fitted up into the best baseball park in the Cotton States League. The Citizen's Light and Transit Company promise a much better street car service to Jones Park and the run can easily be made from the business portion of the city to the park in five minutes. Business men who wish to attend the games will not be compelled to spend at least a half hour getting to the game, while the park is within easy walking distance in case of a crowded condition of the cars. When "Play ball!" is first called for the season of 1905 the teams will face each other in the new park and the fans will be glad."3

"Jones Park will be put in fine shape for spring practice and the work will begin next month."6

"A new grand stand 200 feet long, which will seat 800 persons, can be built in Jones park at a much less cost than the moving of the old grand stand, and the same time will have the advantage over the old grands stand in that it will seat 800, where the old one was crowded with 500. The plans have all been drawn and the directors were today getting figures on the cost of the erection of the new grand stand. If this is decided upon the exhibition games before the season opens will be played at Bell park, for the new structure cannot be erected in time. The old park is in good condition. The new park will be the best park in the Cotton States League."7

"Pine Bluff, May 13. --If old Sol will kindly show his beaming countenance for about two days in succession in and about this vicinity, the new baseball park at Jones Park will be used for Monday's game with Meridian. The grandstand has been completed and the low places in the ground have been filled up, the only thing lacking being the rolling of the diamond and outfield. The recent heavy rains have washed this badly and but little work to this end could be accomplished during the past week. The rains softened the dirt and it would have been folly to try to draw the heavy roller across the park. The new grandstand is built on an entirely different style from most of those seen in the minor leaguers. It is two hundred feet long and built in a curve around the diamond. The bleachers will extend at either end and there are several nice boxes for private parties. The grandstand will seat about 800 people and afford accommodation for all."4