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Fort Worth Flashback: Shouts of ‘Play ball!’ have rung out at LaGrave Field since 1926

Posted April 24, 2014

1937 LaGrave Field

This 1937 photo, shot looking northward, was taken from the Fort Worth National Bank Building. The original LaGrave Field was built in 1926 and was left vacant in 1965.

LaGrave Field replaced Panther Park, which had been opened in 1900 and was located on the west side of North Main Street, a few blocks from the eventual LaGrave Field. Panther Park, in turn, had replaced Hayne’s Park, located closer to downtown.

After winning consecutive Texas League championships in 1919-1925, the club owners decided to build a new ballpark, which was named for the club’s principal owner, Paul LaGrave. It turns out that the last year of the old ballpark was also the last year of the Panthers/Cats string of league titles, but the club would go on to win several more league titles in the 1930s and 1940s.

Early in the 1949 season, on May 15-16, the ballpark was attacked on several fronts, by a destructive fire and then rains and floods. The ballpark was rebuilt and rededicated in time for the 1950 season.

After baseball left the city in 1965, the site languished for years, but parts of it remained. When the stadium was rebuilt in 2001, the original dugouts were retained and renovated as suites, making LaGrave the only ballpark in America to house four dugouts.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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