St. Pete’s Huggins-Stengel Field designated national historic place

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The field was designed for Babe Ruth.

The National Park Service has added Huggins-Stengel Field in St. Petersburg to its National Register of Historic Places, Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee announced Wednesday.

The field, which is now part of Crescent Lake Park and used for local Little League teams, served as a Major League Baseball spring training facility for the New York Yankees for various years spanning 1925-1961, the New York Mets 1962-1987, and the Baltimore Orioles 1992-95. The New York Giants used the field in 1951.

“Major League Baseball spring training has long been an indelible part of Florida’s culture and few sites are as intricately linked to spring training as Huggins-Stengel Field,” Lee said.

A total of 17 New York Yankees World Series winning teams played at Huggins-Stengel Field in addition to the 1969 and 1986 New York Mets championship teams.

Initially named Crescent Park Field, the name was changed to Huggins-Stengel Field in 1962 in honor of renowned Yankees team managers Miller Huggins and Casey Stengel.

The field was custom built for baseball legend Babe Ruth.

Major League Baseball spring training was a significant tourist draw for the city of St. Petersburg. The Huggins-Stengel Field launched St. Pete as a major destination for spring training.

The field has been home to many historic moments in baseball. Joe DiMaggio played for the first time as a New York Yankee in 1936 and Lou Gehrig first started showing signs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), during spring training in 1939 in St. Pete. The disease was ultimately named after Gehrig.

Some of baseball’s all-time greats played on the field including Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan and Cal Ripken Jr. among others.

The field was retired as a spring training destination in 1995 after the Baltimore Orioles played the final season at that location.

The city of St. Pete designated Huggins-Stengel Field a local historic landmark in 2018.

The National Register of Historic Places is a list maintained by the National Park Service of sites considered worthy of preservation because of their local, statewide or national significance.

Nominations for properties in Florida are submitted to the National Park Service through the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources. Florida has more than 1,700 listings on the National Register, including 295 historic districts and 175 archaeological sites.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


One comment

  • Hobie Landrum

    October 9, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    I visit this field every time I go to Spring Training in St Pete. It is a beautiful field and the lake beyond right field just adds to its appeal.
    Only thing in article that didn’t seem correct to me was that it is used by Little League. When I saw games played there a few years ago it was kids older than that. Maybe American Legion or teens. Other than that I think it captures the historic beauty.

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