Throwback Thursday | Field of Dreams at Local Pasadena Ballpark

Throwback Thursday is Written and Produced by Rick Thomas

PHOTO: The Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com | Chicago White Sox pitchers work out at Brookside Park, Pasadena (left to right): Vic Frasier, Chad Kimsey, Ed Durham, and John Wilson (1938)

Baseball has long been a favorite in the communities bordering the Arroyo Seco. Ball clubs were first organized based on local employment. The Raymond Hotel ball club would play against the Green Hotel ball club at ballpark near the Raymond Station.

PHOTO: The Thomas Collection | SouthPasasdenan.com | Arrival of White Sox Spring Training in Pasadena (1949)

From 1933-42 and 1946-52, the Chicago White Sox held their spring training at Arroyo Seco Stadium in Brookside Park, Pasadena. The club suffered during “the lean years” failing to win the pennant from 1920 to 1958.

PHOTO: The Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com | White Sox Spring Training “Opening Day” at Arroyo Seco Stadium in Brookside Park, Pasadena (1949)

According to the local press, when the White Sox arrived in Pasadena the ballplayers were greeted by “pretty girls and sunshine.”

PHOTO: The Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com | Spring training batting practice at Arroyo Seco Stadium (1933)
PHOTO: The Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com | Second baseman Jackie “Minter” Hays is taking batting practice at the Arroyo Seco Stadium (1938)

The life of a professional baseball player is never certain or necessarily a “dream career,” especially during the sport’s early history.

Jackie “Minter” Hayes was one of the best second basemen in the league, best known for his ability to turn a double play. In a career that spanned 14 years, he made over a thousand hits. In 1940, Hayes lost sight in one eye after a baseball injury and infection. The White Sox released him unconditionally later that year.

1951 and 1952 were promising seasons for the Chicago club. However, it wouldn’t be until later in the decade when the Sox finally won the pennant. In 1959, the White Sox appeared in their first World Series since the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, and defeated by the Los Angeles Dodgers (4-2).

The new century gave the lowly baseball club its first breakthrough season. In 2005, the Chicago White Sox won the World Series after an 88-year drought.

 

Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.

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