History behind Bosse Field stands out as major selling point for potential MLB game
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Following Wednesday’s announcement that Major League Baseball is considering Bosse Field as a possible venue for a special-event game, the history behind the field and the many familiar names attached to it appear to be a major selling point for the ballpark.
Bosse Field is the third oldest ballpark nationwide, behind only Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago. At one point, it was a staple in the minor leagues, playing host to future major league greats like Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammell and Frank Thomas. Key cogs for Cincinnati and the “Big Red Machine” such as Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez have also visited the ballpark.
A ballpark of its stature speaks for itself, which proved to be true when MLB officials came to town.
“When [the MLB officials] walked through the ballpark, on both occasions, you can tell they were absorbing the history,” Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said.
Currently the home of the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League, Bosse Field is also the face of the 1992 classic film “A League of Their Own,” starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna.
Otters owner Bill Bussing told 14 Sports that more than 100 Hall of Famers has visited Bosse Field either as players, coaches or broadcasters. He says that piece alone resonates with the MLB.
“We had a Braves franchise here when I was a kid, and of course, we had Triple-A baseball here for 15 years,” Bussing said. “The Twins, the Brewers and the Tigers brought through some really great players. And remember, we were members of the American Association, so even if those players weren’t members of the Evansville team, they all came through here. Reggie Jackson for example, Tony LaRussa was here. They have some connection to Bosse Field.”
Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Andy Benes grew up in Evansville and played at Bosse Field while attending Central High School and the University of Evansville. After hearing the ballpark is being considered as a potential site for a major league game, Benes said it would not only be great for the city of Evansville, but also for the MLB.
“It would be fun to maybe see the Cardinals play over there, I don’t know who they would schedule, but it’s such a great place,” Benes said. “I really enjoyed coming back for its 100th year anniversary. Any time I see ‘A League of Their Own,’ I tell my kids and grandkids, ‘Hey, dad played there, papa played there,’ so I have a great admiration for that place, a lot of great memories and hopefully there will be a lot more memories to come.”
The push to bring a major league game to Bosse Field follows the success of the “Field of Dreams” games over the past two years.
“It sits at 23 Don Mattingly Way,” Mayor Winnecke said. “That’s a pretty good story to tell for Major League Baseball. That was the appeal to them.”
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