Day 117: August 3, 1991

Indianapolis, IN

Park # 130

What I Remember

I liked Bush Stadium at first sight but if I had known what I was looking at, I probably would have wanted to spend much longer. The ballpark, which originally opened in 1931 as Perry Stadium had a manual scoreboard and ivy on the outfield walls, ala Wrigley Field. But if you think the idea for those came from Wrigley, you would have it backward. According to Wikipedia, the owner of the Chicago Cubs liked the Perry Stadium ivy so much he had it planted in Wrigley.

Bush Stadium last just five more years as the home of the Indianapolis Indians and the team moved into a new downtown ballpark, Victory Field, in 1996. Today, an apartment complex looks out at what was once the field although the stadium facade has been preserved and incorporated into the condos.

Mostly, though, it was the scoreboard that made an impression that night. I wrote about the evening in Chapter Eight of In League with America.

In venerable Bush Stadium in Indianapolis, we were invited to go inside the manual scoreboard (think Fenway or Wrigley) and watch the game progress from there. It was fascinating, though not my favorite way to watch baseball. You get the outfielder’s perspective, but not the whole perspective since you are peering out through a hole the size of a mailbox.

A bit later, back in our seats, a batboy came up into the stands with and gave us a bat; I came across it in my garage last week. I assumed it had been his idea and the act was nice enough, even if was just from a bat boy. But the bat was inscribed, it read, “From #10 Todd Haney,” who was the starting second baseman that night. Haney was in the top ten in the league in batting and would make the jump to Montreal the next season. After that he was a utility infielder for a few years in the majors but to us, getting an unsolicited signed bat from any player was staggering.

The Game

Indianapolis Indians 5 Oklahoma City 89ers 3

The Box

A Note about this Site

This site is intended to be a companion to the upcoming book In League with America. Although some games were particularly notable and will appear in the book, most of the results of the 199 games we saw over the course of the 1991 season will not. Our journey was never really intended to be at the games themselves, it was about the places we saw and the people we met along the way.

However, there is now an historic nature to the results from this season. All of the players we saw then, even in the minors, have long since retired. Some of the players we saw at Class A are now members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. These pages, then, will function as kind of a digital appendix with a brief recollection of each day, the result of the game(s) we saw that day and a map of our daily drive.

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