Present view of Sherman Field
Photos courtesy Eliza Portrait Design
At the end of World War II, the city of Lincoln decided to build a new baseball stadium. The city secured a franchise in the reestablished class "A" Western League and they needed a proper facility to host the team. After some debate it was decided to build the stadium at First and South street. The newspaper hosted a name that stadium contest and it was decided to name the stadium after Cy Sherman, a longtime Lincoln sportswriter and official in the old Western League.
Construction started in late 1946. The roof and the lights were built in
early April of 1947 and the stadium was ready enough for the first home
games in May. For the home opener, the town hosted an old timers banquet
and had sound movies of the 1946 world series.
Clarence Mitchell , a former major league pitcher who was living in
Aurora Nebraska and Bill
Rumler a former first sacker for the St. Louis Browns were the guests
The first game almost did not happen as groundskeepers left a sprinkler on all night and soaked the infield. The grounds crew had to work overtime to get the field ready for the first game.
In 1950 the field was flooded in the spring and Lincoln had to move a number of their games to other venues.
A number of great players called Sherman Field home for at least one
Nellie Fox led the Western League in hits for Lincoln in
1948. The 20 year old second
baseman was promoted to the Athletics at the end of the season. In 1950 he
was sold to the White Sox and he was named to twelve all star teams and
the major league Hall of Fame.
Bobby Shantz was 18-7 for Lincoln in 1948. He went on to be the Most Valuable Player in the American League in 1952.
Dick "Dr. Strangeglove" Stuart played 108 games in the outfield for Lincoln in 1956 along with 36 games at first. He was the best home run hitter in the league with 66 home runs. He averaged .298 for the year and had 88 walks. He returned for part of the 1957 season before having a long major league career.
The field is currently used for American Legion and high school games. The Lincoln Saltdogs call the new Haymarket Park home. In its current configuration Sherman field is 330 ft. down the lines, 380 ft. to center and 360 ft. in the power alleys.
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© 2009 Bruce Esser