Historic Markers Across Alabama

Dallas (Optimist) Park 1928-1949

Marker ID: AHA 
Location: Oakwood Ave. at Andrew Jackson Way, Huntsville, AL
County: Madison
Waymark: None


Side 1:
Built in 1928, Dallas Park served as the baseball field for the Dallas Mill teams coached by H.E. "Hub" Myhand, who came to Huntsville in 1927 as physical director for Dallas Manufacturing Co. Until the 1940s, he was Mr. Baseball in Huntsville. During these years, semi-pro baseball featuring local mill teams drew loyal crowds of up to 6,000 fans. In 1935, the Lincoln and Dallas Mill teams merged to form the Redcaps. The Huntsville Dr. Peppers (1937-1943), a women's semi-pro softball team coached by Cecil Fain, also played here.

Side 2:
In 1949, the Optimist Club purchased Dallas Park from Dallas Mills, erected lights, and renamed it Optimist Park. The close of the cotton mills ended the mill-team era, though semi-pro baseball returned with Leroy McCollum's Huntsville Boosters (1950-53). The park, one of the few early ball parks open to all races, was used during the 1950s and 1960s for exhibition games by the Birmingham Black Barons and other Negro League teams. With the Park renovated and reopened (1994) by the City of Huntsville, baseball returned to Optimist Park, the self proclaimed "Friend of Youth."

End of Dallas (Optimist) Park 1928-1949