Historic Markers Across Florida

Clearwater Athletic Field

Marker ID: FLHM F-879
Location: 900 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave, Clearwater, FL
County: Pinellas
Coordinates: N 27° 58.471    W 082° 47.515
  27.97451666    -82.79191666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMRJ7T


Clearwater Athletic Field

In 1922, the Brooklyn Dodgers agreed to hold their spring training in Clearwater with the provision that the city would create an appropriate venue. The city broke ground on the Clearwater Athletic Field in December 1922 following the City Council's decision to issue $25,000 in bonds to construct the field and a 2,000-seat wooden grandstand. Home plate was located at what is now the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and Seminole St., left field ran parallel to Palmetto St., and right field ran parallel to N. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. Players dressed in a wooden clubhouse off the third-base line, stayed downtown at the New Fort Harrison Hotel, and walked to and from practice. Professional and minor league teams that made the field their training home included the Brooklyn Dodgers (1923-32; 1936-41), Clearwater Pelicans (1924), Newark Bears (1933-35), Cleveland Indians (1942 and 1946), Clearwater Bombers professional softball (1945-54), Philadelphia Phillies (1947-54) and the Negro League Clearwater Black Sox (1952). The athletic field grandstand was destroyed by fire in 1956, but this remaining field was sometimes used for team practice and as a parking lot for games at nearby Jack Russell Stadium.

City of Clearwater, The Philadelphia Phillies,
and the Florida Department of State