Step up to the Plate: Spotlight on Washington Park Baseball
With the beginning of a new baseball season underway, staff at the Indiana Historical Bureau invites you to learn more about America’s greatest pastime and its place in Indiana history by checking out our state historical marker commemorating baseball at Washington Park. Located near the entrance to the Indianapolis Zoo (the former site of the stadium), the marker celebrates the park, the Negro National League, the Indianapolis A.B.C.s, and the Indianapolis Indians.
Right: “Indianapolis A.B.C.s,” Indianapolis Star, 1922, Indiana State Library microfilm.
Baseball became popular in Indianapolis in the years after the Civil War. Jim Crow era policies during the period forced separate black and white teams to form, both of which developed a rich history in the city. The Indianapolis Indians were organized in 1902 as one of the original teams in the American Association league. They played their first game at the newly opened Washington Park on April 19, 1905 and won three league pennants there through 1931. By 1920, the stadium was also home to the Indianapolis A.B.C.s, one of the eight original teams of the Negro National League. The Negro National League led the way for the formation of other Negro leagues at a time when blacks across the country were prevented from playing in the major leagues. In 1931, Washington Park closed, but play continued at Perry Stadium, which opened late that year.
An Indiana State Historical Marker commemorating St. Vincent's Hospital will be dedicated on April 26. A reception will follow the dedication program, and the public is invited to attend. Learn more.
Planning to apply for an Indiana State Historical Marker? Intent to Apply forms are due at the end of the month, by midnight on April 30.
If you have questions about the process, don't miss our Live Q&A on April 9 at 12:30. Facebook users can RSVP here and join in on our Facebook page. If you don't use Facebook, you can send questions via email. We'll email a transcript of the entire Q&A so that you don't miss out!
We're Celebrating our Centennial!
We're celebrating 100 years of IHB by looking back at the Indiana Centennial. As the Centennial of our agency approaches in 2015, we're reminiscing about the work that was done nearly 100 years ago to celebrate Indiana Statehood. Visit our blog to read excerpts from the weekly Centennial Newsletter and share Centennial memories from your local archive with us on Facebook!
How you can get involved
Did you know that planning for the State Centennial began less than a year before the year of celebrations began in 1916? With no email or social media at their disposal, it's amazing how much was accomplished by the Historical Commission and their statewide network of commissioners.
We're hoping that this look back will inspire you to take advantage of the next two years to begin thinking
about how you'll get involved in the Indiana Bicentennial. Surely, with all the 21st century tools we have available, and twice as much time to plan, we can all pitch in to make Indiana's 200th birthday twice as great as its 100th!