Tinker Field Cultural Heritage,
cultural heritage left behind by legendary
baseball icon Mr. Joseph B. Tinker is the Tinker
Field along the West Church Street in Orlando,
Florida. It was constructed in 1914, directly
adjoining the equally famous Citrus Bowl.
Tinker Field is a vast
stadium that was chiefly used for baseball
for so many years.
can accommodate up to more than 5,000 people. It
was the home field of the popular minor league,
Orlando Rays baseball team for quite some time.
The stadium also served as a training home for
the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins during
spring training up until the 1990 season.
Other teams it served are the Orlando Bulldogs,
from 1923 up to 1924; the Cincinnati Reds, from
1923 to 1930; the Colts, from 1926 to 1927; the
Brooklyn Dodgers, from 1934 to 1935; the Gulls,
in 1937; the Senators, from 1938 to 1953; the
CBs, from 1954 to 1955;
the Seratomas, in 1956; the
Flyers in 1957 to 1958; the Dodgers, in 1959 to
1961; the Twins, from 1962 to 1972; the Florida
State League/Orlando Twins, from 1973 to 1989;
the SunRays, from 1990 to 1992; the Cubs, from
1993 to 1996; and the Rays, from 1997 to 1999.
The stadium enjoyed 77
successful and colorful years in central
Florida. However, in year 2000 Orlando Rays
moved to the new ballpark at Disney’s Wide World
of Sports. Although there were still a few games
held by local small leagues, the stadium was
somewhat to disuse after the Orlando Rays left.
Little by little, the facilities deteriorated,
giving in to disrepair and disuse. The
bleachers, which are made of wood, have become
soft from moisture and begun chipping away.
Moreover, the box seats, which are made metal,
are already being eaten by rust. But due to its
historical beginnings, the stadium was nominated
at the registry of the US National Register of
Historic Places on the 14th of May 2004. Its
last hurrah was the Extreme Baseball league’s
inaugural season in the summer of 2007.
Today, the fate of the historic baseball park is
still being debated. The still serviceable
ballpark may be repaired and restored in line
with the renovation of the Citrus Bowl. But the
bad news is there is a proposal under the
“Downtown Master Plan 3” to tear down the
already dilapidated Tinker Field. The good news
though is that such proposal would have
difficulty being approved because of the
ballpark’s standing at the National Register of
Historic Places. People who had it listed under
the sacred registry of historic places would
surely oppose the proposal.