Tinker Field Cultural Heritage, Orlando, FL

 

Another 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.

 

 It 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;

tinker field cultural heritage, orlando, florida

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.