McCarver Stadium Lore
Exciting news for those of you who have a certain fascination with Memphis history and collectibles. The first 2,500 fans to May 29th’s Memphis Redbirds game against the Iowa Cubs will receive a Tim McCarver Stadium replica.
Erected in the early 1950s, Tim McCarver Stadium was originally built as a part of a multi-field complex on the Mid-South Fairgrounds. The park was unique with its grass outfield, turf infield and high-school-like fencing behind home plate. The small field gradually grew, adding a covered grandstand and press boxes, readying itself to be called the home of Memphis’ first professional baseball team since 1960. The Memphis Blues won their debut game at Tim McCarver Stadium on April 16, 1968 in front of a capacity crowd of 5,447.
Over the years, the park had been known as Fairgrounds #3, Blues Stadium and Chicks Park before donning the name of Memphis’ own baseball ambassador, Tim McCarver, in 1978.
McCarver’s baseball history stretches back to when he used to work the concession stands during Memphis Chicks baseball games. He played college ball for Christian Brothers University and later played for the Chicks in 1960, where he hit .347, a year after debuting in the majors for the Cardinals. At the conclusion of his 21-year major league career, McCarver took up broadcasting, which he still enjoys today alongside Joe Buck with FOX’s coverage of the MLB.
Tim McCarver Stadium was dismantled in the spring of 2005 and currently is a vacant grass lot. Though the stadium is gone, Memphis will always have the memories of the Blues winning the Texas League championship in 1969 and 1973, the Chicks winning the Southern League championship in 1990 and hosting the inaugural season of the Memphis Redbirds.
Friday Night, cleverly named ‘Nostalgia Night’ (the first of three), will also be spent remembering the Memphis Chicks, which means the players will be wearing the sweet old-school Chicks uniforms.
One of the most nationally-remembered moments in Chicks history can be found here. Go straight to page 48 for the full story. Interesting how AutoShack (AutoZone’s old moniker) is mentioned.
I love and miss Tim McCarver Stadium. One of the saddest memories I have is the fact that when they tore it down, it didn’t even get a decent burial. Did any of the stadium pieces get put back and saved for perhaps a future Memphis Sports Museum? I even love the picture of the stadium from the outfield. You can almost see my season ticket seats. I thank the Memphis Redbirds for doing this promotion and the SGA. It is on a shelf with many other great pieces of memorabilia. I can’t wait for the other two promotions: Russwood Park and Martin Stadium. Congratulations for a great night. I tip my Memphis Chicks cap to you!
“Memphis Chicks Stadium” Story reminds me of when my Granddad would pick me up at St. Peters Orphanage out on Poplar Ave. on the way to Chick’s Ballpark for a great day together. We left Memphis in 1957, when I was 12 yrs. old, but I’ll always have fond childhood memories of the old stadium.
Thanks to Allison Rhoades for the “stroll down the lane”.