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.
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.