Exploring the Tri-State: Bosse Field

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

The first municipally owned league base ball park in the world. Interior of Bosse Athletic Field Stadium, Evansville, Indiana. n.d.

Postcard of Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana, n.d.

Baseball’s moniker is known as “America’s pastime”. Some could make the same conclusions for Evansville. Evansville is the home of Bosse Field. For over a hundred years, history and memories have been created there.

Evansville Otters Baseball. The current team logo.

This is the current team logo of the Evansville Otters.

Bosse Field is a major sports attraction in Evansville. Did you know that Bosse Field is the third oldest baseball stadiums in the United States? It is because it opened on 1915; however, Fenway Park (1912) and Wrigley Field (1914) are older than Bosse Field. The stadium was named for Evansville mayor, Benjamin Bosse, who was the mayor as Bosse Field opened. It cost $65,000 and tickets ranged from 25 to 75 cents (Goldberg-Strassler, 2012).

Bosse Field has housed numerous baseball and football teams for Evansville. One fact many individuals do not know is Evansville had a team with the National Football League: they only played in 1921 and 1922 and became “… the first NFL team to go under” (Goldberg-Strassler, 2012). All of Evansville’s baseball teams were in several different leagues, including one Triple AAA team (Evansville Triplets). They supported numerous Major League Baseball teams throughout their histories such as the Detroit Tigers, Atlanta/Milwaukee/Boston Braves, Chicago White Sox, and Minnesota Twins. From 1915 to 1984, there were nine teams: Evansville River Rats, Evansville Evas, Evansville Black Sox, Evansville Pocketeers, Evansville Hub, Evansville Bees, Evansville Braves, Evansville White Sox, and Evansville Triplets (Goldberg-Strassler, 2012).

People at Bosse Field with the Evansville Triplets and Mark Fidrych of the Detroit Tigers, 1977. (MSS 034-1710)

People at Bosse Field with the Evansville Triplets and Mark Fidrych of the Detroit Tigers, 1977. Credit: University Archives & Special Collections

After 1984, there was no business occurring at Bosse Field until 1992. Hollywood took over the thriving metropolis of Evansville. Why? Bosse Field was featured as the baseball stadium in the movie, A League of Their Own. The next time you attend an Evansville Otters game at Bosse Field, take a look at the back of the stadium: it still says, “Support the Racine Belles” (A League of Their Own, n.d.). Baseball would return to Evansville in 1995 with the Evansville Otters, where they still play today (Goldberg-Strassler, 2012). Evansville Otters tickets and season schedules are available through their link.


A league of their own: Trivia (n.d.). Retrieved on May 17, 2017, from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104694/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv

Goldberg-Strassler, J. (2012, October 24). Bosse field/Evansville otters. Retrieved from http://ballparkdigest.com/201210245760/independent-baseball/visits/bosse-field-evansville-otters

Visit Evansville, Indiana. (n.d.). Bosse field. Retrieved on May 17, 2017, from http://www.visitevansville.com/attractions/bosse-field

This entry was posted in Evansville, Indiana, Exploring the Tri-State, sports. Bookmark the permalink.

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