Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Visalia's Original Field of Dreams

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This is not Recreation Ballpark; it's Athletic Park, and it was Visalia's first enclosed baseball diamond.

This picture is not precisely dated, but it appears to be from the early 1920s. If you click the image and look at the enlarged version, you'll see a rich example of early 20th Century small-town America in detail. Notice the cars parked on either side of the grandstands (any classic car enthusiasts out there? Can you give us an exact year on these models?), and the absolutely jam-packed crowd overflowing out of the stands and spilling down either foul line.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Recreation Park and the The Lavatory of Doom

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Ladies: it's time to play an exciting round of "Would You Use This Restroom?"

This was the ladies' room at Recreation Park in 1962. As far as we know, there was no award for having the fortitude to survive it. Visalia women have always been fearless, after all.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Programs from the Past: 1949

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The cover of the 1949 Visalia Cubs program features a baseball with an aerial shot of Visalia superimposed on it, which is fairly impressive. The Mouse-Bear has apparently been phased out and replaced with a much tougher-looking cub, albeit one who swings way too hard, doesn't watch the ball, doesn't rotate his hips, and jumps in the air while doing it. It's quite possible that the '49 Visalia team was taking hitting lessons from the cartoon cub, since they finished dead last in the California League with an abysmal 42-98 record.

This edition was also unique in that it doubled as a program and a "civic magazine." Now that's creative branding.

You can view all six (6!) glorious pages of this voluminous "civic magazine" after the jump.