Site of Phillips Field/Majors Stadium
By WacoKidd110 @ 2011-09-30 20:23:19
Once hosted the New York Yankees & Joe DiMaggio
In 1929, Eula Lasater Phillips donated $3,500 to the Greenville Athletic Council to build an athletic field at this site in memory of her late husband, Frank Phillips. The first athletic event in Phillips field was a football game between the Greenville High School Lions and the Leopards of Dallas Oak Cliff on Oct. 4, 1929. In 1930, the land transferred to the city, with management by the school district. Here, celebrated Coach Henry Frnka led the school football team to an undefeated season and the state championship in 1933.
In 1946, the field was realigned to become the home of a minor league baseball team, the Majors, named for Truett Majors, the first Greenville resident killed in World War II. More than 160,000 people attended Majors games in 1946, and Greenville fielded a number of competitive teams in the late 1940s. In 1947, the football stands were razed and replaced with a baseball stadium. On April 10, 1949, the Majors hosted an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, defeating them 4-3. Among those who participated for the Yankees that day were Casey Stengel, manager, and Joe DiMaggio in center field. Another baseball great who played here was Monty Stratton, a Greenville native, who pitched a game for the Majors in 1950.
Attendance at Majors' games declined by 1950, and the team folded before the following season. Reorganized minor league teams, also named the majors, played here in 1953 and 1957. Youth and amateur leagues used the field until the property sold in 1964 and the stadium was demolished. Today, the stadium's arched entryway, built by the works progress administration in 1940, serves as a reminder of the countless athletes and fans who gathered here in the spirit of competition.
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