As the Atlanta Braves prepare to start another season, here’s an Opening Day treat that’s a fascinating look at the baseball history of the city.
The image above was taken in 1950, showing Ponce de Leon Ballpark, the home of the Negro League’s Atlanta Black Crackers. It was one of the most picturesque minor league stadiums built to that point in the sport’s history.
“The fence was 365 feet down the left field line, 321 to right, and 462 to dead center, where a giant magnolia stood. Spiller Field had the only ground rules in baseball history allowing for a tree in the outfield,” said Georgia Encyclopedia.
The report goes on to say that the New York Yankees once came to town for a preseason game. Babe Ruth and Eddie Mathews both played in the stadium and were the only two people to ever hit home runs into the magnolia tree.
Below, you can see what the area looked like in 2004, with the soon-to-be Ponce City Market in the background.
Images via Atlanta Time Machine