MyAJC

Throwback Thursday – 1991

Braves player Mark Lemke pushes teammate Jeff Blauser in a shopping cart (normally used for bats) down the flooded club house tunnel from the dugout on May 19, 1991. The day’s game was called due to rain. Nick Arroyo/AJC

#TBT Ponce de Leon Park: Mind the magnolia, you Crackers

Opened 1907; rebuilt 1924, demolished 1965 – Also known as Spiller Park or Spiller Field from 1924-32, Ponce de Leon Park was the home ballpark of the Southern League’s Atlanta Crackers from 1907-64. The Atlanta Black Crackers of the Negro American League shared the park with the white Crackers team but due to segregation at the time, were not allowed to play at the park when the Crackers had a home game. Flanked by Ponce de Leon Avenue to the south and the Southern Railway tracks to the east, the little ballpark (seating about 20,000) was truly nestled in downtown Atlanta. A magnolia tree in deep center field was its most distinguishing feature, with the tree being in play until 1947. The ballpark was torn down in 1965 when the Braves came to Atlanta. Today the Midtown Place mall is located where throngs of Atlanta baseball fans once cheered on the hometown teams.