History of Sarasota’s Baseball Tradition 1912 1998 - Present The Sarasota Baseball Team was organized to In 1998, the Cincinnati Reds began their spring “furnish amusement during the summer months training and minor league operations at Ed Smith and also to advertise the town by having a good Stadium. baseball team.” The team’s colors were blue- grey trimmed with red. 2007 Payne Park reopens on October 6, 2007. 1923 Payne Park, the original stadium for the city of Sarasota, was built on a portion of 60 acres of Famous Major League Baseball players land donated by Calvin Payne and his wife, who participated in spring training in Martha. Sarasota TED WILLIAMS was born on August 30, 1918, 1924 - 1927 and died in Inverness, Fla. on July 5, 2002. The The New York Giants held spring training in mighty slugger, who wanted to be known as the Sarasota. John Ringling is credited with scoring greatest hitter of all time, played nineteen the Giants for Sarasota. seasons with the Red Sox, compiling a lifetime batting average of .344. He hit .400 or better three times. He was inducted into the Hall of 1933 - 1958 Fame in 1956. The Boston Red Sox called Payne Park their spring training home (with a four-year hiatus Local favorite EARLY WYNN was born on during World War II). January 6, 1920, and died in Venice, Fla. on April 4, 1999. He began his career in 1939 with the Senators, then the Indians, the White Sox and 1959 threw his 300th win for Cleveland. An The Los Angeles Dodgers used Sarasota’s spring intimidating fastball thrower, he won the Cy training facilities for one year. Young Award in 1959 at age 39 by winning 22 games. He won 20 or more games five times. 1960 - 1997 Source: LaHurd, Jeff. Spring Training in The Chicago White Sox called Sarasota their Sarasota 1924-1960. spring training home. 1989 Ed Smith Stadium was built and named to honor the hard-working, multi-year president of the Sarasota Sports Committee – Ed Smith. 1990 Vote Yes on November 6th! Payne Park was demolished in November 1990, www.yes4baseball.com after standing for 65 years. Paid Political Advertisement. Paid for and approved by the Committee to Save Our Baseball Tradition.