Friends of Warren Ballpark News

FRIENDS OF WARREN BALLPARK PURPOSE

New scoreboard configurable for all sports

The Friends of Warren Ballpark is an organization of baseball fans that recognizes the historic value of the field and its place in the history of America's National Pastime. Our purpose is to promote, restore and renovate the ballpark as a functioning community asset for the Bisbee Unified School District and the community at large. We have built new bathrooms that are ADA compliant, replaced the bleacher screening, added signage and a new scoreboard.

PROMOTE

The Friends are working to ensure that the story of Warren Ballpark's fascinating and colorful past becomes a recognized part of American baseball's rich history. They are presently planning and organizing the 2017 Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament to be held in Bisbee on April 8th and 9th, 2017. The Friends conduct field research and interviews of former players and managers as an ongoing effort to improve our knowledge and understanding of the unique role of Warren Ballpark in Bisbee's history and in the history of The Game. We also share our research findings with the media and community historical organizations through presentations, displays and planned publications.

Real ADA compliant bathrooms

RESTORE AND RENOVATE

After a century of use our beloved ballpark is showing its age. The Friends of Warren Ballpark is committed to working with Bisbee Unified School District to return the park to its condition at its prime when it was a minor league baseball park. We also support the district's efforts to improve the park's accessibility to disabled fans and to upgrade its infrastructure as a public facility.The Friends of Warren Ballpark is sponsored by the Bisbee Council on the Arts and Humanities, a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization.

December 9th and 10th, Rugby Returns to Warren Ballpark in Bisbee, Arizona

December 9th and 10th, Rugby Returns to Warren Ballpark in Bisbee, Arizona

In 2016, after a 100-year absence, the Friends of Warren ballpark hosted a day of rugby matches at Warren Ballpark. The teams are returning on December 9th and 10th to play a two-day exhibition tournament. Adding to the excitement, two women’s teams will also compete. Mark your calendar to celebrate another facet of Warren Ballpark’s storied history.

The tournament is dedicated to James J. Murphy from Bisbee. S1C Murphy and 1176 of his shipmates were killed when the Arizona's forward magazines were penetrated by a Japanese aerial bomb at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

  • December 9th and 10th, 2017 (gates opening time TBA)
  • Entry fee: $5 per day
  • All funds go to preserve and enhance the 108-year-old historic Warren Ballpark. Recent Friends projects include new restrooms and a multi-sport scoreboard.
  • The Tombstone Brewing Company is invited to serve local craft beer.

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL VINTAGE BASE BALL TOURNAMENT

The Friends of Warren Ballpark hosted its 8th successful Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball tournament. Many people helped make the tournament a success.

Thanks to the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League teams that travel from Prescott, Fort Verde, Phoenix and Tucson to play with the local Bisbee Black Sox. The Colorado All-Stars again brought their colorful uniforms and showmanship to entertain the cranks (fans in 1860 parlance).

Thanks to Richard Hodges, Josh, Bryon, Jesus and Clinton, the school district staff, who devoted their weekend to chalking the field, keeping the restrooms supplied, and doing everything that ensures a smoothly running event.

Support your local radio station KBRP. Ryan Bruce, Marco and Dillan spent two days announcing the games and harassing the players.

What’s a tournament without beer and hotdogs? Thanks to the Barco family for operating the concessions. They provided hotdogs and nachos with good humor for an unexpectedly large crowd. Cheers to the Tombstone Brewing Company for their generosity of time and tasty craft beer. Next time you’re in Tombstone quench your thirst on Toughnut Street, two blocks from the Courthouse.

Special thanks go to Copper Queen Publishing. Each year Lupe designs a poster and program that serve as valued keepsakes. Frank Barco makes sure that we have high-quality banners, posters and tickets.

The arbitrators and tally-masters, in period clothing, ensure that 1860 rules are enforced and runs (aces) are recorded. Each year Pat Kelly, the arbitrator, keeps the teams “in line.” Sharon Frosco, Tom Hill, Bill Bank and Penny Germain kept the players honest tallying the scores when the players “rang the bell” and swore an oath that they scored an ace. Penny even pitched a game. The tournament had some special treats this year. Pat Darcy, a Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher during the days of the Big Red Machine, resumed his pitching career with the Central Arizona All- Stars. The Old Pueblo Trolley brought back Bus #8 of the Warren-Bisbee Bus line after 66 years.

Thanks to Bill Greenberg and the Cholla Blues Standard all-stars and Black Cat Bones for Post-game Blues entertainment at Crazy Ponyz. We are grateful to Elvia’s Kitchen for agreeing at the last minute to provide food for the post-game blues.

Thanks to the many volunteers, too numerous to list, for devoting your time. We are grateful to our many sponsors who help defray costs for this non-profit fundraiser. All proceeds go to projects that help maintain and enhance the 108-year-old Warren Ballpark, a community gem. As always, we recognize the Bisbee Council on the Arts and Humanities whose sponsorship grants the Friends their nonprofit status.

BALLPARK GROUP HONORS TRIO of BISBEE BEES AT FUNDRSAISING VINTAGE TOURNAMENT

Bert Shepard

April 8 and 9, during the Eighth Annual Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament at historic Warren Ballpark in Bisbee. Gates open 9:00 a.m.

Bisbee was in the same league as Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso and Albuquerque?

Yes indeed, it’s hard to imagine that the old copper mining town of Bisbee, AZ had a professional baseball team in the same league as the biggest cities in the southwest, but it’s true! Not only did the Bisbee Bees minor league team of the old Arizona-Texas League successfully compete with teams from cities much larger, it also sent a steady stream of players to the big leagues!

Join the Friends of Warren Ballpark as they honor a trio of stinging Bees – Dwight “Red” Adams, Bert Shepard and Clarence Maddern - who each made their way up the professional baseball ladder to play in the Big Show.

Red Adams began his exemplary baseball career in 1939 as a 17-year-old pitcher for Bisbee and remained in the game for 41 years, finishing as the beloved and well-respected pitching coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Red also holds a place in the record books as the oldest living member of a Chicago Cubs baseball team (1946).

Bert Shepard pitched for the Bees in 1941 and returned home in 1945 from wartime service as an Army Air Forces fighter pilot and captivity in a German POW camp to earn a place in baseball history as the only man to pitch in a major league baseball game on an artificial leg. More importantly, “Shep” served as the inspiration for the many thousands of badly-wounded American World War II veterans who faced an uncertain postwar future.

Clarence Maddern, Bisbee’s hometown hero, starred for the Bees as an outfielder in 1940 and 1941. After service in World War II he resumed his career in baseball, playing for the Chicago Cubs, the Cleveland Indians and several teams in the old Pacific Coast League. Clarence remains the only native-born Bisbee man to make his way up to The Big Show!

This year’s fundraising invitational vintage base ball tournament will feature teams from the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League, wearing period uniforms and playing bare-handed base ball according to the rules of the game in use back in 1860!

Two former big league pitchers – James “Mudcat” Grant and Pat Darcy – will also be attending the event at Warren Ballpark to sign autographs and chat with the fans.

Tickets for the fundraising event may be purchased at the gate or online. ($15 for both days, $10 for one day, ages 12 and under free with adult ticket) Proceeds of the tournament will be used to pay for future renovations and improvements at the Bisbee Unified School District’s 108-year-old multi-sports facility in the Warren Neighborhood. For more information, contact Judy Anderson at 520-366-1455 or check out our Facebook page.

Red Adams

Clarence Maddern