The park was renamed Henley Field Ball Park after Clare Henley, a Lakeland Drug Store owner. The Tigers played at Henley Field until Joker Marchant Stadium opened in 1966.
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Predictably, Mack blamed the year-long slump on the tropical temptations of Jacksonville, where his star pitcher, Rube Waddell, had been distracted by several misadventures, including a wrestling match with a live alligator and an attempted suicide following a jilting by a local brunette. Mc Kay's promise to cover the team's expenses up to $100 per player, the Cubs began workouts at Plant Field (just north of the elegant Tampa Bay Hotel, the present site of the University of Tampa). Petersburg, and businessman, Al Lang, persuaded Branch Rickey, the fledgling manager of the cellar-dwelling St. In the years immediately preceding the great Florida boom of the 1920s, offering a major league training site became an essential part of the high-stakes competition for tourists and winter residents.
1910-19 February 1913, the Chicago Cubs arrived in Tampa for the region's first spring training. At one time or another, nearly every Florida city tried to acquire a spring training franchise, but no community devoted more time and effort to the baseball bidding wars than Al Lang's St. A prominent Pittsburgh businessman who moved to Florida for health reasons in 1910, Lang tried unsuccessfully to convince Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss to bring his team to the "Sunshine City" in 1912.
Washington worked out for three weeks in Jacksonville, which led to the Nationals finishing with a 48-86 record, 37 ½ games out of first place that year convincing Washington and all other teams traveling that far south wasn’t worth the travel.
It was 15 years before Major League Baseball returned. Augustine and Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics in Jacksonville.
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Louis Cardinals 1930 Philadelphia Athletics 1940-49 During World War II, teams did not hold spring training in Florida due to travel restrictions."You must think I'm a damn fool," Dreyfuss told Lang, "suggesting that I train in a little one-tank town that's not even a dot on the map." Bloodied but unbowed, Lang went after Miller Huggins' Cardinals in 1912 and the Cubs in 1913, but in both instances came up empty. Although the exact terms of the agreement were later disputed, Lang's syndicate of local boosters reportedly promised to pay all of the Brown's expenses, including the tab for five Missouri newspapermen covering the team.Finally in 1914, he persuaded Branch Rickey, the fledgling manager of the cellar-dwelling St. When the Browns arrived, they were pleased to discover that Lang's group had turned a brush arbor at the northern end of Coffee Pot Bayou into Sunshine Park (also known as Coffee Pot Bayou Park ), a state-of-the art facility with a 5,000-seat grandstand, batting cages, sprinting lanes and sliding pits.“But a strong guy of 28, with his name in the headlines, doesn’t have much trouble kicking up some dust in any town.Mc Kechnie Field is built in Bradenton in 1923 and by 1929, 10 of the 16 Major League teams trained in Florida.Lakeland had previously hosted Cleveland Indians for five seasons beginning in 1923 at Adair Field.