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400 Stanton Avenue
Pueblo, CO 81003
Ph: (719) 583-6195

History of Damon Runyon Field

Damon Runyon

Historical Timeline

History of Runyon Field (early information largely taken from the Pueblo Chieftain, May 27, 2002)

1934 - Runyon Field is born when bleachers are moved there from the old Merchants Field.

1938 - The field is officially established as a baseball field and called County Park.

1938 - Babe Ruth plays an exhibition game at the park.

1941 - The Pueblo Rollers played in the Western League as a farm team of the St. Louis Browns.  Pueblo finished 4th (out of 6) in the regular season at 52-54.  They beat Cheyenne (Indians) in the first round and were leading Norfolk (Yankees) 3 games to 2 in the championship round when a storm flooded the Norfolk field.  It went beyond the 9/15 deadline for completion and the Rollers were awarded the title.  After that the war broke out and the whole league went dormant.

1947 - Pueblo gets a Class A franchise in the Western League, the Pueblo Dodgers, a farm team of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Pueblo goes on to have a team in the Western League playing at Runyon Field for 12 years. The Brooklyn Dodgers send Walter Alston to manage the team, which places third in the final standings but wins the Governor's Cup. Dodger Preston Ward leads the league in runs (120) and RBIs (121). Team members eventually also include Sparky Anderson, Jim Gentile, Billy Hunter, Bud Freese, ElRoy Face, and Turk Lown, who made his home in Pueblo after a stint in the big leagues, and famed Dodgers Karl Spooner, Maury Wills, Clem Labine, Bob Lillis, Roger Craig, Johnny Roseboro, Don Demeter, Dick Tracewski, and Larry Sherry.

1948 - The field is named Runyon Field in honor of former Puebloan and noted newspaperman and writer Damon Runyon.  Runyon was born in Manhattan, Kansas, in 1880 but grew up in Pueblo.  In 1910 his work took him to New York City where in late 1946 he died of throat cancer. 1952 American League MVP and eight-time Gold Glove winner Bobby Shantz of the Lincoln Chiefs leads the league in Wins (18) and strickeouts (212), but Dodger Turk Lown leads the league in winning percentage (17-6 for .739).

1949 - The Dodgers place third in the final standings but win the Governor's Cup again. Dodgers Victor Marasco leads the league in batting (.330) and RBIs (121), Jim Williams in runs (126), Ken Lehman in strikeouts (203) and Marian Fricano in winning percentage (10-2 for .833).

1951 - Dodgers George Freese leads the league in batting (.338), hits (183) and RBIs (106) and ElRoy Face led the league in wins (23). Jim Bivin manages the team.

1953 - Dodgers Kent Pflasterer leads the league in batting (.350), Glen Gorbous in hits (204), Jim Gentile in HRs (34) and Karl Spooner in strikeouts (198).

1954 - Dodger Sparky Anderson hits .298, but is beat out as league All-Star second baseman by Earl Weaver of the Denver Bears. Weaver never does get a "cup of coffee," but in 1959, Anderson bats .218 for the Phillies and sets a record for the most games played by a player who only played in one season in the major leagues (152).

1955 - Dodger Clarence Moore leads the league in hits (194). Willie Kirkland of the Sioux City Soos leads the league in HRs (40) and runs (117).

1956 - One of the more famous players in Western League history, Dick Stuart, hits 66 homers and has 158 RBIs for the Lincoln Chiefs to lead the league. Stuart wins an egg-tossing competition between games of a doubleheader at Runyon Field.

1958 - As the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, Des Moines and Pueblo switch affiliations, Pueblo's team becoming the Pueblo Bruins and a Chicago Cubs' farm team. Billy Williams, Dave Stenhouse, Dick Bertell, Lou Jackson and George Altman play for Pueblo before going on to the majors.  After the season, the Western League folds, taking the Pueblo Bruins with it.

1959 - Community rallies to raise $15,000 to keep Runyon Field open.

1976 - Babe Ruth 16-year-old national tournament held at Runyon Field.

1985 - Second full-size diamond and first youth field built.

1991 - National Bambino 12-year-old tournament held at Runyon Field.

1994 - Second youth field built, eventually named DiIorio Field.

1995 - Players and coaches prohibited from using tobacco.

1995 - Main field at Runyon complex renamed Hobbs Field for Oneal Hobbs, called the father of baseball in Pueblo, general manager of the Pueblo Dodgers/Bruins during their 12-year history in Pueblo and former president of the Western League.

1997 - Andenucio Field is named for longtime local baseball man Tony Andenucio.

1999 - New $300,000 clubhouse is built at the complex and includes a museum.

1999 - A new fence is built for Hobbs Field, replacing the previous 50-year-old structure.

2005 - On November 1st, taking over for Joe Latino, Dave Dudley hired as General Manager of the Runyon Field Sports Complex after a 30-year teaching and coaching career in District 70.
2007 - First youth field named for Sam Corsentino

2007 - Third youth field built

2008 - "Bull Pen Concession Stand" opened serving many new items

2008 - Third youth field named for John (Max) Salas

2009 - On July 23rd, Graham Knight, creator of BaseballPilgrimages.com, visits Runyon; Graham takes a panoramic photo of Hobbs Field, which he later discovers on display at B's Ballpark Museum near Coors Field in Denver.

2011 - In the Fall, Runyon begins hosting girls' high school and middle school softball.

2012 - Ray Puesedu Field, a new 8-and-under field, and sports turf on Corsentino Field are realized due to a Great Outdoors of Colorado grant in addition to Runyon funding.

2012 - On July 30th, Doug Greenwald, broadcaster for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies, finally makes the pilgrimage to Runyon.