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Riverside Park

The Home of the Tigers

Riverside Park - 2010 Field View


Click on any of the pictures to view a larger version.


History

Riverside Park was born in 1907. The land on which the ballpark exists was bought by Otto Lehne and leased to the baseball team. In 1915 and 1916, the Springfield Athletic Association was formed to purchase the land. On November 9, 1923, the board of the Springfield Athletic Association voted to turn the land over to the city of Springfield.


1939 Aerial Photo of Riverside Park

In 1959, the ballpark was given it's official name, "Baldy Altermatt Park". Altermatt was a stand-out ballplayer in Springfield around the turn of the century.

Major improvements were made to the park in the 1950s. The quality of the facility is supported by the fact that Springfield hosted the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament in 1960, 1962, and 1968 at Riverside Park.


The work continues at Riverside Park to make sure that the diamond remains a real gem. The late 1990s ushered in a stream of improvements that continue to make the park a great place to watch and play a baseball game. Yellow tile was installed on the fence. New dugouts were built. The wooden bleachers and press-box behind the third base dugout were removed and replaced with a paved area complete with picnic tables. A new press-box was constructed at the top of the main grandstand. Bullpen pitching mounds have been built and the batting cage has been improved. The latest improvements have been new sod being laid, on-deck circles added, a black batter's eye installed, and advertising signs hung on the outfield fence.


Because of the field's unique placement on the banks of the Cottonwood River, there are many epic tales of home runs ending up in the river. Hitting a homer over the centerfield fence would be a super-human feat, given the extreme distance. The 452 feet to the centerfield corner is topped by only a few classic Major League ballparks, such as the 463 foot expanse to center in old Yankee Stadium. The distance to centerfield was a topic of great debate until it was measured and marked in 2001.


Mid-1990s versus Leavenworth in Regional Playoffs.  Can you see the shortstop and second baseman?

Weather is also sometimes a factor at Riverside Park. Several summer night contests have been covered by a blanket of fog so thick that outfielders appeared to disappear as they made their way to their positions.

Riverside Park is the home of the Springfield High School Tigers, Springfield VFW, and Springfield American Legion baseball teams in addition to the amateur baseball team. In the fall, the goalposts come out as the park turns into a grid-iron that serves as the home of the Springfield High School football team.



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