Sulphur Dell and Dads

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Image Courtesy Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County Archives

When www.sulphurdell.com went online in 2002, people started writing in to tell of their memories of the ballpark. Since then I try to post all memories to the “I remember…” page on the website.

The most often-related experience is regarding fathers or grand-fathers taking children and grandchildren to see a game. Our father and grandfather took my brother and me to games at Sulphur Dell when we were youngsters, so I can relate. Here are a few favorites:

“My dad used t0 take me to watch the Vols play the Memphis Chicks, Chattanooga Lookouts, (and was the Atlanta team the “Crackers”?).  One night the game went very late, and we had to leave before it was over.  As we walked down the sidewalk outside the right field fence, I heard the crack of the bat as the game-winning home run was hit.  Then the ball hit in the middle of the street RIGHT NEXT TO WHERE WE WERE WALKING!  My dad took off after it and brought me back the game winner!!

You just don’t see ’em like that anymore:  Sulphur Dells And Dads… “

–Bruce Whitaker, Houston Texas

“I remember as a boy going with my dad “Dub Allen” who many know loved the game of baseball.  I always knew when we were getting close to the stadium by the strong smell of those livestock barns (y’all know the smell!)…walking down those side streets and alleys after we had parked the car. While walking and stepping over railroad tracks I would see that large white gas tank; as a kid that tank really looked big!  Once we walked into the stadium, we always sat out in the right field section sort of behind first base…my dad seemed to know everybody and it would take us an hour to walk back to the car due to all the chit-chat with friends.

“The last day I was with my dad before he passed away in the summer of 2000 we drove to the site of Sulphur Dell.  What made me want to pull into the parking lot was when he saw the old Atlantic Ice house that stood behind right field.  He had just told me that he once got a ball out of the gutter there when he was a kid.  I could tell he was excited to see the old site of Sulphur Dell, so I pulled into the State parking lot and stopped about where I figured the pitcher’s mound was.  He said he had many great memories as a child himself as a part-time bat boy and as a spectator.  I told him I can sit here and look around and see the old field.  I could sort of see the old infield in my mind, the noise, and I even seemed to begin smelling that old cigar and pipe smell.”

–Mike Allen, Donelson, Tennessee

“I remember my dad took me there from the time I was barely able to talk. I remember our having many good times, and that time together gave us a bond that I will not ever forget. Daddy used to say to folks that I was “his boy.” I loved sports, especially baseball, so much that if I could have pursued my career of choice, I would have become a sports announcer.”

–Janie Woodruff McIntyre

“I remember as a young boy riding the bus to Sulphur Dell with my Dad who loved baseball better that anything. One of the greatest thrills I had was going to the press box with Mr. (Raymond) Johnson of the Nashville Banner, and looking out at my dad sitting on the third base side. I can still hear my dad screaming at the umpires when a call went against the “Vols” – he always called them “Blind Toms”. I also can remember when they used to slide the doors back after the seventh inning stretch and people would come running in to catch the final innings. My Dad passed away in 1963 and had he lived, he would have been heartbroken to see the “Old Ball Park” closed.”

–Jim Cain, Nashville, Tennessee

“I remember as a little girl my father, Buster Boguskie, playing at the Dell. I remember, Willie White, the trainer, carrying me around the park and telling everyone I was his “God-child”. I remember the smell of hot dogs and popcorn, the railroad tracks out front, playing with the turn-style when you first came in and waiting in the car after the game for my dad. I wish I could go back to that time and be able to go through the park just one more time. Wouldn’t it be great if it were still standing!”

–Gail Boguskie Wilson, Goodlettsville, Tennessee

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