Sulphur Dell was the baseball home of not only the Nashville Vols, but also the Negro League Nashville Elite Giants, Black Vols, Stars, and Cubs. Major league teams played exhibition games there, too, as they moved north from spring training. Amateur league and high school games were often played at the famous park, especially when it came to all star games and tournaments.
What is not so well known is the ballpark was used as a venue for other types of entertainment: professional wrestling matches, donkey races, concerts, and circuses. After baseball was gone, Sulphur Dell “the ballpark” became Sulphur Dell “the speedway” when it was turned into a racetrack for a few weeks in 1965.
To me, Sulphur Dell was a ballpark, so I don’t give much credit to other forms of entertainment that took up brief residence. Nashville Banner sports editor Fred Russell once wrote that the ballpark was even a tourist destination, as some visitors to Nashville just had take in the famous outfield and short right field fence.
I have been fortunate to visit baseball shrines around the country. Off the top of my head, this is my list, limited to major league ballparks and special venues in no particular order. Which ones have you been to, and which one was your favorite to visit?
- Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown
- Field of Dreams movie site, Dyersville Iowa
- Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville
- Wrigley Field, Chicago
- US Cellular Ballpark, Chicago
- Fenway Park, Boston
- Yankee Stadium, New York City
- Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia
- Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati
- Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati
- Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, Cincinnati
- Sportsman Park, St. Louis
- Busch Stadium I, St. Louis
- Busch Stadium II, St. Louis
- Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh
- Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta
- Turner Field, Atlanta
- Royals Stadium, Kansas City
- Negro League Baseball Museum, Kansas City
- The Ballpark at Arlington
- Texas Rangers Hall of Fame
- Angels Stadium, Anaheim
- Memorial Stadium, Baltimore
- Astrodome, Houston
- Chase Field, Phoenix