Tag Archives: Sulphur Dell Ballpark

Sulphur Dell Ballpark to be Enclosed with Retractable Roof

General Manager Skim Newcomb announced this morning that Sulphur Dell will undergo new construction at the end of the season that will transform the facility from an open-air ballpark to one with a roof. The project will take approximately five months to complete.

“This upgrade has been discussed for the past 70 years, and the board of directors of Sulphur Dell have decided it is time to proceed. Enclosing the grandstands and field with a permanent structure will allow us to add more dates to our entertainment calendar,” said Newcomb. “We want our fans to experience baseball and other events without the worry of potential rain-outs or other weather-related issues.”

GM Skim Newcomb at Sulphur Dell

Roads surrounding the area will be closed for the entire construction period from October until completed. Traffic will be re-routed to ease the disruption for Nashville travelers, but Newcomb feels the detours are a small price to pay.

“Once the project is finished and our fans see the features of new Sulphur Dell, they will forget about the inconvenience of construction,” he said. “The luxury of attending a game in an air-conditioned building as the summer temperatures rise, then being able to view a star-lit sky when it’s not raining – I mean, can you imagine how great that will be?”

Drawings were not made available, but a full rendition of the project should be ready for public viewing by the Fourth of July. However, there will be two roof panels that will open in the middle to a 45-degree angle on either side. It has not been determined whether the structure will open from a north-to-south or east-to-west direction.

“The complete details have not been worked out at this time,” explained Newcomb. “I guess you could say it’s an open-ended discussion with the architect and contractors.”

© 2017 by Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.

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Len Sowders, When Did You Pass Away?

Each day I post an item on Facebook’s Sulphur Dell Ballpark page that relates to Nashville baseball, usually an event that happened on that particular day. It is more difficult locating past events during the off-season, and much of the time I depend on birth dates and days of passing for players or other persons of interest. A few days ago, I posted this entry:

“November 19, 1888 – Len Sowders, outfielder-first baseman for Nashville in 1885 and 1886, dies of typhoid fever at the age of 27 in Indianapolis.

“Sowders batted .300 during his first year with the Americans, Nashville’s inaugural professional team. In 1886 he began the season with Nashville, batting .282, then played for Baltimore of the American Association in September where he hit .263 in 23 games.

“His brothers John and Bill played parts of three seasons in the major leagues.”

The main source for the post was retrieved from Baseball-Reference, and as I like to have two sources, I confirmed Len Sowders’ date of death on the Find A Grave  website which I accessed through Ancestry.com.

Good enough? Not quite.

My amicable friend, baseball cohort, researcher extraordinaire, and fellow blogger Mark Aubrey saw my post and brought to my attention that the date of death for Len Sowders was not November 19th, but was indeed November 21st:

MA1

Up to that point Mark had two sources, just as I did. I quickly scrambled to find an additional source that would confirm poor ole’ Len’s date of death. But before I could find it, I received another post from Mark:

MA2

That was good enough for me. Mark trumped me. And perhaps Baseball-Reference used Find A Grave to determine the date of Len Sowders.

But besides that, shouldn’t I be upset that another writer/researcher/blogger would call me out for an incorrect post?

No. Not in the least. Every writer should do his/her best to be certain that the story is right. Sometimes even the sources are wrong. It is important that there are friends out there like Mark who want stories told correctly, and no minor point is to be overlooked.

Honestly, I need more pals like Mark Aubrey. Thank you Mark.

And did you notice the headline above, “Declared Out By Death”? I chuckled when I first saw it. I’m not sure Len would have found it humorous, and I doubt that his family did. But with the help of Mark Aubrey, we can declare that Len Sowders passed away 126 years ago on this very day, November 21, 1888.

© 2014 by Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Biography, Current, History, Opinion, Research