York Town Square

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Mystery solved. Reader finds site of York-area’s first baseball stadium

This photo is the ball field or stadium at York, Pa.’s Penn Park, the first in a series of baseball parks to serve as the homefield for York-area professional baseball teams. West Manchester Township Historical Society’s Mel Miller scanned this image from a glass plate. He also has determined its exact location. (See second photo below.) Also of interest: Remembering York/Adams major leaguers and A historic York walking tour of the Sovereign Bank stadium area and Plaques offer historic insight into ‘The Swamp,’ before Sovereign Bank Stadium drained it.

I guess you could say it’s a glass plate shot of home plate.
Mel Miller supplied the photo from a glass negative above and a second photo (below, from a publication) of Penn Park’s stadium to York Town Square earlier this year. He was not then sure of its location.
Now, thanks to Roe’s early 20th century map, he has it placed… .
Here’s his description:

Another view of the stadium, as supplied by Mel Miller and Lester Walker.

“The ball diamond was located where Zion UCC Church is now. The bleachers are shown on plate 10 of Roe’s 1903 Atlas. The house on the left, on our glass plate photo, is at the southeast corner of Lafayette and Cleveland Ave. and the one in the center is a duplex at 437/439 Cleveland Ave. The house on the right is at the northeast corner of W. Maple and Cleveland… . Lester Walker has more info that states the location was at Lafayette and Cleveland Ave.”

I also looked at the atlas, and there it is, a curved, unlabeled, drawing of a structure on the lot where Zion United Church of Christ now stands.
All this makes sense from a timing point of view.
Zion, then referred to as a German Reformed church, moved from its longtime spot at West Market and Beaver to a new structure – its home today – in the 1910s. Woolworth’s went up after the historic house of worship came down.
Penn Park stadium was the first of five York-area professional baseball stadiums, the latest being Sovereign Bank Stadium.
That’s a new one about every 20 years.
I suspect Sovereign Bank Stadium will last longer than that.
Also of interest:
Night baseball came to York at Penn Park field.