Played at Rickwood Field
The May 31 Lewiston Tribune sports page had a story about Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala. It is the oldest baseball park in America, and at age 109, that makes it two years older than Boston’s Fenway Park and four years older than Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
Lou Damman, a 91-year-old, still lives in Lewiston, where as a boy he was a star four-sport athlete at Lewiston High School. After he graduated in 1946, he signed a baseball contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers and played with the Santa Barbara (California) Dodgers from 1947 to 1949.
He was promoted to the double A Birmingham Barons, a Red Sox farm team in 1950. There he played at Rickwood Field, the team’s home field. He hit .274 that year and had 14 home runs, three of them in one game against New Orleans.
After two years in the Army, he was promoted to the triple A Louisville Colonels in 1953, the Red Sox top farm team. The team won the Junior World Series by beating Syracuse. He still wears his World Series ring on his right hand with his wedding ring on his left hand. He and Alice Choate celebrated their 65th anniversary this year.
After the 1954 season with Louisville, he retired because he was tired of traveling. Some of the Louisville team members and their manager went up to the Red Sox the next year, and it was certainly possible that Damman would have, too. He had a good career.
Congratulations and kudos to sports editor Matt Baney and all writers and photogs who worked on the outstanding daily coverage of the NAIA World Series. This was a yeoman’s effort, folks.
It takes an unbelievable effort to give in-depth coverage to games that last all day, are often interrupted by weather delays and sometimes don’t finish before midnight. Plus, there are always human interest stories, great sidebars, “the juice,” matchup information, etc., that make the daily Series Extra truly special. The staff does all of this without missing a beat about other sports stories of the day.
We locals enjoy the editions, but I know for a fact that those from the visiting teams are even more appreciative. The coverage contributes greatly to the feeling that the series is a major community happening.
Giant thumbs up and thanks.
Why not Nichols Field?
I agree with Donna Watson’s May 26 letter to the editor suggesting that our community honor Ralph Nichols, perhaps by naming something at the new high school or park after him. He was the owner of the fields where all the school construction is taking place and where many people enjoy the Community Park now. Nichols was generous in facilitating this happening.
Other people may have a better suggestion, but I would like to propose that one of the planned baseball fields be called “Nichols Field.”
Nichols had been a talented local team member and was an avid lifelong baseball fan. I think this good, honest man would smile at that sign of appreciation from his community.