A Decade Of Baseball
with the Columbus Merchants
by Julian Piercefield
The next time you're headed out of Columbus on 8th Street, if it's summer and the windows are rolled down in your car;
when you cross the railroad tracks, look over to your right at that vacant field. Don't be at all surprised if you hear the crack of a bat and crowd voices swelling as loud as the river runs wild as it sometimes does at that location. Don't be alarmed if a sudden wisp of popcorn wafts through the car windows, for here, in this spot, there be ghosts from Columbus past. In shades of our own hometown version of the movie Field Of Dreams, sometimes late at night, ghostly figures walk out of that wooded river area, and take their positions on the diamond in the area of Columbus that was once known as the 8th Street Ball Park.
It was called the 8th Street Ball Park simply because it was located just off 8th Street. This "field" was owned by the Columbus School System. Not only were softball and baseball games played here, but this was the "Home" of Columbus High School sporting activities when Columbus had only one high school. Today, we commonly refer to it as Central.
Julian Piercefield, graduate from Columbus High School, first contacted me about this book in 2003. In August of last year, he dropped off two copies for me, and was very kind in allowing me to add this wonderful piece of Columbus history to the website. Although I was not old enough to know of the Columbus Merchants, or go to any of their games, I recognized several of the people in the pictures. Orris Manley was my principal at State Street Elementary, and Bill Stearman...well...I need not say any more here.
I would like to thank Julian Piercefield for giving me permission to republish his book on the Historic Columbus Indiana website. Also, many thanks to Richard Bray for taking a considerable amount of time to scan the book, and retype the entire text for every page of the book. Because of his effort, the text within this book can be searched using the Historic Columbus Indiana search engine!
Click on the picture to go to the next page!
[Cover] [Page 1]