"A bricks and mortar shrine to all that used to be good about baseball."-W. Scott Bailey
The first municipally-owned stadium in the history of Organized Baseball, Bosse Field was built in Evansville, IN in 1915. The park was a project of the Evansville School Board, and was named after mayor Benjamin Bosse, elected 1913, who helped design the stadium. Mayor Bosse's terms in office were largely focused around civic improvements, and his most famous quote "When everyone Boosts, everyone wins" is still repeated today (2007). The original costs and construction of the field totalled $65,000. $10,000 was spent to purchase the ten acres of land where the park sits. $50,000 went to materials and labor to build the park itself, and the remaining $5,000 went to city fees and ground improvements. The park is one of the oldest ballparks in use as of 2007. Only Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox (built in 1912), and Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs (built in 1914), are older. The gates of Bosse Field opened on June 17, 1915 and remain open and bringing baseball to the public to this day. In 1992, Bosse Field was the site of the movie A League of Their Own. Bosse Field has been the home of the Evansville Otters since 1995.
- Location: 1701 N. Main St. Evansville, IN 47711
- Current Team: Evansville Otters
- 1915 Ticket Prices: Box Seats- $0.75, Grandstands- $0.50, Bleachers- $0.25
- 2007 Ticket Prices: $5.00
- Right Field Wall: 315 ft.
- Center Field Walls: 415 ft., 455 ft., 476 ft.
- Left Field Wall: 315 Ft.
- Home plate was moved closer to the grandstand in 1938, lengthening the distance to dead center: there are NO recorded home runs which left the park to straight-away center.
- The “Inner Fence” was installed in 1950, removed for the 1951, ’52, and ’53 seasons, then reinstalled in 1954.
- Original Seating Capacity: 7,180 (opening night attendance 8,082)
- Modern Seating Capacity: 5,110
Professional Baseball Teams Calling Bosse Field Home
- 1914-1915: Evansville River Rats- Central League
- 1916-1917: Evansville Evas- Central League
- 1919-1923: Evansville Evas- Three-I League
- 1924: Evansville Little Evas- Three-I League
- 1925: Evansville Pocketeers- Three-I League
- 1926-1930: Evansville Hubs- Three-I League
- 1938-1942: Evansville Bees- Three-I League
- 1946-1957: Evansville Braves- Three-I League
- 1966-1968: Evansville White Sox- Southern League
- 1970-1984: Evansville Triplets- American Association
- 1995-Present: Evansville Otters- Frontier League
Other Teams calling Bosse Field Home
- 1921-1922: Evansville Crimson Giants- National Football League
- University of Evansville Purple Aces - Missouri Valley Conference, NCAA
- 1942-1945: Spring Training home of the Detroit Tigers
Hall of Famers who Played at Bosse Field
- 1925: The Three-I League adopted the practice of adding numbers to players’ jerseys to help fans better identify the players, and the Pocketeers became the first team to appear in numbered uniforms in Evansville.
- September 1925: Louis Chado (pitcher, Decatur Commodores) died of “a ruptured artery in the brain”. The day prior to his death, Chado was struck in the head by a ball thrown by Evansville Pocketeers pitcher Elmer Gray. Chado left the field under his own power after (all accounts agree) “leaning into the pitch” - the beaning was NOT intentional.
- 1930: $50,000 in school board-financed improvements.
- August 12, 1931: In the first night game ever played at Bosse Field, the Evansville Hubs lost to the Decatur Commodores, 7-6.
- 1957: Approximately $400,000 was spent on renovations to the ballpark to make it “fit and safe”.
- April 1966: The Chicago White Sox (the parent club of the Evansville White Sox) played the Cincinnati Reds in an exhibition game at Bosse Field. A “standing room only” crowd of 5,714 reported.
- 1971: Beer sales are permitted for the first time.
- 1978: An electric scoreboard is installed. (Prior to that time, the scoreboard was operated manually by Marvin Gray.)
- August 30, 1984: Last Evansville Triplets game.
- June 15, 1995: First Evansville Otters game.
- May 28, 2005: First Frontier League team to reach 1,000,000 fan plateau.
- July 10, 2006: Bosse Field hosts the 2006 Frontier League All-Star Game.