Pynchon Park

From BR Bullpen

(Redirected from Hampden Park)

Memorable Moments:

  • 1895 International League Pennant
  • 1908, 1911 Eastern Association Pennants
  • 1927, 1959, 1961 Eastern League Champions
  • 1932 Eastern League Pennant

Purchased in 1853 by the Hampden Agricultural Society for $15,405, Hampden Park was initially used for meeting of the National Trotting Organization. Ceremonies opening Hampden Park were held on October of 1857 with the participation of many civic groups. In 1863, it was used by the 46th Infantry Regiment. A racing track was added in 1867, and stands for a seating of 3,000 were added as well. In addition to horse racing, bicycle races, various running events, circuses as well as fireworks were held at the park. In the mid-1870s, the Boston Red Stockings and Middletown Mansfields of the National Association used the park as a neutral site for ball games. The first football game between Harvard University and Yale University was held here. By the end of the 19th century, the ballpark came under the ownership of the Boston & Maine Railroad, with a northwest section of the area being used as a dump.

The park was enclosed in 1908, and several renovations were made 1919, 1922, and 1928. In 1940 the park was renamed Pynchon Park after William Pynchon, the founding father of Springfield, MA. Further renovations came that year as well as in 1948-1949 and 1965. On Sunday September 11, 1966 Pynchon caught fire and burnt to the ground. One bystander said it looked the like grandstand was behind a "wall of flame". The ballpark was not rebuilt.