Forgotten Downtown Sodality Baseball Park

As I've mentioned in other posts, Sodality Park hosted a few legends of baseball such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Ty Cobb. There are a few surviving photos of this lost downtown ballpark and very few people are aware that the old OSH store location had anything to do with baseball.


Located between San Carlos St and Auzerais Ave (previously San Salvador Street) and bounded by Royal Ave and Los Gatos Creek, the lot was a short distance walk from downtown San Jose. At the time, this area was known as the 'Castle' place.


The Sodality Athletic Association of St. Joseph's Parish was the name of the new organization that was organized to manage and keep the park up to date.

Sodality Field 1931 vs Present
Sodality Field 1931 vs Present

On March 8, 1908, an unanimous and enthusiastically greeted resolution was passed to certify Sodality Park. The park was to "have in mind the promotion of a wholesome and innocent amusement for the young men and boys of San Jose".


March 8, 1908 resolution for Sodality Park
March 8, 1908 resolution for Sodality Park


 

The Beginnings


On March 15, 1908, Sodality Park was inaugurated when the Pastime Club drubbed the home team 13 - 7.


Sodality Park Opening Announcement
Sodality Park Opening Announcement

Announcement of a New Grandstand in 1920
Announcement of a New Grandstand in 1920
The stand will have two underneath entrances near the left and right wings, which will leave the center always clear. The seats are well laid out so as to afford plenty of comfort to everybody. There will he no climbing of stairs in the stands, as all the isles will be runways and much safer for the people in getting out when crowded. The stand is built vary solid and of heavy timber from the ground up which is placed on a square or eight feet apart and then braced from all sides. The stand will seat not less than 900 people. The bleachers will be brought over from the old diamond and will be placed en each side of the grandstand thus making a first and third base bleachers.

Admission was $.25 which is approximately $5.50 in current dollars.


San Jose Mercury advertisement in 1917
San Jose Mercury advertisement in 1917

Over the years the ballpark hosted many ball clubs such as the 'San Jose Bears', 'Portland Baseball Club', '


Location:


Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Sodality Park (1915)
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Sodality Park (1915)

Sources:

  • San Jose Mercury News, 8 March 1908

  • San Jose Mercury News, 23 December 1917

  • San Jose Mercury News, 18 April 1920

  • San Jose Mercury News, 4 April 1920


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