- Concession Stand
To the “old timers” in Colonial Heights, Shepherd Stadium may always be remembered as simply “The Ballpark.” Indeed, it was by this name that the stadium was known in the late 1920’s and throughout the 1930’s and 40’s. Originally, of course, there was no stadium at all. Earliest memories recall a cleared field with a rickety fence, later replaced by a stronger fence and bleacher seating, and one of the better “diamonds” in the area. According to local tradition, the Ballpark was constructed in an area known to turn-of-the-century residents as “horse heaven” due to the fact that for many years dead horses and mules were buried here.
Although used freely by local farm boys for endless summers of “pick up games,” organized baseball leagues were playing games at the Ballpark by the 1930’s. One of the earliest teams that played here was sponsored by the Colonial Heights Fire Department and known, understandably enough, as “The Firemen.”
Early ballplayers recall the “big tree” in right field, bicycles lining the foul lines, and the wooden outfield fence that harbored contingents of anxious children waiting to retrieve every precious baseball that left the Ballpark confines. Early residents of the area still recall the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowds that could be heard through open windows on hot summer nights.
Following the tragic interruption of World War II, baseball experienced a resurgence that was felt even in Colonial Heights. On January 13, 1948, Mayor Fred R. Shepherd was instructed by town council to confer with a Mr. Hatchett of Petersburg in regards to the possible “relocation” of the stands in the Ballpark. After subsequent investigation, on March 23, 1948 Councilman Wilbur Dishman made a motion “that the Town go ahead and rebuild the stands at the Ballpark.” The motion was seconded by Mr. Powell and passed unanimously. It is interesting that council minutes refer to the “town” in Mr. Dishman’s motion, as Colonial Heights had become a 2nd Class City just four days before, on March 19th!
The B.I.B. Begins
American Legion Baseball at Shepherd Stadium
High School Baseball at Shepherd Stadium
Other Interesting Facts