Recreation Park

Posted by KB | | Saturday 15 November 2008 8:14 pm

Recreation Park

Built 1928
Opened 1928
Closed Still Open
Torn Down Still Stands
Used by/for Helena Seaporters (MILB Class C) 1935-1941, 1947-1949
Location Corner of Pecan St and Walnut St, Helena, AR
Capacity 3,500 (1936), 500 (2008)
AKA Gene Bearden Stadium


Recreation Park was the home of the Helena Seaporters from 1935-1941 and from 1947-1949, as well as the current home of the Helena-West Helena Central High School Cougars baseball team.

Little or none of the original ballpark still stands, save for the field itself. The field is located at Cleo-Dunnings/North Helena Park in north Helena, AR. Formerly, the dimensions were approximately 345-445-345, while the current dimensions are approximately 345-420-410-420-345.

Recreation Park has recently undergone renovations and has been renamed Gene Bearden Stadium in honor of Gene Bearden, a former major league baseball player from Lexa, AR, a city right outside of Helena. The grandstand that is there now, which has been built more recently, seats about 500.

The field first hosted professional baseball in 1935. In 1936, the field underwent $15,000 dollars worth of renovations by the Works Progress Administration, which included enlarging the grandstand and adding new bleachers to increase the field’s capacity to 3,500. The parks’ previous capacity is unknown.

On April 8th, 1937, the New York Giants and Cleveland Indians played an exhibition game at Recreation Park, a game that Cleveland won 5 to 3. Among the players who participated in the game were Hall of Famers Earl Averill, Mel Ott.

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