Cameron Field

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Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig at Cameron Field circa 1929
From about 1900 until the mid 1920s, Cameron Field was private property owned by the South Orange Field Club. A nine hole golf course named the Lone Oak Links was part of Cameron Field. The 9th hole was positioned where the baseball diamond is currently located. From about 1900 until 1935, baseball was one of the main attractions across the country. In the 1920s, baseball clubs often marketed the game by having professional players play baseball with local ball clubs in exhibition games. Typically, crowds gathered at the South Orange Field Club (as we now know, this was later known as the Baird Center) to watch the home team play semi-professional teams and numerous touring African-America Teams, including the Black Yankees, Pittsburgh Crawfords, Cuban Stars and the Washington Pilots. One game took place October 29, 1929. Twelve thousand spectators, including 35 major-league ballplayers brought baseball fever to Cameron field to watch legendary players Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig play in an exhibition game for South Orange. Spectators each paid the $1 admission to squeeze into the grandstands and crowd around the diamond that fall afternoon. Ruth hit a home-run into the right field stands and Gehrig hit two homers. One of Gehrig's shots traveled 600 feet as it cleared the center-field wall and the Lackawanna Railroad tracks to hit a house on Vose Avenue. Fourteen dozen baseballs were used that day when South Orange defeated New Brunswick 7-6. Today, the local Cal Ripkin League's motto is "South Orange Baseball: "Where Legends Played""

Big Fish in a Little Pond by Alfred Santasiere III
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