EVANSVILLE, Ind. (June 24, 2018) – Two of the three oldest baseball parks still in use professionally today are well-known – Boston’s Fenway Park (1912) and Chicago’s Wrigley Field (1914). Less famous but far more evocative of its distant past is Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana, the third oldest active park in the nation. Bosse is home to the Evansville Otters of the 12-team independent Frontier League.
Bosse opened on June 17, 1915, as the new home of the Evansville River Rats of the Central League, a class “B” minor league circuit based primarily in Indiana, Iowa, and Ohio. Within a decade, it also served a short stint as an NFL venue when it hosted the Evansville Crimson Giants, who played there for the 1921 and 1922 seasons before folding.
Years later, Bosse had a prominent role in the 1992 film “A League of Their Own” as the home of the Racine Belles of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The interior of the park still has signage dating to the film, and adorning its exterior is a painting of actress Geena Davis, who starred in the movie and notably quipped afterward, “I’d rather play the baseball player than the girlfriend of the baseball player.”
The Otters have called Bosse home since they began play in 1995. They most recently won the Frontier League title in 2016. Josh Allen, a member of that team and the league’s MVP the same year, recently signed a contract with the New York Mets organization and was assigned to their AA-affiliate in Binghamton. The Frontier League, as with all independent baseball leagues, is unaffiliated with MLB but regularly sells the contracts of players to major league organizations. Allen originally made the Otters when he attended an open tryout for the team. (photos – Tom Flynn)