So Minnesota: Baseball historian discusses long-gone Nicollet Park

Joe Mazan
Updated: May 04, 2020 10:31 PM
Created: April 23, 2020 04:15 PM

With the pandemic putting America's pastime on hold,  baseball fans can't wait to watch games again at Target Field. 

Long ago there was another ballpark in Minneapolis where many legends once played. 


Opening on June 20, 1896, Nicollet Park became the home for the Minneapolis Millers, a top-flight minor league team.

"This was a small ballpark, but it was just the kind that you want from that classic ballpark period," Minnesota baseball historian Stew Thornley said. 

 With the neighborhood surrounding the ballpark at 31st Street Nicollet Avenue, homerun balls became a hazard for nearby businesses.

"The ball crashed through the plate glass window in Johnston's Appliance and the burglar alarm went off," Thornley said. 

Some greats of the game played at Nicollet Park, including Ted Williams, Willie Mays and Babe Ruth. 

In 1955 the last game was played at Nicollet Park. A Wells Fargo bank now sits where the park once stood.

"A lot of people come by here to do their banking and just walk through and probably don't think about it," Thornley said. 

There's a plaque honoring Nicollet Park in front of the Wells Fargo bank. 

Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Comment on Facebook

UPDATE: State Patrol says 2 arrested in St. Paul Breonna Taylor protests

Dying young: Race factors in COVID-19 deaths among working-age Minnesotans

Cell phone video captures carjacking; Minneapolis residents push city leaders for action

Choo Choo Bob's Train Store to close in St. Paul

Brainerd High School one of first to transition learning models this year

The Latest: Trump, Biden comment on protests, officers shot