LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Meredith Field in Sunbury, Hazleton’s Cranberry Ballpark and Artillery Park, home of the Wilkes-Barre Barons, were all home to a lot of summertime memories.
If you ask people in our area who their favorite Major League Baseball team is you’ll get a variety of answers: Yankees, Phillies, LA Dodgers, Mets, Angels and even some would say the Red Sox. Often, especially for those Red Sox fans, it’s hereditary. Dad, Grandpa, even Great-Grandad, were probably fans of the former Scranton Red Sox.
“The Red Sox new home rose on the line dividing Scranton and Dunmore,” Michael Gargiulo, former WYOU TV reporter, said in 1989.
“I used to go back with my father when he first started digging the ground. And we’d go up just about every other week, every other day maybe to see how they were coming along, coming along. To they finally finished it,” Joan Davis Ocenas, whose dad was Scranton Red Sox president, told Gargiulo in 1989.
On Opening Day May 5, 1940 the Miners took on the Wilkes-Barre Barons in front of 17,000 people, a crowd that overflowed the park’s capacity.
“Most of the games were played with the people in the outfield and we had to have ground rules. Because if the ball went into the crowd, it was a two-base-hit,” Pat Colgan, Scranton Red Sox catcher from 1940 to 1941, also told Gargiulo.
In 1954 the team disbanded. Scranton Stadium was dismantled and shipped to Virginia. What was once home plate, is now part of a parking lot in a shopping center. What remains now are the memories of coaches, fan favorites, future major leaguers, of the games, and most of all, those championship seasons.
Scranton Stadium in Dunmore was home to both Scranton Red Sox and Scranton Miners from 1939 through 1953. True baseball fans know the year that story was reported, 1989, was the return of professional baseball to this area with the Red Barons at the Lackawanna County multi-purpose stadium.