Bush Stadium

Owen J. "Donie" Bush Stadium is the name of a stadium formerly used by minor league baseball team Indianapolis Indians in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its street address is 1501 West 16th Street. It was home to the Indianapolis Indians, who have operated at the highest level of minor league ball for many decades, in three different leagues: American Association, Pacific Coast League and International League. It was also home to a few Negro League teams, as well as a Continental Football League team, the Indianapolis Capitols, who won the league championship in 1969.

It started in life as Perry Stadium, named for Norm Perry, the club owner who built it in 1931. It was renamed Victory Field in 1942 in reference to World War II. In 1967 the ballpark was sold to the city, and later that same year it was renamed for former major league baseball player and Indianapolis citizen Donie Bush.

It had ivy growing on its brick walls, as with Wrigley Field and Forbes Field. During 1987 it was dressed up in different ways and used as the stand-in for both Comiskey Park and Crosley Field during the filming of Eight Men Out, which focused on the "Black Sox Scandal", the throwing of the 1919 World Series. It was abandoned by the ballclub when they moved to the new downtown ballpark Victory Field in mid-season 1996. The official site states that the older Victory Field was given that name "celebrating the United States’ victory in World War II". Given the date the name was first used (1942), the name initially would have been about encouraging victory (as with the famous victory gardens).

Indianapolis hosted the Pan Am Games in 1987 and the baseball events were held at Bush Stadium.

In 1997, Bush was converted to include a dirt track for midget auto racing and renamed the 16th Street Speedway, as with Philadelphia's Baker Bowl several decades earlier; and like Baker Bowl, the auto racing venture failed (after two years) and the stadium fell into disrepair, with no apparent future. Currently, a study is underway to determine what to do with the property. The Indy Parks Department has control of the land, which is zoned as a park. Renovations, which would include removal of asbestos and lead paint, could cost around $10 million.

As of 2011 the Stadium is proposed of being turned into an Apartment Complex.

Dimensions

Original

  • Left Field - 350 ft (110 m)
  • Center Field Corner - 500 ft (150 m)
  • Right Field - 350 ft (110 m)

Later

  • Left Field - 335 ft (102 m)
  • Left Center Field - 350 ft (110 m)
  • Center Field Corner - 470 ft (140 m)
  • Right Center Field - 350 ft (110 m)
  • Right Field - 335 ft (102 m)

Final

  • Left Field - 335 ft (102 m)
  • Left Center Field - 350 ft (110 m)
  • Deep Left Center - 405 ft (123 m)
  • Center Field Inner Fence - 395 ft (120 m)
  • Deep Right Center - 405 ft (123 m)
  • Right Center Field - 350 ft (110 m)
  • Right Field - 335 ft (102 m)

Media

1 photo

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference and added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com