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The Spartanburgers take the field at historic Duncan Park

Baseball is back in Spartanburg as The Spartanburgers kick off their inaugural season at historic Duncan Park stadium.

Tickets are still available for tonight’s game against the Forrest City Owls. Game time is 7:05 p.m., with fireworks to follow.

“Seeing this level of baseball coming to Spartanburg is kind of a dream come true,” said Spartanburgers Coach Wes Brown, who also is Head Baseball Coach at Spartanburg High School. “I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

The Spartanburgers are part of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer league featuring top-level college players from across the nation. The league prides itself on creating a professional, minor league-like atmosphere for players, coaches, umpires and fans.

The CPL includes 15 teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, with many teams playing in former minor league stadiums and cities. For the Spartanburgers, their home field has historical significance.

Duncan Park hosted its first game on July 8, 1926. New accounts report that 2,500 people watched the Spartanburg Spartans defeat the Macon Peaches 5-1 that day. Games of the 1936 and 1938 “World Series” of American Legion baseball were held there, and in 1937, the New York Yankees, featuring Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig, played an exhibition game in Duncan Park on their way back to New York from spring training.

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Other baseball greats who have taken the field at Duncan Park include Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan and Mike Schmidt.

Duncan Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.

“Our players understanding the history of this place, I think, gives them another edge to be able to step up their game when we step on the field,” Brown said.

For more information on The Spartanburgers, visit thespartanburgers.com.

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