From SABR member Benjamin Hill at MiLB.com on January 25, 2018:
The majority of the 159 Minor League ballparks carry the name of a corporate sponsor. This, for better or for worse, is a reality throughout professional sports.
But across the Minor Leagues, there are some three dozen stadiums that pay tribute to locally renowned individuals. Who are they? And what did they do that merited having large concrete structures named after them? This article takes a look at some of the most interesting examples.
Dr. Lewis McCormick (McCormick Stadium, Asheville Tourists)
Ballparks are generally named after businessmen, politicians and star athletes. Only one is named after a groundbreaking bacteriologist. That would be Dr. Lewis McCormick, who in 1905 declared war on a common insect. As stated on the Tourists’ website, McCormick “started the ‘Swat That Fly’ campaign … in order to reduce the area’s burgeoning problem with the housefly.” An article on McCormick in Asheville’s Citizen Times elaborates further, explaining McCormick “championed ordinances regarding cleaning stables and covering garbage dumps and stagnant ponds to decrease Asheville’s fly population and reduce typhoid epidemics.” Like nearly all radical thinkers, McCormick was met with derision before being recognized as a pioneer in his field. He died in 1922. The stadium named for him, one of the oldest in all of Minor League Baseball, opened in 1924.
Originally published: January 29, 2018. Last Updated: January 29, 2018.