Duncan Park: Stories of a Classic American Ballpark
by: Edwin C. Epps Release date: Oct 24th, 2023
An important part of Spartanburg history, Duncan Park: Stories of a Classic American Ballpark recounts the history of one of our oldest wooden grandstand stadiums.
Softcover - $19.95 (ISBN: 9798885740210)
An important part of Spartanburg history, Duncan Park: Stories of a Classic American Ballpark recounts the history of one of our oldest wooden grandstand stadiums. Built in 1926, Duncan Park stadium has been home to a semipro Negro Leagues team that had a star left-handed pitcher known throughout the South; a 1966 Spartanburg Phillies team named one of the 100 Best Minor League Baseball Teams; an American Legion Little World Series Champion; high school, college, and wooden bat-league summer teams; and legendary promotions and special events. Players and their families, coaches, sabermetricians, and all fans of America’s pastime will find in these pages a rich storehouse of our cultural heritage.
Praise for Duncan Park
“When the night’s game is over, stadium lights still on, I sit in an old seat, everything played out and left to the field, the wonder brought to calm. Turning off the lights archives another day in the life of a great ballpark. There’s more to the game of baseball than just the game, it is the many stories told. Duncan Park Stadium spoke to Ed Epps, and we all thank him for recording the story.” —John J. Barron, Post 28 Athletic Director
"Baseball is designed, as Bart Giamatti said, to break your heart, but Duncan Park Stadium shows you how to put it back together again. Ed Epps has reminded us that all baseball, like all politics, is local and that the sunshine and high skies of summer's great game endure so long as we have heart to bear its memory.” —Tom McConnell
"Ed Epps has delivered an exhaustive historical study of Duncan Park, a classic hundred-year-old wood structure stadium in Spartanburg, South Carolina. This volume sweeps the reader along on a journey of discovery that includes play at nearly every minor league level as well as Negro League, high school, college wood bat, and championship level American Legion baseball. Numerous photos and a monumental appendices of Duncan Park-related team stats complete the book. For the hardcore baseball fan to the fan of local history: there is something for everybody in these pages." —Tim Peeler
"The Spartanburg Phillies were one of the most successful Minor League Baseball teams in America from 1965 through 1968. They were champions of the Western Carolinas League in 1966 and 1967, and in 1966 the team established an attendance record for all of Class A Minor League Baseball. I was proud to be the General Manager of these teams and to be named The Outstanding Class A Minor League Executive for 1967 by The Sporting News. My years in Spartanburg helped launch my career as an NBA executive, and I count many former players, managers and coaches, and citizens of the city among my friends to this day. Duncan Park: Stories of a Classic American Ballpark brings the history of the Phillies to life for contemporary readers." —Pat Williams
"Duncan Park stadium was home to the semipro African American Spartanburg Sluggers in the first half of the twentieth century. The Sluggers played an important part in the history of the Black community of the City of Spartanburg, and Newt Whitmire, the team’s owner, was an important entrepreneur in the City’s old Black business district on Short Wofford Street. The forgotten history of the Sluggers and the Whitmire family is told in detail in Duncan Park: Stories of a Classic American Ballpark and can be found nowhere else." —Luther Norman
“My fondest memory playing in the minor leagues was definitely Duncan Park and playing for the Spartanburg Phillies. Duncan Park just had a great baseball atmosphere. It was my first full season and turned out to be my best season, not only for me personally but for all of our players as a team...We had a group of good guys who were talented and it showed by us winning the League Championship...And on top of that we had my all-time favorite manager, Mr. Bob Wellman. Skipper Wellman was a big man, which earned him the nickname ‘The Whale.’ He knew the game of baseball and taught all of us how it should be played the right way. He could get his best out of his players because he was the type of guy that all of us wanted to do our best for...Yes, every time I think of Duncan Park and the Spartanburg Phillies, a big smile comes across my face—and it always will!” —Jerry Martin
Edwin C. Epps
Dr. Edwin C. Epps is a retired educator with more than forty years’ experience in public school classrooms, as an instructor in graduate classes for teachers, and as Lead Instructor in South Carolina’s Program for Alternative Certification of Educators (PACE) for teachers entering the classroom from the worlds of business and industry. He has published widely in the education press, as an occasional poet, and as a freelancer. He is the author of Literary South Carolina (Hub City Press, 2004) and a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa who believes in the value of the humanities in a rapidly changing world.