Here’s my second blog post about Rosenblatt Stadium. It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that from 1964 to 1980.
The sign above stood until 1989, according to former stadium Jesse Cuevas. He said that through the years, neighborhood youths would use Johnny Rosenblatt’s face for target practice with their BB guns.
The Cardinals were the minor-league tenant at Municipal Stadium from 1949 to 1959. The Dodgers moved in for 1961 and 1962. It wasn’t until 1969 that the stadium finally welcomed its next minor-league team, the Omaha Royals, shown above.
The AAA Royals’ roster was filled with veteran players, many who had been in the big leagues and many had developed interesting personalities. In our book, “Rosenblatt Stadium: Omaha’s Diamond on the Hill,” McKeon is quoted as saying, “Up until 2003, the two most enjoyable years I spent in baseball were when we were winning pennants in Omaha. To take such a collection of – I don’t want to call them misfits – different personalities and accomplish what we did was very satisfying.”
Among the incidents in the book: Pitcher Bill Faul once bit the head off a parakeet to win a bet, and McKeon once saw Faul eat a frog!
Here are a few College World Series photos:
Don’t forget the arguments. This reminds me of the scene in “Bull Durham.”
How many of us had moments like this?
Fan No. 1 million!
Baseball wasn’t the only sport played at Rosenblatt. The New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings played an exhibition game there on Sept. 11, 1965.
The Omaha Mustangs played at Rosenblatt from 1964 to 1972. Financial problems led to the team’s demise in 1978.
Longtime Omahans, check out the advertisement in the background. Remember Philips?
Taking care of the stadium was always a big job, and Rosenblatt was lucky to have good employees. The first grounds manager was Frank Mancuso. Below is a 1960 photo of him and a mongrel pup who made its home at the stadium.
Here’s a creative way of dealing with water on the field…
Jesse Cuevas, groundskeeper and crew chief at Rosenblatt from 1987 until the park closed, started in 1969 shagging balls for the Royals. He retired on April 13, 2012, and the Omaha City Council dedicated that day in his honor.
Stay tuned for more posts on Rosenblatt. But if you can’t wait, you can find more photos and the stories behind them in our book “Rosenblatt Stadium: Omaha’s Diamond on the Hill.” The book is wonderfully and lovingly written by our very own Steve Pivovar.
Next blog: Rosenblatt, the later years.