Here's a little bit of what we know...
Current location opened in 1959 or 60 and was named Manson Field in honor of the drive in theatre owner to our south that allowed ULL to use the land. Major field was the original field, built on weekends by Dads with shovels and wheel barrels. Several years later, the Minor field was built.
Prior to playing at our current location, games were held at Rosemont park on a makeshift infield and without an outfield fence.
In the 70's, the Major field was named Wilson Field and Minor field was called Dickinson Field. The Pee Wee teams had Indian names like Sioux and Apache. The Minor teams were named after birds like Blue Jays and Falcons. Only the Major teams had Big League names.
Floods destroyed the fields in both 1989 and 1990.
In 1992, ULL had about 150 kids playing ball on six Major teams and six Minor teams. Fall baseball started in 1993 and softball started in 1994.
In April 1994, E.M. Rosenthal and William E. Rosenthal made a sizable donation to acquire the original 10 acres of land from the Manson heirs. The property where Melissa and Dry now stand was acquired at a later date. Next time you're at the ballpark, you can read the plaque that adorns the concession stand and names the ULL complex Rosenthal Field.
The 1960 All Star team included Jeff Newman. Jeff was an eight year MLB player and eventually went on to coach or manage for several professional teams. Rumor has it that when Jeff was nine years old, he was hitting dingers on Major from both sides of the plate- with a wooden bat.
In 1960, ULL was called "University Area Kiwanis Little League."
EMAIL FROM STEVE PEYTON, ULL ALUM:
I played in the late 60's and into 73. Back then, the majors that I can remember were the: Indians (my team... Benny Ruiz ended up playing AAA for quite a few years), Tigers, Giants, Braves
Minors: Orioles, Ravens, Blue Jays, Falcons. PeeWee: Sioux, Apaches, Comanches, Navajos
Brian Milner was the only guy that I know of that made it to the bigs from my era -- he played for the Toronto Blue Jays.
My favorite memory was getting the free treat after the game at the concession stand (as long as it didn't exceed a dime!). The snow cones were the treat of choice for most on those hot Texas days.
Thanks for the web site...I hope that you can get more pictures from my era!
Sioux, Ravens, Indians