Luther Williams Field
Review by Gary
Like many ballparks in the United States, Luther Williams Field sits near a vast river. The Macon Baseball Ball Park sits near the shores of the Ocmulgee River as it has since it was completed in 1929. Nestled amongst a steel mill, a food processing plant and a concrete factory, this venerable ballpark is named after the town’s mayor at the time and lies on the outskirts of the historic town of Macon, Georgia, home to the nearby Tubman Museum and Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
The Macon Peaches of the South Atlantic League were the first residents of the stadium in 1929 and continued playing here off and on into the 1980s. The ballpark is on the US National Register of Historic Places and is one of the oldest ballparks still standing in the North America.
From the moment you walk up and through the grand brick and iron gated entrance of the grounds, you know that you are about to step back in time. Fantastic placards that honor former players, teams and events that occurred adorn the exterior walls. Jackie Robinson played at Luther Williams on April 7, 1949, during an exhibition game between his Brooklyn Dodgers and the Macon Peaches.
The covered grandstand has massive ceiling fans that were installed by the owners of the stadium’s current residents, the Macon Bacon. These 8’ bladed fans certainly are a welcome edition and must make the seats directly underneath them the most desirable during the hot Georgian summers. The original grandstand is still in place, though a new tin roof has replaced the former wooden one.
At the top of the grandstand, there is a vintage steel ramp that leads to the press box which hangs from the roof high above the crowd. The team has done a great job at adding modern-day amenities like a party deck, front row VIP seating, an all-you-can eat section on the concourse and dining pavilion (The Bacon Box) that are mostly out of the view of the original grandstand, keeping the feel of being at an old ballpark intact.
In addition to the vast baseball history that has occurred at Luther Williams Field, film and television producers have taken advantage of this classic ballpark as set locations for baseball-themed shows. Movies and TV shows such as “42”, “Bingo Long and the Travelling All-Stars”, “Trouble With the Curve” and “Brockmire” were filmed here.
Speaking of the Coastal Plain League’s team from Macon, the Bacon’s staff were the nicest folks I have met at a ballpark in recent years. Shout-outs go to Brandon Raphael, the team president, Shannon, and Nick, the “creator of the team’s most iconic menu item: The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Sandwich”. I really appreciated them taking time to visit with me about the stadium, it’s history and the team while also allowing me to take photos of this grand old ballpark.