Review by Gary
Located around the corner from Lucky’s Liquors and across the street from an in-home day care center sits McCurdy Field, where baseball has been played since Calvin Coolidge was in office. First home to the Frederick Hustlers (1924-28), Frederick Warriors (1929-30) and, for one season, the Frederick Keys (1989), McCurdy Field was also home to many a football team.
In 1924, McCurdy field opened with 1,300 grandstand seats and 1,200 bleacher seats. A ten-foot-high fence wrapped around the immense playing field. With ballpark dimensions of 600-feet to centerfield and 506-feet to right, McCurdy was large enough for a gridiron. In 1937, the NFL's recently relocated Boston Redskins needed a place to play their first exhibition and thus the new Washington team played here.
The Philadelphia Athletics held spring training at McCurdy in 1943 and 1944 and lights were installed in 1947. In 1968 the old wooden grandstand was condemned and in 1971 it was finally torn down, leaving just the field, which was suitable to host the Frederick Falcons semipro football team from 1968 to 1992.
A concrete and steel park opened in 1974 with bleacher seating for 1,500 and clubhouse facilities on either side of the metal rooved grandstand. In 1989, the City of Frederick lured the new Frederick Keys to the area with the promise of a new stadium. While McCurdy wasn’t the best facility to host minor league baseball, it served for one season while Harry Grove Stadium was under construction.
Currently, McCurdy Field is used for Babe Ruth League baseball and high school football. The goal posts stand in the left and right field corners while metal bleachers line the center field fence. The last major renovations to the stadium were done in 1988 and there is a long-range plan for capital improvement projects to take place from 2023 to 2028. Thanks to a couple of city maintenance workers who let me slip through an open gate to snap some shots of this vintage ballpark.