Ballpark Digest

Tuesday, Jul 29th

Last update06:55:43 PM GMT

You are here: Major League Visits Federal Park / Covington Blue Sox

Federal Park / Covington Blue Sox

E-mail Print PDF
Federal Park, Covington, KY
Tiny Covington missed out on a spot in the Class D Blue Grass League and instead ended up with a major-league Federal League squad. And sure enough, it couldn't last. Federal Park was the home of the Covington Blue Sox. It opened on May 8, 1913, and could seat 6,000. It was built at a cost of $12,500.

Originally Covington city officials had sought a franchise in the Class D Blue Grass League, but the Cincinnati Reds vetoed the proposal, as the new team would have been less than five miles away from the Reds' ballpark. (Ironically, the Class D league ceased operations at the end of the 1912 season.) City leaders then turned to the Federal League, which was an "outlaw" league seeking to compete directly with the National and American Leagues; Cy Young played for the league and gave it early credibility. After some heated negotiations and a proposed move of the franchise to Cincinnati, Covington city officials secured the franchise and raised working capital of $12,500, with $6,000 budgeted to build the ballpark. Bernard Wisehall, a prominent local architect, designed the new ballpark.

The initial plans for Federal Park called for seating of 4,500, but the team owners expanded the capacity to 6,000. The playing field was small: 194 feet down the right-field line, 267 feet to dead center and 218 feet down the left-field line. Box seat were $1, seats in the first eight rows of the grandstand were 75 cents, the remaining grandstand seats were 50 cents, and bleacher seats were a mere 25 cents.

Covington, however, didn't have the populace to support such an ambitious endeavor. By June things were going so poorly that a move of the franchise to Kansas City was announced and ownership of the team reverted to creditors. Federal Park was used for other events the next few years, but it was eventually torn down and a tobacco warehouse was put up in its place.