Methodist’s Former Life: Pro Baseball Park

July 12, 2017

For two short years, something magical happened at Tinker Park -- on this land at the corner of 16th Street and Capitol Avenue in Indianapolis.

The cracks of the wooden bats rang. The pitches whizzed over home plate. The balls lofted over this green field as spectators cheered.

It would be 20 more years before IU Health Methodist Hospital would call this exact same spot home – when another type of magic would start to happen, caring for the sick.

But from 1887 to 1889, the Indianapolis Hoosiers professional baseball team, part of the National League, made Tinker Park its home.

The Hoosiers would play all their weekday games at this ballpark, donned in striped hats and white uniforms.

Sunday games – due to blue laws, which didn’t allow organized activity inside city limits – were played at parks outside of Indianapolis.

The team disbanded play in 1889 and, just more than a decade later, its ballpark was filled.

In 1908, Methodist opened its doors at the site, boasting 65 beds and another type of professional team practicing – the medical variety.

-- By Dana Benbow, Senior Journalist at IU Health.

Reach Benbow via email dbenbow@iuhealth.org or on Twitter @danabenbow.

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