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HYDESTADIUM

2007 Teams Schedule Staff Regions Hyde
History Champs Players of Year Big Stick Sportsmanship PK's Memories

Site of 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 & 2007 State Championship Tournaments.
Site of 2006 State AA VFW 15-16 Teener Tournament.
Site of 2004 State AA VFW 13-14 Teener Tournament.
Dimensions - Left: 305; Left Center: 380; Right Center: 380; Right: 325.
Press Box - 100-foot facility that can accommodate up to 20 working media.
Concession Stand - The Post 8 Snack Shack, operated by Shirley Raue.

You can always tell a town by its ballpark. Which is good news for Pierre, because Hyde Stadium is one of the best baseball facilities in the state of South Dakota. Located across the street from the State Capitol, the Governor's Mansion, and Capitol Lake, Hyde Stadium is in picturesque surroundings and offers fans comfortable seating, an ample variety of concessions, and the makings of a pleasant evening of family entertainment. It offers players a quality playing field and an excellent practice facility.

This is not to say that other towns don't have nice ballparks. South Dakota's baseball tradition goes back a century, and most towns have decent baseball fields, along with softball complexes and kids' baseball fields. Mitchell, Aberdeen, and Sioux Falls have excellent, relatively new baseball stadiums. In Aberdeen, unfortunately, the new field came at the expense of losing their wonderful old Northern League ballpark with its enclosed wooden grandstand and clubhouses connected to the dugouts. Northern State University's Barnett Athletic Center occupies the spot where the Aberdeen Pheasants once played with Earl Weaver and Cal Ripken, Sr. at the helm. Watertown has a Depression-era concrete stadium that is also used for football and was previously occupied by the Watertown Lake Sox of the semi-pro Basin League. Rapid City's Fitzgerald Stadium is home for perennial state Legion Champion Post 22 as well as the old Rapid City Chiefs of the Basin League. Rapid City hosted the national American Legion World Series in 1975, 1986 and 1997. Aberdeen was the host in 1965. Other noteworthy ballparks in South Dakota can be found in Huron, Brookings (nicest infield grass in the state), Chamberlain, Milbank (birthplace of American Legion baseball in 1927), and Yankton (Riverside Diamond was the home of the Yankton Terrys and a legendary Frank Howard home run into the Missouri River in the late 1950s, which may or may not have actually happened). However, all things considered, Hyde Stadium ranks with the best in the state.

Hyde Stadium is located on a hillside adjacent to the Joe Foss Building and Capitol Lake less than a block from the Capitol. It was built in 1935 with funding and assistance from the Charles L. Hyde family, Pierre American Legion Post 8, the City of Pierre, and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, a New Deal program that tried to help ease the nation through the Great Depression. The grandstand was added in 1940 by the City of Pierre and the National Youth Administration, another New Deal program.

Hyde Stadium has been the home field for generations of Pierre American Legion baseball teams, including state champions in 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1967, and 1968. Pierre's Teener teams won state titles in 1964, 1986, and 1994. The 1964 Teener team under Coach Don Kortan advanced to the national tournament in Hershey, Pennsylvania. In addition Hyde Stadium was home to the Pierre.

 Cowboys of the Basin League in the 1950s and 1960s and numerous men's amateur teams over the decades. In recent years, Legion state tournaments have been held in Hyde Stadium in 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001 and Hyde will host the this year's Legion state tournament.

Hyde Stadium features a covered concrete grandstand behind home plate, as well as additional seating built into the hillside along the first base line, and a rock wall beyond the first base dugout facing the playing field. One section of the seating area allows fans to purchase reserved seat locations for the season where lawn chairs can be placed. A picnic/patio area is also located down the first base line and offers a good view of the game. Unlike many ballparks, Hyde Stadium has a large area between the edge of the playing field and the outer fence around the stadium facility. This allows plenty of room for press box, concession stand, batting cages, equipment storage shed, and so on. The concession stand/press box was expanded in 1994 and provides plenty of room for equipment and storage for all for Teener and Legion teams and a five-window pressbox. Dugouts are connected by phone to the pressbox. A large and detailed scoreboard provided by BankWest sits above the right centerfield fence. Advertising covers the green wooden outfield fence.

The field dimensions at Hyde are fairly spacious as amateur ballparks go, with the exception of a tempting 305 feet down the left field line. The right field line is 325 feet, and the left and right center field gaps are both 380 feet. The "agrilime" infield was added in the early 1990s, and a clay mound was installed for the 1997 season; both of these features reduce the number of rained out games. Hyde Stadium has an 80-foot netted batting cage and a wheeled batting cage for use on the field. The home team's bullpen is located off the field in the batting cage area. Lights are on tall steel towers and provide good illumination for night games. The playing surface and field conditions are among the best in the state.

Currently, the City of Pierre and the Post 8 American Legion Baseball program, which also handles Teener baseball, cooperate on maintenance and improvements made to Hyde Stadium. Players and coaches do a considerable amount of field maintenance, especially to the infield, while the city handles other basic infrastructure and grounds maintenance. The Legion baseball board has raised money for numerous improvements to the facility, such as the press box expansion, batting cages, scoreboard, agrilime infield and clay pitchers mound, and takes care of painting and other general maintenance related to baseball. Since its construction in 1935, Hyde Stadium continues to be a product of joint efforts by private and public citizens and groups who have given generously of their tim
e, money, and energies to provide a quality baseball facility for the Pierre-Fort Pierre community.

All in all, Hyde Stadium has become a Pierre landmark and is a fine place to play baseball and to watch a ballgame. The seating is comfortable and the concession stand is well stocked. Hyde has given the community many years of pleasant, family entertainment, and it's provided nearly seventy years of baseball to the Pierre community and memories to last a lifetime for several generations of young Pierre ballplayers.

Click the map at left to locate Hyde Stadium.
Hybrid courtesy of Google.com

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