Editor’s Note: This is the second of a six-feature series as Mr. Bucketlist researches the history of spring training and baseball at Amerige Park in Fullerton.
1940: Fullerton rolls out the red carpet
The Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League called Fullerton their spring training home for four years (1937-40). In 1940, they had major league competition just two miles away.
Legendary manager Connie Mack had brought his Philadelphia Athletics to the West Coast to workout the winter kinks in neighboring Anaheim. The Athletics trained at La Palma Park, and the team stayed at the Hotel Angelia (279 E. Center St., in Anaheim)
Tuesday, March 5, 1940, would be a big day for baseball in the city of Fullerton. For the second time in three years, there would be a major league team playing on Fullerton’s downtown diamond, but the game was just half of that day’s activities. (The Pittsburgh Pirates had played at Amerige Park in 1938.)
That night, several of Fullerton’s service clubs united to host a banquet at the Masonic Temple (501 N. Spadra, now Spring Field Banquet Center) to honor Connie Mack “The Grand Old Man of Baseball.”
At 77, Mack had spent his life in…