The Archaeology of Baseball: Excavations at Warren Ballpark in Bisbee, AZ

Author(s): Robert Schon

Year: 2018


Warren Ballpark is considered the oldest continuously operating baseball field in the United States. The list of athletes who played at the park throughout its history includes Connie Mack (Major League Baseball’s winningest manager), Jim Thorpe (arguably the greatest athlete of the twentieth century), and Earl Wilson (the first African-American pitcher for the Boston Red Sox). Despite this history of competition, very little is known about the spectators who visited Warren Ballpark. The excavation, the first ever of a baseball field, explores areas underneath the grandstands where fans congregated. Early results consist primarily of bottle fragments. We have identified soft drink bottles from the 1920’s-1940s including Orange Crush, Coca Cola, and Pepsi as well as beer and liquor bottles from the 1940s-1950s. Spatial patterns also emerged with soft drinks dominant in the infield and alcohol more prevalent in the outfield. In addition to revealing beverage consumption patterns, bottle remains have yielded data concerning Bisbee’s economy as we have identified bottles made in local bottling plants, as well as those imported to Bisbee by rail from points east. Such micro-historical data provide valuable insights into the lives of people who lived in this remote mining town during the early twentieth century.

Cite this Record

The Archaeology of Baseball: Excavations at Warren Ballpark in Bisbee, AZ. Robert Schon. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443053)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21697