Built in 1915 by the Goodall family and Goodall Industries, Goodall Park is a treasured landmark for Sanford and the surrounding area. Much of Goodall Park was rebuilt in 1997 following a fire that destroyed the wooden grandstand. The new Goodall Park was carefully designed to retain the historic architectural features of the original ballpark, yet provide the amenities of modern stadiums.
Many legendary players and teams have graced the field at this majestic park. In the earlier years, Hall of Famer George Sisler, Sanford’s Freddy Parent the Red Sox’s first shortstop, and Harland Rowe of the Philadelphia (Oakland) Athletics played there. More recently, numerous major leaguers, both former Sanford Mainers and their opponents, played at Goodall. Jason Motte, Andy Sonnanstine, and Kevin Slowey were on the local team. Dustin Pedroia, Aaron Hill, Huston Street and Rickie Week all played against them. And let’s not forget a fellow from the early years who is well known for popularizing the home run – Babe Ruth.
Home of the Sanford Mainers
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"Baseball the way it should be"
Take Me out to the Ball Game
“Buy me some peanuts and …..Moose Pie!”Seen here are Mainers’ volunteers at one of the two concession stands, as they wait for the front gates to open for the evening’s game and hum Maine’s version of a popular 1908 lyric.
Directions to the park
Goodall Park - A Fabric of Sanford's Past, Present, and Future
Where Stars Come to Shine
As many as 1,300 fans attended the opening day at Goodall Park on a sunny Saturday afternoon, May 29, 1915. Since that time, many great players have strutted their stuff at the historic Goodall Park.
Famous barnstorming teams, such as the House of David, Negro League affiliates, and squads composed of Major League players making extra dollars during the off-season; all made their way to Goodall. The following provides further information of the players and teams that had the good fortune to play at Goodall Park.
Local & Visiting Legends
The Guest – Major League, All-Star, and Hall of Fame Players
On October 1, 1919, the Sanford Professionals played a barnstorming team composed primarily of Red Sox players, including the great Bambino, Babe Ruth. There were numerous barnstorming teams during this era, affording professional players additional funds. These teams also gave fans in rural areas like Sanford a chance to see major league stars play.
The game was likely coordinated by hometown hero Freddy Parent, who had coached and played with Ruth in 1914 on the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. Parent also referred Ruth to then Red Sox manager, Bill Carrigan, from Lewiston, Maine. “If you can get the two (Ruth and pitcher Ernie Shore), you will win the pennant.” Both were star pitchers for the 1915 World Series champion Sox.
As described in the Sanford Journal Tribune, the game was won by the Sox 4-3 when,
“…the last little dust cloud stirred up by a player's toe cleared away. The Red Sox attack was led by Babe Ruth, the champion home run getter of the world to date. Babe connected for a full circuit clout in the eighth inning. He was obliged to do it to win his fame. It wasn't a case of just letting the big swat artist bat the ball for four sacks to please the crowd of fans, who had been reading of his tremendous wallops during the big league season. When Ruth caught the old pill and sailed it over the right field fence, thirty feet or more inside the foul line and with a clearance of full forty feet…” Sanford Journal.
Ruth then finished his barnstorming tour of New England, returning his jersey to the Red Sox. At the time, he was totally unaware that this would be his last official act for the Boston team. In early January, 1920, he was sold to the New York Yankees.
October 1922 - George Sisler’s All-Star Team
George Sisler formed a barnstorming team that toured New England immediately after the 1922 Major League Baseball season.
Coming off an MVP season where he led the American League in hits, runs scored, stolen bases, triple and batting – with an incredible .420 average, the Hall of Fame St. Louis Browns first baseman‘s team played eleven games during the tour, including their final at Goodall Park. On October 21 the Sisler All-Stars beat a team led by Sanford native and former Red Sox shortstop Freddy Parent, by a score of 10-4.
House of David
The House of David, "of long-haired fame," played a Sanford team at Goodall Park in the August of 1922. A religious colony in Benton Harbor, Michigan, the House of David was well known for playing a decent brand of baseball and as the originators of the Pepper Game. Typically, four House of David members performed this routine in the middle of the 5th inning to the delight of the fans.
The House of David team was a big draw. They toured New England for several weeks in the late summer of 1922 drawing large crowds at each stop. While the cellar-dwelling Red Sox averaged a mere 3,240 fans per game at Fenway Park that summer, the House of David games typically drew 4000 – 5000 during their late summer tour, with some games surpassing 10,000 fans!
Gathering before a game at Goodall Park in 1946, are (L-R), Will Jackman, Joe Driscoll, Burlin White, and Jim “Mimi” Pickett. Battery mates Jackman and White of the visiting Boston Colored Giants appear all set to face the Sanford nine.
Various Sanford teams played the popular black semi-pro independent Boston Colored Giants team the during baseball’s golden era. This included games at Goodall Park in 1946 and in 1951against the Freddy Parent All-Stars. The visiting team featured many stars, including the legendary pitcher, Will “Cannonball” Jackman.
The 6’2’ underhand right-hander Jackman was recognized as one of the best players in the country in this era; often compared to the great Satchel Paige. According to “Biographical Encyclopaedia of the Negro Leagues,” Jackman won an astonishing 52 games in one season with the Giants, beating Satchel Paige in two outings. Jackman was also a great hitter as acknowledged by John McGraw who once said that if he could sign Jackman, his biggest dilemma would have been deciding whether to use him as a pitcher or as an everyday player.
The Portsmouth Herald noted in1943, "… one of the greatest pitchers whoever scraped his toe cleats on the mound is Will Jackman, a man whose color—like that of Satchel Paige—prevented him from becoming a baseball immortal. Unfortunately for Jackman, he was 50 years-old when Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line in 1947 when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
In the 1950’s when the Red Sox prepared to break the team’s color barrier, Jackman was one of the former Negro Leaguers they would consult on whom they should sign. In 1971, the city of Boston along with the Boston Red Sox and 3,000 fans paid special tribute to Jackman, a year before his passing.
To this day, Will “Cannonball” Jackman remains one of the least known great baseball players of all time.
July 2002 - Team USA
One of the greatest showcases of stars to appear at Goodall Park occurred in the summer of 2002, with the appearance of Team USA.
The match-up between Team USA and the Sanford Mainers at Goodall Park was part of the USA Baseball's annual summer tour, which included stops throughout the United States. The visiting team consisted of the top collegiate baseball players in the country.
Numerous players from that team have gone on to Major League Baseball success, including former MVP and Rookie-of -the-Year Dustin Pedroia, of the Red Sox (photo above), and Durham, NH, native, Sam Fuld of the Tampa Bay Rays. Other notable players are included in the list below.
2002 Team USA
Abe Alvarez (Red Sox)
Sanford Mainers and Opposing Players
The formation of the Mainers in 2002 provided an excellent setting at Goodall Park for fans to view potential Major League players. Over 20 major league stars ventured to Goodall Park. The list includes, Sanford Mainers Jason Motte, Andy Sonnanstine (photo L), Kevin Slowey, and their opponents such as Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals…. With more future stars due to come.
The Local Stars
Freddy Parent, Sanford’s most accomplished baseball player, played for the St. Louis Perfectos (Cardinals), Boston Red Sox, and Chicago White Sox between 1898 and 1911. He was the Red Sox first shortstop, playing with the Americans (prelude to the Red Sox), from 1901 to 1907.
An early star in the American League, Parent enjoyed his best seasons as a professional in 1903 and 1904, when Boston won back-to-back American League pennants. In 1903, Parent posted a .304 batting average and registered career highs in triples (17, tied for fourth best in the league) and RBI’s (80, eighth best on the Circuit). In the first modern World Series in 1903 Parent out-shined the legendary Honus Wagner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, both in the field and at bat. Freddy’s twelve-year stint in the Major Leagues ended in 1911. While he struggled at times in later years, many of Parent’s peers recognized him as one of the best shortstops in the American League.
“Fred Parent is a great ballplayer who never got all the credit he deserved. He was so graceful he made hard plays look easy. I think Parent is the greatest shortstop I ever saw in starting and finishing double plays. As a runner, he excelled in breaking up the double play ball, and he was a good hitter as well. He had a great throwing arm and could peg the ball from any position as accurately as a bullet shot from a rifle. Parent was especially good at tagging out base runners when they slid.”
Honus Wagner - when he selected Freddy Parent for his All American League Team in 1923.
Parent never lost his enthusiasm for baseball. The scrappy 5'5'' 148-pounder (some sources say 5'7") continued to play for and coached the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. One of his teammates was a youngster from Baltimore by the name of George Herman Ruth.
Parent played for a short time with Toronto of the International League. He also returned briefly to organized ball as player-manager with the Springfield, Massachusetts Eastern League team in 1918 and with the Lewiston, Maine team in the New England League in 1919. From 1922 to 1924, Parent was a successful head coach at Colby College, and later assisted former teammate Fred Mitchell as junior varsity coach at Harvard from 1926 to 1928. No matter where Parent played or coached, Goodall Park in Sanford was always his baseball home.
Freddy coached and played for numerous Sanford teams throughout his career, including a number of Sanford Goodall Mills semipro teams. In the 1950s he coached the Freddy Parent All-stars team, whose roster included one of the founding fathers of the Sanford Mainers, Allen Mapes. The once firebrand infielder for the Boston Americans continued to play a decent game for his town’s team, even at age 55. During a French Catholic charity game in Lewiston, Maine, the still cricket-spry Parent got his last base hit at age 72 - over sixty years after he had started playing baseball. It was one of the most rewarding moments of the proud Frenchman’s life.
After his playing days, Freddy was often seen at Goodall Park, chatting baseball with young students of the game. An avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish, he spent the rest of his life in his home state. Parent dabbled in a few ventures, including owning and operating a boarding home and running a gasoline filling station for a number of years. Along with former teammate Harry Lord, he once tried to buy a minor league team in Portland. He also ran unsuccessfully for county sheriff.
As the last survivor of the 1903 World Series, and one of the last nineteenth-century players, Parent was often sought out by reporters for interviews. He proved to be a strong advocate for the Deadball Era style of play. Parent described modern players as timid and game conditions as mild in comparison to his rough-and-tumble days. "People get real excited when someone throws a paper cup or something at a player. They didn't throw those kinds of things in my days. They threw beer bottles. And they aimed at your head."
Freddy Parent died on November 2, 1972, three weeks shy of his 97th birthday, in Sanford, Maine. He was buried in Saint Ignatius Cemetery.
As a youngster, Parent’s introduction to league play was in a secondary role on the Sanford town team in the late 1800s. "Everybody pretty nearly told me I was too small to play baseball and that I would never make a player anyhow." Freddy proved all his doubters wrong.
Rowe played third base at the University of Maine, Orono. At the recommendation of his college coach, Monte Cross, in the spring of in his sophomore year, he signed with Connie Mack’s 1916 Philadelphia Athletics. In 36 games that season, the twenty-year-old utility player batted .138, getting 5 hits in 38 at-bats.
Even though it included one of baseball’s all-time greatest players, Nap Lajoie, Rowe’s team was dreadful. They were considered by many to be the worst team in American League history, finishing with a record of 36-117. This was the only season in the majors for the Springvale (Sanford) native. Rowe later played with Freddy Parent on the Goodall Textile
Some of Sanford’s Finest
Other Sanford players who played professional baseball with minor league teams or their affiliates include; Andy Adams, Lefty Baron, Tom Cousens, Tim Curley, Paul Demers, Min Desmaris, Roger Laprise, Walter L’Heureux, Norman Paul, and Aime Porell.
Maine Baseball Hall of Fame
Sanford stars in the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame - Andy Adams, Lefty Baron, Bob Blouin, John Cochin, Jr., Tom Cousens, Tim Curley, Paul Demers, Min Desmaris, Joe Driscoll, Mike Ferguson, Roger Laprise, Henry L’Heureux, Walter L’Heureux, Harold Loubier, Freddy Parent, Norman Paul, Mimi Pickett, and Joe Weeks.
The 1946 Goodall Sanford team below featured several future Maine Hall of Fame players
Local stars on the Sanford Mainers team of the New England Collegiate Baseball team.
Local stars on the Sanford Mainers team of the New England Collegiate Baseball team
included Ryan Adams, Ryan Bourque, and Kevin Sevigny, shown in the far left.
The following article provides additional information about Goodall Park.
Special thanks to the following for their contributions, Eric and Wendy Pastore at www.Digitalballparks.com , Alan D. Poff at the Ballpark Hunter, Chris Siriano at Siriano's House of David Baseball Museum, The Upper Deck Company, the great volunteers at the Sanford-Springvale Historic Society, Shawn Sullivan and John Cochin, Jr. at the Sanford News, Foster Daily Democrat, The Journal Tribune, The Portland Press Herald, Alan Gordon, Marcel Blouin, Brian Desrochers, Sue Hurley, Ann Lapierre and George Tarbox.