MiLB New Orleans – Pelican Stadium on Tulane Avenue

MiLB New Orleans – Pelican Stadium on Tulane Avenue

MiLB New Orleans – Baseball on Tulane Avenue!

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Pelican Stadium, 1921 (Mendes photo via HNOC, in the public domain)

Opening Day for MiLB New Orleans is almost here! The Pelicans are now our NBA basketball team, but we still have MiLB, with our Zephyrs.

Baseball is a Big Deal in New Orleans, and has been since the sport’s early days. We were a Spring Training spot for several teams in the early years of the 20th Century. Baseball is played at all levels here. Itty-bittys start with T-ball, moving up to the kids a bit older, using pitching machines. I’ve even seen some playgrounds where the teenage umpires pitch for both sides! As the kids get older, they move to pitching for themselves. Then they hit middle school, and the playground leagues get more organized and serious.

High school baseball is a big deal in New Orleans, with the Catholic League usually generating the most interest. At the college level, LSU Baseball is huge, given how often the Tigers and Lady Tigers make their respective NCAA tournaments. The University of New Orleans Privateers an Tulane Green Wave also have loyal fan bases. Over the years, the three-way rivalry between the these colleges has been promoted extensively, with challenge tournaments against schools from other states, even. The politics of NCAA baseball, particularly with three schools who are all in different conferences can be challenging, but when the fans want good baseball, it’s hard to say no.

Pelican Stadium, located on the corner of S. Carrollton and Tulane Avenues, in Mid City, was a great home to MiLB, and many were sad to see it torn down. By the time AAA ball returned to New Orleans, it made more sense to build a ballpark in the ‘burbs, and Zephyr Field, the “Shrine on Airline”, has worked out nicely.

Still, of all of these baseball games going on in and around town, it’s the AAA ballclub I like best. Major League Baseball teams play in “cathedrals”, but sometimes worshipping in a minor league “parish church” is more fun. Not to mention less expensive.

Holy Cross Band!

Band! Two unidentified photos from Holy Cross.

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This Franck photo, undated and unidentified, is captioned “Holy Cross College Orchestra”. The makeup of the group looks like a large jazz combo. The fashions here look like late 1920s/early 1930s.

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This photo, also from Franck Studios, looks like a classic brass band.

I’ll leave it to you Holy Cross folks to narrow down/identify these musicians.

Monday Streetcar Blogging – Esplanade Avenue, 1921

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NORwy&L 605, on Esplanade Avenue, October 8, 1921. New Orleans Railway and Light was testing the clearance of trees on the neutral ground on Esplanade, as part of a lawsuit or threat of a lawsuit. This is one of a sequence of Franck Studios photos (Franck was the photo studio used by NORwy&L and NOPSI lawyers).

The streetcar is an American Car Company “Palace” streetcar. These streetcars were first introduced in St. Louis, to provide transportation for the 1904 World’s Fair in that city. New Orleans Railway and Light Company ordered Palace cars for use in New Orleans, putting them into service in 1915. NORwy&L was created that year to consolidate street railway operations under a single entity.

The Palace cars were luxorious, wider than the Perley A. Thomas streetcars we’ve seen on the St. Charles line for decades. That width, however, is what created the problem on Esplanade Avenue. Palaces were used on the Canal and Esplanade Belts, as well as on the “Royal Blue Line” on Napoleon Avenue.

The Palaces were retired by the mid-1930s. By that time, NOPSI had standardized on the arch-roof cars we know today.

St. Aloysius, 1925

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Franck photo of St. Aloysius College in 1925. You can see the road work on N. Rampart Blvd, which was the reason the city eminent-domained the old St. Aloysius building, enabling the BOSH to tear down he old Ursuline school and build the building so familiar to generations of Brothers’ Boys.