Remembering old Pelicans Stadium

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Pelicans Park
The old Pelicans professional baseball team played in midcity New Orleans on the corner of Tulane and Carrollton at Pelicans Stadium (or Heinemann Park) for 43 years.

I really enjoyed reading the write-up by Les East here on CCS about minor league baseball leaving the area. It is a must read.

The in-depth article brought back many memories but what really captured me where thoughts of the old Pelican Stadium on the corner of Tulane and Carrollton Avenue. I wanted to share just a few short notes relating to my experience.

Like former Times Picayune writer Pete Barrouquere who was quoted in East’s article, I also attended many New Orleans Pelicans games and fell in love with both the ballpark and the minor league team. We were both sad when the old ball park was torn down.

I lived at 3832 Tulane Avenue as a kid attending Sacred Heart School on Canal Street, a 13-block walk to school every day. My dad and I went to many pelican games since were were only two blocks from the stadium.

When we did not go to the park, I tuned it to the Pels on the radio almost every night. The play-by-play man was Ted Andrews, known as the Old Redhead.

Some of the players I remember were Gene and George Freeze, two brothers who were the stars of the team, along with the top home runs hitter, Frank Thomas. Roy Face was the ace pitcher.

In one game I vividly recall, right fielder Felipe Montemayor dropped an easy fly ball in right field. After the game, he was interviewed by Ted Andrews. Montemayor, a real character, was asked what happen on the dropped ball, He replied, “The sun got in my eyes.” Andrews shot back that it was a night game, to which Montemayor said it “must have been the moon.”

At times, a foul ball would get stuck in the screen behind home plate, There was another character who would climb up onto the screen and retrieve the ball. He was known by the fans as Evolution.

Those are good memories. Many major league teams played pre-season games in Pelican Stadium as well. I miss the old Pels and know many will feel the same way about our lost Triple-A franchise as well.

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