Bosse Field: A Centennial Celebration
May 17 - July 19, 2015
From May 17 - July 19 in the Main Gallery, the exhibition Bosse Field: A Centennial Celebration will recall the rich history of this grand facility that today stands as the third oldest ball park in regular use in the United States—surpassed only by Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field. This exhibition is part of a community-wide remembrance of this venerable facility.
On June 17, 1915, 8,082 people attended the opening of Evansville’s new baseball park. Mayor Benjamin Bosse threw out the ceremonial first pitch and the people of the City cheered the Evansville Evas, led by manager Punch Knoll, to a 4-0 victory over the visiting team from Erie, Pennsylvania. The inaugural evening at Bosse Field was capped off by a professional wrestling match.
This was followed by years of amateur and minor league baseball teams playing at the field, including the Evansville Braves, Evansville Triplets, and today’s Evansville Otters. The exhibition will recall the history of many of the teams that played at Bosse Field as well as famous baseball personages who took to the diamond at the facility. Among the over 30 National Baseball Hall of Famers who appeared at Bosse Field during their careers are Johnny Bench, Bob Feller, Stan Musial, Ed Roush, and Bob Uecker. 1985 American League Most Valuable Player Don Mattingly played many games at the facility during his years at Memorial High School.
Other sports have contributed to the rich history of Bosse Field. In the early 1920s, the Evansville Crimson Giants of the fledgling National Football League (NFL) played at the complex. Through 1971, many high school football games occurred at the field, including games played by NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl Champion Bob Griese when he quarterbacked Rex Mundi High School in the 1960s. The University of Evansville also played games on this turf, and in 1978, Indiana University and the University of Evansville played a soccer match at Bosse Field.
In addition to the rich heritage of sports at Bosse Field, many other events have occurred at the facility. These have encompassed public celebrations, political rallies, public school field days, and rock concerts. The latter included a music festival attended by 30,000 in 1972, and 16,000 in 1974. Ike and Tina Turner headlined in 1972, and the Allman Brothers were the lead act two years later.
Today, Bosse Field continues to be an important part of the fabric of Evansville and this exhibition helps recall the important role it has played for 100 years in our City.
Decades of Change: Evansville 1900-1945
April 14 – Ongoing
Presented in partnership with the EVANSVILLE COURIER & PRESS
From 1900 through Evansville’s major involvement in the World War II home front effort, the City experienced many important events as it and the nation transitioned from the horse and buggy era to the atomic age. Opening in the Town Hall and Arms for Victory Galleries this exhibition examines a period in which Evansville experienced a major race riot; two major floods; dedicated Bosse Field; welcomed Evansville College (today’s University of Evansville); opened its first airport; endured the Great Depression; and became a major producer of war goods as the United States and the Allies battled the Axis powers during World War II.