Photo by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Mirmow Field in Orangeburg, South Carolina, will celebrate its 75th anniversary, including a list of events on Sunday for the double-header game against the Claflin University Panthers and the Morris College Hornets baseball teams.
Events will include free admission, giveaways, local mascots between innings, and children can run the bases after the game. There will be a selection of food provided at the concession stand and an onsite food truck.
Built-in 1948, the ballpark was named after Edward Mirmow, who had been responsible for establishing American Legion Post 4 baseball two years earlier. The city was caught in a post-war boom that saw many people returning to the ballparks across the country. Orangeburg was the same, and its brand-new ballpark would house plenty of baseball after World War II.
The ballpark would be home to the semi-pro Orangeburg Braves of the Palmetto League from 1948-1950, become the spring training home of the Binghamton Triplets, house minor league baseball for a couple of years, house the all-African-American club Orangeburg Tigers, and be the set for the motion picture Major League: Back to the Minors in 1996.
The stadium received renovations during the movie shoot almost 30 years ago. It also went through more renovations this past year that included a myriad of improvements to the structure. The stadium cinder block walls have padding and a warning track for the first time in its history, much to the relief of Claflin’s outfielders chasing a fly ball.
The press box is equipped with an HVAC system, electrical lighting has been added to the locker rooms, concession stands, and bathrooms, dugout fencing has been installed, and a new coat of fresh paint has been added to the exterior and interior of the stadium.
However, what is in store for Mirmow Field for the next 75 years? The city is in a prime location for a summer collegiate team in the Coastal Plain League or perhaps in a smaller loop in Palmetto State.
“We have talked internally about the collegiate summer league and would love to in the future talk with some organizations about bringing it to Orangeburg,” said Marty Kinard, Deputy Director of Orangeburg Parks and Recreation.
Kinard added that the stadium will house the Garden City Diamond Classic, featuring 12 teams from area high schools competing on 6 different dates in March. He is also planning other events for the future, and the committee is constantly planning activities.
Stadium Journey visited the stadium several years ago and found a simple but charming ballpark of the post-war era. In an area of rapid summer collegiate leagues popping up throughout the country, it seems as if Mirmow had been left behind. At the time, the wood seats were warped, a strong smell of mold was prevalent underneath the grandstand, and peanut shells littered the grounds underneath the seating.
Still, it had the potential to be another forgotten minor league ballpark to house summertime baseball. Perhaps that could be in the stadium’s future. It appears that changes have been made, and an effort is percolating to bring more baseball back to savvy stadium.
Kinard added that many of the warped seating have been replaced. The city has added stadium seats to the center portion of the grandstand with the plan next year to add aluminum seats throughout the ballpark.
“Mirmow Field is historic and gives you that past-time feel; it shows both young and old what baseball was like 75 years ago. Mirmow has a lot of great memories.”
Perhaps there will be a few more years of great memories.