Draper Field

    On June 18th, the first night game ever scheduled [in Hopedale, that is] was played between Hopedale and
    Milford at Draper Field before a capacity crowd, with the locals winning out 11 - 6.  The lighting system was
    rented for the occasion and consisted of 8 towers, placed around the field in such a way as to insure the
    greatest coverage.  Each tower supported 8 - 1500 watt bulbs, and the candle power delivered was
    sufficient to permit maximum vision in all sectors of the field.

    Contributing no little to the success of the season was the new baseball field constructed to the rear of
    Bancroft Park.  The opening day game with Whitinsville was attended by an overflow crowd of 1686 paid.

    Draper Field is located on a 4 acre swampland lot reclaimed with slag and other fill from the shop and the
    Town.  This rough fill was covered and leveled off with 12,000 cubic yards of subfill followed by 4,250 cubic
    yards of loam so as to insure a proper playing surface.  The field is laid out facing the north in order that the
    setting sun offers a minimum of glare to the pitcher, batter and outfielder alike.  The design of the skinned
    base paths and outer outfield edges is circular, as can be seen from the aerial photographs of the field,
    offering a symmetry pleasing to the eye.  The distance from home plate to the center field fence is 388 feet,
    and to the left and right field fences, 350 feet; 80 feet from the base line to the fence on each side of the
    diamond, and 60 feet from the catcher's box to the backstop. Both the batter's and pitcher's box are filled to
    a depth of 8 inches with special clay to prevent the forming of permanent holes.

    Perhaps the outstanding feature of the park however and one that makes it the equal of any major league
    field in the country is the underground sprinkling system that has been installed. This system is a duplicate
    of the one currently in use at Braves Field.  There are 11 outlets spotted over the entire area so that any
    portion or all of the field can be sprinkled at any time.  One sprinkler head can water a circle 170 feet in
    diameter.  These outlets are protected by a rubber cap that is set flush with the surface of the ground with
    the result that there are no projecting edges of iron caps to catch a ball player's spikes.  In use, this rubber
    cap is removed and the sprinkler head pushed down on a valve and locked with a half turn.  It then starts to
    operate immediately.

    The grandstand, designed to seat 1250 spectators, contains 10 rows of seats, chair high, with a full 18
    inches of walking space between each row.  The players' dugouts are located at the usual first and third
    base side of home plate, and will easily accommodate a full team compliment.  Underneath the grandstand
    are separate dressing rooms for the umpires as well as the visiting and home teams; each equipped with its
    own showers.  Here too is a concession stand which was well patronized by the many fans who saw the
    Draper team lead the league by finishing the regular season two games ahead of its nearest rival.    Cotton
    Chats, November 1948.   

    In 1950, a permanent lighting system was erected at the field.  
                             Now and Then - Draper Field (with many pictures of the building of the field)            

                                               Draper Menu              Park, Pond and Sports Menu       

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    A few weeks before John Cembruch sent the map above, I had noticed in one of the
    Barncroft Library scrapbooks, a Milford News article from the 1930s about a baseball
    game at Draper Field. Until then, I thought all baseball in Hopedale was played at the
    Town Park, and Draper Field wasn't built until about 1948. I've put John's map below
    with a 90 degree turn which might make it easier to read.  DM

Links to places mentioned on the map.

 Ski hill   

Small pond   

Seven Sisters   


Trolley line   


Now and Then - Draper Field (with many pictures of the building of the field)

 Draper Menu              Park, Pond and Sports Menu

  Blackstone Valley Baseball                                HOME