May 26, 1907
After a day’s delay, Ponce de Leon Park debuts with a 2-1 Atlanta Crackers victory over the Shreveport Pirates. Atlanta’s Pete Zellers gave up more free passes (two walks and four hit batters) than hits (four) in recording the win.
The delay came after two railroad derailments left Shreveport stuck in Eutaw, Alabama, unable to make the scheduled 3:30 start on Friday, May 25. A Saturday crowd, reported as 8,426 paying and 500 free passes, was on hand to watch the affair, which took a lengthy 2:15. Atlanta papers reported that the delay cost the Crackers $2,000 since the postponed game would be made up later as part of a doubleheader.
The ball park was built on the site of an amusement park, with construction starting after the end of the 1906 season. Atlanta’s street car company and silent owner of the Crackers, The Georgia Railway and Electric Company, built the park and then provided the transportation to the park. Today a historical marker stands where the magnolia tree guarded the outfield. The site is a shopping center across from the old Sears store and regional warehouse and more recently City Hall East on Ponce de Leon Avenue in east Atlanta.