Field of Dreams: Toledo’s Swayne Field

On the corners of Council Street, Detroit Avenue and Monroe Street in Toledo, Ohio, you can find a Save-A-Lot, a Star Beauty Supply, and perhaps the oldest remaining remnant of a pro park in the country.

The Swayne Field Shopping Center now sits on the grounds of the original Armory Park (home to the Toledo Mud Hens from 1897-1909) which was renamed after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Noah Swayne’s son Noah, who donated the land.

The venue hosted the Mud Hens until 1955 and was known for its cavernous centerfield dimensions, which was originally 482 feet. Seating additions would eventually trim the distance to a more reasonable 425.

“Although Swayne FIeld is long gone, [this] is what I believe is the oldest remaining piece of a professional ballpark still standing in its original spot – the left and center field wall,” said baseball enthusiast David B. Stinson, who is also the author of Deadball: A Metaphysical Baseball Novel. “The wall was built in 1909, so it predates other Federal League ballparks or ballparks such as Wrigley, Fenway, and Rickwood.”