I’ve been doing a little reaserch into what people did for fun in the Los Angeles area during the 1920s and ’30s. And it seems that Angelinos were wild about baseball! Who knew?
From the early 1900s through the 1930s, Los Angeles had as many as 5 baseball fields operating simultaneously. Most hosted multiple teams from “Negro league,” “Mexican league,” Japanese-American, and all-white organizations, including the then-Los Angeles Angels and the Hollywood Stars. Baseball was a hot ticket starting in the early 1910s, and famous National League teams, like the Boston Red Sox, visited town to play against their Pacific League associates, as did traveling teams from various other leagues. Some of the fields came and went—one even changed location twice when the Vernon Tigers moved from Vernon to Venice and back again. And I mean they actually moved the whole stadium—but there was always someone playing ball somewhere.
If you were a baseball fan in that period, you could watch a live game any day of the year, at a selection of venues now-vanished, including Los Angeles’s Wrigley Field (owned and built by the same chewing-gum magnate who owned the Chicago Cubs), Washington Field, and White Sox Ball Park in what is now South Central LA, which promoted Winter League play among non-white leagues, and offered games “Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays.”
Baseball was so popular that visiting dignitaries and Hollywood celebrities would join the crowd to watch a game, rubbing shoulders with ordinary joes and janes at any ball park in town.
*Author’s note: I was interested to see that in the photo of White Sox Park, the men in the foreground are a mix of white and non-white, though I only see one hat that might have been sheltering a woman. For more interesting photos of Baseball in Early LA, click on the photos or the links provided under the photos to go to the Water And Power Associates Baseball History page.