The barber chair outside Sal Maglie Stadium, Aug-1993.
A plain field is flanked by a football bleacher, making it inconvenient for spectators.
|Chronological Tour: Stop 49|
That’s the only thing that recommended Sal Maglie Stadium. Maglie, the pitcher who worked for all three New York teams in the late 1940s and early 1950s, was known as “The Barber” for his ability to work inside and give the opposing hitters close shaves.
However, Maglie Stadium was nothing more than a converted football field, and the conversion was done miserably. Home plate was at the 50-yard line, meaning that if you didn’t have a midfield seat, you were farther and farther away from the action, so that by the 20-yard lines you had almost no view of the field whatever.
The 1974 Exxon map lists the facility as “Hyde Park Stadium”. Tim Smith, originally from Decatur, Ill., reports that he was playing for the Newark (N.Y.) Orioles in June 1983 when the city dedicated the park to Maglie. That night, Smith homered off Buster Sundae for his first hit as a professional baseball player.
The Niagara Falls Rapids moved to Jamestown after the 1993 season, when I was there to say hi to a Detroit pitching prospect. The stadium was demolished in 1999. According to Maglie’s son Joe in 2003 correspondence, the City of Niagara Falls built a new facility which has also been dedicated to “The Barber”; however, the barber chair is no longer on the site. I visited the site in 2010 and saw that not only had the seating area been completely rebuilt, but home plate had been moved to the south end of the football field and the new grandstand structure wrapped around into an end zone, providing more conventional baseball seating.
|98||Sat 21-Aug-1993||NY-Penn||A||Auburn 4, NIAGARA FALLS 3|