Frank Chance ballpark memorialized

FRESNO, Calif. Fresno's Frank Chance led the Chicago Cubs to World Series titles in 1907 and 1908.

The ballpark named in his honor is long gone but now it will never be forgotten.

"Tinkers to Evers to Chance. The famous double play."

The famous line immortalized baseball hall of famer Frank Chance.

But few realize this southeast Fresno neighborhood, not far from Chance Avenue, was once home to Frank Chance Field.

Eldon Morris was eight when his family moved here in 1950, nine years after the ballpark was torn down.

"The only thing I remember Dale is my parents talking about it," Morris said.

It wasn't until two years ago Morris and his childhood friend Jack Krog began a quest to document a piece of Fresno history.

"He found a picture of his mother and dad and his dad was in a baseball uniform. We found out it was Frank Chance field," Morris said.

When Frank Chance field debuted March 14, 1935, 3,000 fans caught a legend in the making.

"A fellow by the name of Joe DiMaggio. He was about 20 years old. He played for the Seals and he was here on opening day."

Other celebrities would follow.

"Joe Louis, he came here with a traveling baseball team."

The 68-year old Morris never thought his obsessive hunt for information would result in a city monument.

"We had hoped for a small marker, anything. But the way it turned out we can't believe it."

Frank Chance was among the first members to be inducted into the Fresno athletic hall of fame. On Saturday a memorial to honor Frank Chance will be unveiled outside of this car wash.

"Fresno has so much history that it needs to be preserved. It just gotta be preserved. Time goes by so fast. Things are forgotten."

Frank chance's nephew was here back in 1935 for the opening of the ballpark.

Now 83, he'll be back Saturday for the dedication ceremony in his uncle's honor.

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