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Sarge Frye Field, 1320 Heyward Street (USC Campus at Marion & Heyward Streets): 17 May 2008   11 comments

Posted at 2:05 am in Uncategorized

I didn't know Sarge Frye, though I'm sure I must have seen him out in his yard from time to time. He lived just around the corner from my sister's house, and she mentioned once that she had spoken with him back during the great Forest Acres Flood of the 90s when his property was partly under water. By all accounts, he was a very nice, and capable man and was greatly missed after his passing in 2003.

Of the baseball field which bears his name, Bob Spears of The State says:

Weldon B. “Sarge” Frye, the Michelangelo of groundskeepers, carved the field that eventually would bear his name from an unkempt patch of real estate in the mid-1950s.

The park near the corner of Marion and Heyward streets evolved and so did the Carolina baseball program.

From that humble beginning, the field lasted half a century before being retired this year. I'm afraid I would be fibbing if I claimed to have seen ball games there. Sports are not really my thing, and I don't think I've ever actually watched a baseball game (and have listened to very few since 8 April 1974). Still, the talk of closing the place caught my attention, so I thought I would check it out.

I was afraid that the field might be locked down, but as it turned out, showing up on a Friday afternoon after 5pm, in the summer when all the college kids are on break was a perfect way to have it entirely to myself. I haven't been able to find anything more definite about the future plans for the park than this 2006 story from The Daily Gamecock which says:

The current Sarge Frye Field will be demolished, and in its place will be the athletics offices, a possible hall of fame, academic support facility, sports medicine offices and a new volleyball competition facility.

If that is still the plan, they don't seem to be any hurry to "turn the lights out". It's been more than a month since the final game, but the grass is still cut, and the area still seems kept up.

The sun was at a very awkward angle for many of these shots, so if you see my fingers in the frame, I was attempting to shade the lens a bit, and since the closing-cam isn't SLR, I can't really tell from the viewfinder if they're out of the way or not sometimes.

Oh, and that final game? Let the record show it was the Gamecocks over Tennessee 10-8!

UPDATE 24 July 2010 -- Here are some pictures taken about a year later (13 March 2010):

UPDATE 20 July 2010: Here's a video from The State of the demolition of Sarge Frye Field today.

UPDATE 1 June 2011 -- Here's some pix of demolition work at Sarge Frye and The Roost on 25 July 2010:

UPDATE 10 January 2012: More construction pictures, these from 16 July 2011:

Written by ted on June 28th, 2008

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11 Responses to 'Sarge Frye Field, 1320 Heyward Street (USC Campus at Marion & Heyward Streets): 17 May 2008'

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  1. So many memories of hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, Coke a Cola, fireworks, and best of brat brother got smacked in the head by a foul ball and dropped his hot dog after not listening to my mom and coming straight back after he bought it. They had to stop the game and call in EMTs. Haha! That's what you get when you don't listen to your mama, or the "Heads up!"


    30 Jun 08 at 10:51 am

  2. I am going to miss this place...


    2 Jul 08 at 3:09 pm

  3. I'm going to miss it, too. As a USC student a resident of a nearby residence hall, I took advantage of the free admission with my student ID for many a spring game. Such a great, classic ballpark! Often, the locomotive engineers would stop on the tracks behind R field and watch the game.


    3 Jul 08 at 2:05 pm

  4. First, looking at the SEC champs banner, wonder why they didn't have anything boasting ACC and Metro Conference accomplishments, since the park was in use since the late '50s. Maybe when they joined the SEC, they chose to forget the past.
    Secondly, being a, umm, anti-USC fan, I never understood why USC chose to abandon memorials to there two most treasured sports icons(G Rodgers aside), Sarge Frye and Frank McGuire. Build a new place, and consign the legends to the trash heap. I understand they have a small plaque for Frye at the new Carolina Stadium, but I don't know if there is even a mention of McGuire at the Colonial Center.
    Lastly, in regards to my first two points, as you can see from the date of my comments, they now have a much bigger championship to display at Carolina Stadium, and have a coach who has surpassed the legend of the Sarge and McGuire, having brought home a Nat Champ in a major sport. (I'm not forgetting coach Curtis Frye, and ironically, I think his name is on a facility built over the old Sarge Frye Field.)


    1 Jul 10 at 3:05 am

  5. ...THEIR two most...


    1 Jul 10 at 3:07 am

  6. @ JBL, there are several tributes to McGuire at the new arean and they have a plaza at Carolina Stadium honoring Sarge Frye. Yesterday Coach tanner remembers Sarge in his remarks.


    1 Jul 10 at 7:35 am

  7. Thanks, Tom. Just didn't know. The field at Carolina Staduim and arena at the Colonial Center aren't named, are they? If they ever are, would they consider a "New Frank McGuire Arena", or a "New Sarge Frye Field?" Probably not, I would think, since neither legend had anything to do with the new places, and in today's world, facilties are named after the corporation willing to put up the most cash. Most importantly, even if Carolina Stadium becomes "SCANA Park," or whatever, I can see "Ray Tanner Field" coming sooner than later, if not "Ray Tanner Stadium." And he deserves it. I've always wondered if Clemson will ever name anything after Danny Ford, or is there still to many hurt feelings.


    1 Jul 10 at 4:17 pm

  8. Where the built the new stadium is stupid. Only reason they built it there was to get the "skyline" shot like they are a major league team for TV games. What they should of done was put it where the old farmer's market was. Plenty of parking and it would of been one big sports complex. Instead they inconvenience residents with hordes of fans that come on a weekly basis during season.


    9 Feb 13 at 11:07 am

  9. Sarge Frye's house is for sale. The October floods did a lot of damage. If you google the address 1802 Gamewell Dr, Columbia, SC 29206 you can see that it really is a beautiful house. I wish I had money to fix it up!


    2 Apr 16 at 11:14 pm

  10. Jeanette, are you sure that's the right address?


    3 Apr 16 at 8:04 pm

  11. The house is definitely for sale; my sister showed me the flyer. I would drive by there most weekdays, and they certainly put in a lot of work after the flood, but in the end I guess it was just a bridge too far.


    3 Apr 16 at 10:02 pm

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