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