Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin
Home of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters
Former home of the Wisconsin Rapids
In 1940, professional baseball moved to Lincoln Athletic Field in Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin (built in 1931). The little wooden ballpark would become the home to the Wisconsin State League for 9 years before (according to Mark Pollack) a constant barrage of fires caused its final demolition in 1950. Over the winter, the rest of the ballpark was gutted but the ballfield was kept intact and around it rose a new ballpark made of steel and concrete... something that wouldn't burn on a consistant basis. The new stadium was ready in time for the 1950 season and it would become named Witter Field. Its history began when the Wisconsin Rapids White Sox of the Class D Wisconsin State League played their first games here in 1950. The ballclub featured a few local heros but none moreso than Chester Gugala who slammed 24 doubles, 26 homers and batting .307 while the next best power hitters... Terry Thomas (11 2B, 6 HRs, .333) and Al Ware (14 2B, 5 3B, 6 HRs, .290), hit only 6 each. Wisconsin Rapids pitching unfortunately was just mediocre and despite Billy Dufour's 7-2, 1.45 ERA performance and Charles Walkers 15-12, 4.85 record, the WR White Sox finished 6th in the league with a 59-64 (.480) record, 15 games under .500. Attendance wise, the team was middle of the pack drawing 48,000 for the season, and down 4,000 from what they drew at the old Lincoln Athletic Park stadium the previous season.