The demolition of Falcon Park begins.
Steven LJ Russo
Falcon Park I
Auburn New York
Former Home of the
Auburn Astros, Sunsets, Red Stars, Americans, Phillies, Twins, Mets, Yankees, Cayugas, Falcons, Bouleys, Colts
NY-Penn League (Short Season Single-A)
The 1992 team would promote Chris Holt (2-5, 4.45) to the Astros where he would spend 5 years in the Houston rotation. It wasn’t until 1993 however that the next and last Falcon Park superstar would make an appearance. Like Doug Jones, he would go on to become one of the top closers in the game but came to Auburn at the age of 21 still listed as a starter and not all that impressive. Billy Wagner became the 14th All-Star to be produced by Falcon Field and one of their best. Wagner would play in 7 All-Star Major League All-star games and with the exception of an injury shortened 2000 when his ERA sailed over 6.00, Billy Wagner’s ERA never went above 2.85 in the other 15 Major League seasons and was often below 2.00. Wagner would save over 30 games in a season 9 times peaking in 2003 when he saved 44 for the Astros with a 1.78 ERA. In 1994, it was announced that it would be the final season for historic Falcon Field. The Auburn Astros did well in their final season here and would finally make the playoffs behind the play of future Seattle Mariners’ John Halama (4-1, 1.29), Julien Tucker (8-3, 2.24), future Detroit Tiger Sean Runyan (7-5, 3.49) and Don Lock (3-1, 2.29) while at the plate, future Houston Astros’ Chris Truby batted .323 with 17 2Bs and 7 HRs and future Boston Red Sox’ Bry Nelson batted .322 with 16 2Bs, 7 3Bs and 6 HRs. Auburn finished the season at 45-31 (.592) in 2nd place and even made it to the finals. In an effort to get a head start on the new ballpark, NY-Penn League historian Charlie Wride informs us that the demolition crew came to the ballpark a few days too soon. Maybe nobody expected Auburn to get hot and make the playoffs because those bulldozers came crashing through the wall when Auburn was still trying to win a Championship. (captured here by Steven LJ Russo). The ballpark was no longer usable and all playoff games had to be played at Skylands Park in Augusta New Jersey. Unable to enjoy any home field advantage... the Auburn Astros would lose their final chance to bring home one last pennant to Falcon Park as they were swept by the New Jersey Cardinals.