Bulkeley Stadium, Gone But Not Forgotten

Morgan G. Bulkeley Stadium

Former name: Clarkin Field (1921-1927)
Location: Hanmer & George Streets, off Franklin Avenue Hartford, Connecticut
Capacity: 12,500
Opened: 1921
Demolished: 1955
Tenants: Hartford Senators (1921–1945), Hartford Blues Football Club (1925–1927), Savitt Gems (1932-1949), and the Hartford Chiefs (1946–1952).

Morgan G. Bulkeley Stadium was a sporting event stadium located in Hartford, Connecticut, and the site of Babe Ruth's final baseball game. The facility was home to the Eastern League's Hartford Senators, the Savitt Gems, the Hartford Blues of the National Football League and included a 1/5 mile dirt oval for motor sports. Originally named Clarkin Field from 1921–1927, the stadium was renamed for former Connecticut Governor and First President of the National League, Morgan Gardner Bulkeley in 1928.

James H. Clarkin, owner of the Hartford Senators replaced the old Wethersfield Avenue baseball grounds with the new Clarkin Field in 1921, which later became Bulkeley Stadium. The site was located at Hanmer Street and George Street off of Franklin Avenue. The facility used to be known as one of the best playing surfaces in the northeastern United States. The stadium itself was made of steel and concrete. A large grandstand wrapped around the field from foul pole to foul pole. The locker rooms below the stands were equipped with showers, baths, and telephones. In 1927, a fire destroyed the stand and fence but was rebuilt in less than a month. After only playing away games during the beginning of the season, the Hartford Senators returned to Hartford for a gala opening of Bulkeley Stadium in July 1927. Clarkin died six years later on March 12, 1933.

Bulkeley Stadium was home to various minor league baseball teams such as the Hartford Senators and the Hartford Chiefs, of the Eastern League between 1921 and 1952.  Lou GehrigJim ThorpeJimmie FoxxLeo DurocherHank GreenbergWarren SpahnTed Williams, and Johnny Sain all played for these teams at one point in their careers. When the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee at the end of the 1952 season, Hartford's minor league team was relocated.

On September 30, 1945, George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. played in a charity game at Bulkeley Stadium as a member of the Savitt Gems. The Gems were a semi-pro club sponsored by Bill Savitt who first created the team in 1930 as part of the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League. At an old age of 50, Ruth entered the game as a pinch-hitter and grounded out to the opposing pitcher. The ballgame was Babe Ruth's final appearance of his playing career. Bulkeley Stadium fell into disarray and was demolished in 1955. The location of the stadium is currently a nursing home. A historical stone marker was dedicated there in 1998.