James P. Small Park – Jacksonville, Florida - Atlas Obscura

James P. Small Park

This century-plus-old baseball park has hosted some of baseball's royalty and stands as the oldest sports complex in Jacksonville. 


J. P. Small Baseball Park was originally opened in 1912 and served baseball players from Major, Minor, and Negro league teams. The land was originally owned by a former Union soldier.

Over the years, after several name changes and a devastating fire in the 1930s, the baseball field has been a center of both Jacksonville baseball and entertainment for the Durkeeville, Sugar Hill, and Springfield neighborhoods. 

J.P. Small has had the pleasure of hosting some of baseball’s biggest names. Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb, Satchel Paige, and “Cool Papa” Bell have all played on the field and even almost hosted Jackie Robinson.

It stands as the oldest sports complex in the city.

Know Before You Go

J. P. Smalls still hosts games to this day for both Stanton Preparatory School and Edward Waters College, the oldest Historic Black College in Florida. 

For a tour of both the park and its accompanying museum contact the staff at the Durkeeville Historical Society.

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