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Just Curious: What is the history of Macon's Luther Williams Field?

In its 93 years, Luther Williams Field has seen a lot of historic moments, from famous players to movies to great baseball games.

MACON, Ga. — This report has been contributed by Katie Linkner, a student from Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.

Luther Williams Field, currently home of the Macon Bacon, recently celebrated its 93rd anniversary. It's a place many people have gone for a ballgame, but do you know about its history and namesake?

Luther Williams was the Mayor of Macon in 1929 when the ballpark was built, but he didn't know the city council was going to name it after him.

“So the story goes that back in 1929, as the ballpark’s getting ready to be dedicated, the city council asked him to leave the chambers of the city council meeting and they voted while he was out to name it after him,” said Macon Bacon president Brandon Raphael.

Luther Williams has seen several different baseball teams over the years. The Macon Bacon is the current team playing there and has been since 2018. 

The first team to play at Luther Williams was the Macon Peaches. They played for about 50 years.

During the 1980s, a few other minor league teams played there, including the Macon Dodgers, the Macon Redbirds, and the Macon Pirates. Then, the Macon Braves played from 1991-2002. 

Between 2002 and 2018, there was another independent league team also called the Macon Peaches, then the Macon Music and the Macon Pinetoppers.

“Pete Rose, the ‘Hit King,’ played for the Macon Peaches in 1962,” said Raphael.

Several other famous players also got their start at Luther Williams Field. Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones played their first years in minor league baseball, along with Ted Williams, Hank Aaron and Joe DiMaggio.

“And my favorite of all is Jackie Robinson in 1949. He played a game here in 1947 and a lot of people know that he broke the color barrier for Major League Baseball in 1949. He broke the color barrier for the state of Georgia here at (Luther Williams Field) at a game and it doesn’t get more historic than that,” said Raphael.

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