Baseball at the Zoo
The zoo in Beechwold may have been one of the earliest sites of the Columbus Clippers!
According to Joe Santry, Historian at The Columbus Clippers, “In 1895 the Columbus Statesmen opened the season playing at The Zoo Baseball Grounds. The grounds were owned by the Zoological Garden company. Could this be the old zoo grounds in Clintonville? …The team played at the Zoo Grounds for a couple of months before moving to Recreation Park in German Village…
“In 1895, according to the local papers, Columbus played at ‘the Zoo Grounds’ (May 21), ‘Zoo Baseball Park’ (May 4), ‘Zoo Park’ (May 5). There are stories about temporary grandstands, then a ‘new grandstand’ (May 12).
“By June 1, however, the OSJ reports that the club now ‘holds the lease on the Schiller street grounds’ and the club ‘will play the last game on the Zoo grounds this afternoon and the work of removing the grandstand, bleachers, and fences to Recreation Park’ will follow.
“The problem is how inconsistently the papers reported the games that season. The more I research this the more I think the Zoo Grounds park was in or near some type of amphitheatre on the zoo grounds. The park had other smaller attractions prior to 1905.”
Scott Caputo, librarian at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, found this article in the 8-8-1904 Ohio State Journal. It mentions a drill field and a ball game used by several masonic groups at the Zoo. This, shortly before it closed down.
Also linked here is a image/map of the old zoo, courtesy of Mary Rodgers of the Clintonville Historical Society.