Crowl said the day also included a parade and a performance by the marching band in new uniforms. The Buffs lost to Muskogee, 19-0.
Other changes to Jeff Lee Stadium over the next 75 years included McAlester Public Schools purchasing the city’s interest in the land, the home bleachers moving to the east side, the creation and then demise of the minor league baseball McAlester Rockets, and the school system adding a pressbox and new indoor facility.
“They also got access to that land between Parker School, which is now the parking lot,” Crowl said of the switch from west to east for the home stands.
“They made that the home side. Previous to that, it was just a jungle.”
Eventually the name changed from Jeff Lee Stadium to Hook Eales Stadium, and most recently the school system added an artificial field and rededicated it as First National Field.
Hook Eales Stadium has grown and changed heavily over the years. Its history connects it to some of America’s biggest historical events.
And every time the Buffs take the field, that history grows just a little bit more.
Contact Matt Goisman at email@example.com.