The demolition of Orlando’s Tinker Field, former Minnesota Twins and Washington Senators spring-training home, began today and will continue for 40 more days.
To be torn down: the 1963 grandstand, where the Twins trained until a 1991 move to Fort Myers. The nature of Tinker Field changed last season when an expansion of the Citrus Bowl took over a big chunk of right field with new concourse space. The baseball diamond and existing playing field will be maintained; it’s just the 1963 grandstand that’s being removed.
Though the field was used for baseball as far back as 1914, Tinker Field opened in 1923 (as shown above) and the grandstand was rebuilt in 1963 (as shown below). The Cincinnati Reds trained there in 1923-1930, the Brooklyn Dodgers trained there in 1934-1935, and the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins trained there between 1936 and 1990, save the three wartime years when the team trained in College Park, Md.; this franchise is most closely associated with the facility. There are some Griffith Stadium seats still installed in the Tinker Field grandstand, but a bust of former Sens owner Clark Griffith disappeared. It was named for former Chicago Cubs infielder Joe Tinker — he of Tinker to Evers to Chance fame — who retired in Orlando.