The Edmonton Trappers made the best of their time at John Ducey Park in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Originally built in 1933, the ball diamond served the provincial capital well over the decades. The addition of bleachers boosted capacity to over 6,000 fans and the Trappers worked hard to make it a Triple-A quality facility. Yet, despite renovations, the Pacific Coast League (PCL) club longed for a new stadium.
But in 1995, his dream came true. John Ducey Park was torn down and replaced by a 10,000-seat stadium along the North Saskatchewan River. The ballpark, dubbed “Son of Ducey” by Edmonton Journal columnist Cam Cole, would take the name Telus Field in the fall.
Players and coaches on the Trappers, meanwhile, didn’t care what it was called. Neither did the fans. They were just happy to have a state-of-the-art building to go play and watch baseball at.
The stadium didn’t translate into instant on-field success for the team, which went 68-76 in 1995 and failed to qualify for the postseason. But the Trappers did win back-to-back championships in 1996 and 1997, followed by another PCL title in 2002.
The new digs did, however, give rise to annual attendance figures that smashed the 400,000 mark for the first time. Edmonton saw their overall crowds jump from 272,631 in 1994 (ninth in the PCL) to 426,012 in 1995 (good for second in the league). An exhibition matchup between the Tony La Russa-led Oakland Athletics and the Trappers at the end of July also helped put butts in the seats that season. The 1996 attendance number reached 463,684, which was the best year for crowds in franchise history.
Before we get to know some of the players and staff from that 1995 team, let’s give a quick critique of this 30-card set – produced by Edmonton’s Macri Photographic Design – that is featured in this edition of In The Cards. While the images are static and don’t feature any action shots, the picture quality is quite good. The photos are sharp and you can easily make out the faces in these casual poses. The design on the front is simple, with the team logo, name and position at the bottom. The back of each cardboard cutout provides a pleasant design that includes biographical info, statistical data and an interesting tidbit or two about each person. All in all, it’s a nice looking set that has stood the test of time.
Onto the players and coaches …
Thanks for flipping through the cards with us – we urge you to leave a comment about the players and cards below.
We are seeking to create an online digital archive of Alberta baseball card sets with our In The Cards series. If you have baseball cards you’d like to donate – or lend – to the cause, please email us at AlbertaDugoutStories@gmail.com with more information and to make arrangements.