John O'Donnell Stadium is one picturesque ballpark. With Centennial Bridge crossing the Mississippi River down the first base line and the Davenport skyline overlooking left center field, it is a minor league baseball landmark. John O'Donnell Stadium has been home to Quad Cities baseball since 1931-never mind the occasional flood. And though the teams have come and gone-the Blue Sox, Cubs, Quads, Angels, River Bandits-one constant has been the embrace of baseball itself by the local fans. Old-timers will remember cheering on Jim Bunning of the 1951 Quad Cities Tigers, the first Q.C. ballplayer to make it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Since 1960, when Quad Cities joined the Midwest League, Q.C. baseball fans have seen dozens of young players like Dante Bichette, Carney Lansford, and Billy Wagner pass through John O'Donnell Stadium en route to the Big Leagues. And, if they didn't blink, they might have witnessed Chuck Finley pitch 12 scoreless innings in 1986 before being hurried up to the California Angels.
About the Author
Author Tim Rask is an expert in eastern Iowa's minor league baseball heritage. Through the benefit of a rare collection of scrapbooks compiled since 1931 by Davenport baseball super fan Dorothy Wulf, he shares this history in Baseball at Davenport's John O'Donnell Stadium for Quad Cities fans, old and new.