History of the Quincy Gems
Joy, tears, cheers, and sweat, Q-Stadium has seen it all since its conception in 1938. Local fans have embraced, loved, cheered and booed each of the teams who have called Q-Stadium home. Young men have came to Quincy with their gloves, their bats, and their hopes; hopes that a major league scout may be in the crowd, see them, sign them, and make their dreams come true.In 1923 major league baseball was in one of its periodically “fade outs”; the Quincy Aerie of Eagles purchased the property for use by its semi-professional baseball team in the Ill-Mo League. By 1937 the Quincy Public Schools purchased the park and the land from the Eagles for $5,500; Q-Stadium now had the green light to be a reality. With the help of President Roosevelt’s federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) approximately 100 to 250 men took on the task of turning the local stone from Quincy’s north and south bottom roads into a grand stadium, which has been nicknamed over the years as “The Rock Pile”.
As early as 1946, minor league baseball teams, known as farm clubs, competed at Q-Stadium. The New York Yankees, the San Francisco Giants, the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs sponsored farm teams at Q-Stadium. Many a successful player received his experience and learned his trade in Quincy. One can only imagine the thrill and the excitement of watching Hank Bauer, Lew Burdette, Whitey Herzog or Tony Kubek take to the field at Q-Stadium, feeling the power of their bats as the ball cracks against the wood, seeing the skill of their fielding as they appeared to fly through the air to make the impossible catch; and realizing that you, the fan, are seeing the beginning of another piece of baseball history.
From 1954 to 1960, Q-Stadium was not utilized by major league teams until the San Francisco Giants played there from 1960-1961, the Mets from 1961-1962, and 1963-1964 Class A Midwest League. The Chicago Cubs had a farm club in Quincy for the period of 1964 to 1973, and were the team that stayed the longest in Quincy, obviously knowing a good thing when they saw it! But major league baseball had struck out in Quincy!
Q-Stadium, the home of so much history, so many hopes, hours of shared interest by local sport enthusiasts was now in a total state of disrepair; cracked walls, twisted plumbing, and inadequate lighting. The Rivermen, a Central Illinois Collegiate League (CICL) team once again brought baseball to Quincy from 1974-1987.
In 1984 the City of Quincy sold Q-Stadium to Quincy College for handsome sum of $1.00. The College made many a repair to the aging stadium for their college sports program.
In 1996, Q-Stadium welcomed its Knight on a White Charger in the form of the CICL Quincy Gems. Improvements were made each of the five years to the stadium. Crowds for each game range from 2,500 to 6,000 in attendance. More importantly, the sense of continuation of tradition, the sharing of sporting moments, the hopes of young players, the pride of parents, the bat boy with a grin from ear to ear because he’s with the “big boys”, are once again a Quincy reality.
Storms, tornados, new owners, and new teams have not dimmed the bright light that Q-Stadium is for Quincy. No where else will hot dogs taste so good, beer feel so cold, popcorn so light, and the sound of the baseball cracking against the wood bat be so sweet as at Q-Stadium.
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