Bullens Recreational Field
This recreational complex inclusive of ball fields, grandstands, a playground and tennis courts was constructed by the WPA. Completed in 1937, the project extended from today’s Bullens Field to Franklin Street and was comprised of three levels. The first level would contain a “first-class” baseball diamond, a football field, a running track with jumping and pole vault pits, two large concrete grandstands (nicely trimmed in art deco), a field house with lockers and showers. The second level, today known as Jachym Field (named after a Massachusetts Hall of Fame High School Coach Joe Jachym a star basketball and baseball player at Notre Dame), included a field hockey field, softball and junior level baseball diamonds, while on the lower level, tennis courts, horseshoe lanes, basketball courts, croquet, handball, volleyball, and paddle tennis courts along with a field house for indoor summer activities such as checkers and ping pong.
On July 20th 1938, the official dedication of Municipal Field took place. The day-long event, beginning at 9:30 in the morning, included a full schedule of activities at each level and on all fields with music and speeches by many local officials. In attendance and on duty was the assistant supervisor of the new Recreational Field, Billy Bullens, a Westfield youth sports leader in Westfield that held yearly baseball camps and was in charge of the park maintenance for many years including flooding the field in the winter to create a public skating rink. Bullens was also a well known local baseball player for many years.
The baseball facility and grandstand is still in use today and will be the home site of the 2016, 14 year old Babe Ruth World Series and is currently known as Billy Bullens Field.
While researching baseball history in Westfield MA submitter used microfilm of local newspaper.
Project originally submitted by Dan Genovese on September 24, 2015.
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