MUSIC - crawling from the wreckage by Dave Edmunds
Photographed in 1996 using film.
Jerry Uht Park - opened in 1995 and still in use.
Photographed - 1994 and 1996
Tenants - Erie SeaWolves (Eastern League) 1995 - present.
Location - 110 E. 10th St., Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie Pennsylvania has a strong history for minor league baseball. The sport has been played in this north west Pennsylvania City since 1906. Starting in 1947, Ainsworth field was home to the lower minor league Erie Sailors, among other team names. Ainsworth field is a small rather dull looking facility that was basically decommissioned by minor league baseball in 1994. They felt the facility was not up to minor league standards. Following a rehab in 2004, Ainsworth field still stands today and is home for local high school baseball and amateur games. If you find yourself in Erie Pennsylvania and want to experience baseball the way it used to be, then head over to W. 24th Street and Washington Place and look for the white park. Stroll on in and go back to yesteryear. Thank you Erie Pennsylvania for preserving part of the past.
Jerry Uht park is the new home for the Erie Sea Wolves is about a 10 minute ride from old Ainsworth field. Located in downtown Erie at the corner of French Street and E. 10th Street, Jerry Uht park is light years ahead of old Ainsworth field. The Uht (as locals call it) is right next door to the Louis Tullio arena. The arena is home to the Erie Otters minor hockey league team and the Erie River Rats arena football league team.
The Uht was open for business on opening day 1995. The Erie Sea Wolves were part of the New York-Penn. league from 1995-1998 which is a short season league. They were the affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates for those three seasons. Following the 1998 season, Erie moved up to Double A and were the affiliate of the Anaheim Angels for two years. In 2001, the Detroit Tigers made Erie their double a franchise and have been there ever since. The Sea Wolves have made the playoffs 5 times, 4 in the Eastern league and 1 in the New York-Penn. league. Unfortunately, they lost in the first round each time.
Jerry Uht park was named for local benefactor Gerald Uht, Sr., who established an endowment in 1995 to support the new downtown park. The City of Erie named the field in his honor. The Uht seats 6,000 and is also used for local high school and collegiate baseball games. The Uht has a unique configuration due to the small constraints of the construction site. Even so, it is much better than its predecessor, Ainsworth field.
Erie has seen its share of big leagues pass thru town. Tim Belcher, Jose Guillen Omar Infante, Nook Logan, Andrew Miller, Aramis Ramirez, Scot Shields, Justin Verlander, Joel Zumaya, John Lackey and up and coming star Curtis Granderson all played here in Erie.
Erie has a long rich tradition with baseball, and the Sea Wolves should be around for a long time.
The main entrance to Jerry Uht field on a snowy freezing cold January day. 1/96
The white building with red trim to the left is the Tullio arena. 1/96
Fresh snow blankets the seating bowl. 1/96
You can see the unusual seating bowl. The upper seating is built on posts above the concession area. 1/96
Snow is falling in the concession area behind home plate. 1/96
A better view of a snow covered field and the arena. 1/96
The arena and a concession stand down the left field line. 1/96
One last snowy look at Jerry Uht park in Erie Pennsylvania. 1/96