CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -Jack Russell Memorial Stadium, the Philadelphia Phillies' longtime spring training home, was demolished Saturday.
The Phillies played exhibition games at the quirky ballpark from 1955-2003 before moving into Bright House Networks Field. The destruction of the stadium's main structure took almost 4 hours.
Phillies stars from Robin Roberts to Mike Schmidt played at Jack Russell, known for its rock-hard infield and sloping outfield. The warning track was made of crushed seashells.
The Rolling Stones held their first American concert at Jack Russell on May 6, 1965, but performed only four songs because fans went onto the field and threw rolls of toilet paper at the band. Police stopped the concert.
The stadium also hosted a double no-hitter in a minor league game on Aug. 23, 1993, when Clearwater beat Winter Haven 1-0 in the Class-A Florida State League. The ballpark was named after former major league pitcher and Clearwater commissioner Jack Russell, an All-Star with the Washington Senators in 1930.
The field and dugouts at Jack Russell will remain intact and smaller stands will be installed, according to Kevin Dunbar, Clearwater director of parks and recreation. Also remaining will be the Phillies' old clubhouse, offices, half field and batting cages that are currently leased to The Winning Inning Baseball Academy, a youth development program.
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