Inside rotten abandoned stadium opened in the 1920s where baseball stars Babe Ruth & Willie Mays stepped up to the plate | The Sun

ONCE a battle ground for some of the world's best baseball players, LaGrave Field is now resigned to its fate as a decaying wreck.

After opening in 1926, the stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, saw Hall of Fame greats including Babe Ruth and Willie Mays suit up on its grounds over the decades.

But now all that remains is a graveyard of stands and dugouts after it was abandoned in 2014.

Eerie images taken by photographer Dax Ward reveal its sad state, with seats used by joyous baseball fans now left to rot.

Instead of players and crowds, the only people who use the stadium now are vandals who have covered the ballpark's tarnished walls with graffiti.

The overgrown field and stands can be seen littered with random items including a fire extinguisher and papers.

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Meanwhile, the changing rooms where players would have rallied together have been smashed up, with mirrors and sinks hanging off the walls.

Intrepid explorer Dax told The Sun: "As I gazed upon the open gate, amidst the scars of vandalism, I couldn't help but feel that LaGrave Field had become a poignant symbol of time's passage and the ever-changing landscape of America's favorite pastime.

"The day was eerily silent aside from the wind blowing and concession stand doors swinging on rusty hinges.

"You could almost hear the crack of the bat, the cheer of the crowd as runners slide into home plate, a 'field of dreams' now sits as a field of ghosts.

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"No more popcorn, hotdogs, cracker jacks, just memories of relaxing afternoons with family, friends and what was once America's favorite pastime."

Club owners decided to build a new ballpark after the Fort Worth Cats – originally known as Fort Worth Panthers – won consecutive Texas League championships from 1919 to 1925,

The glittering stadium – named after principal owner Paul LaGrave – would welcome crowds of eager fans, ready to watch their team ace games.

But the fresh site appeared to bring bad luck, as the winning streak dried up for the team and they would not claim any more league titles until the following decade.

By the time 1949 came around, the ballpark suffered a series of setbacks – including a fire and flooding.

It forced club owners to fork out to rebuild the stadium in time for the 1950 season.

Throughout the years, almost 50 Hall of Fame stars suited up at the stadium – including Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth.

In 1965, however, baseball left the city – leaving the once buzzing stadium a ghost park.

It remained a baseball graveyard for almost four decades, until the spotlight returned to the stadium in 2001.

But it was only used on a temporary basis for the team and plans were drawn up to replace it, which never materialized.

The stadium's final glory days in 2014 saw it home home games before Fort Worth Vaqueros FC of the National Premier Soccer League



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Financial ruin was the final nail in the stadium's coffin after Fort Worth Cats owner Carl Bell ran into difficulties.

In 2014, the stadium closed for the final time and The Cats folded.

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