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Matthew Clark
Matthew Clark

Todd Field

While you wait, you might as well reach in and grab some for yourself. Ahhhhh. Feel that familiar texture. Smell the sugar dust. Taste that memory. It is the taste of ancient ball-glove leather, the taste of infield dirt, the taste of neon-green Gatorade out of a giant cooler in the corner of a tiny, chicken-wire dugout.

Todd Field


To give a hint at what's special about TÁR you needn't look further than the opening credits. The opening credits start backwards with members of the crew that generally are at the very end of the end credits, like catering and production units and assistant editors. This is a movie about how an ego can grow too big and turn to manipulation when one role gets too much credit in a collaborative field. An orchestra is like a film set, and most collaborators get shoved to the back of a program or the end of the film credits. While this adds to the movie's run time up front, it's a fitting gesture for the movie you're about to watch.

1932 Irving Todd Jr. donated $500 toward improvements for an athletic field. The former eyesore was graded, cement curbing for a track was poured and ten carloads of cinders (one place it states eighteen) were donated by the Milwaukee Railroad for the track. Black dirt was hauled in for a base for the field and it was seeded. An athletic field was born-named Todd Field. The city, aided by the county, did the grading. At the same time, the city improved 10th Street.

1934 The state highway department, impressed with the development of the athletic field, began purchasing lots along Highway 53 (55) between Vermillion and Maple Streets for development of a parkway. In August, workers began spreading 8,000 yards of black dirt over the future park. Trees and shrubs were planted in the fall or the following spring. Note: this was a state project. WPA construction of the field's south stone work was completed in the summer. The north stone work was yet to be done. The first game was played on Friday afternoon, November 8, with Hastings defeating Cannon Falls 21-0. All previous home games had been played at the Asylum Field.

In the early years, limestone for homes, buildings, and foundations was in demand and was quarried in a pit between 10th and 11th Streets, west of Vermillion Street. A gravel pit ordered the quarry on the west side. In time, it became a cattle watering hole, unofficial City dump for residents, and an eyesore for everyone. In 1932, the School Board, urged on by residents, took possession of two square blocks for the tax title. The City, aided by the County, graded the land, curbing for a track was poured with cinders donated by the Milwaukee Railroad, black dirt was hauled in for a base for the field, it was seeded and an athletic field was born. Irving Todd Jr. donated $500 to aid in the construction.

The following year in 1933, Highway 53, now known as Highway 55, was paved from Hastings to Pine Bend, increasing the traffic significantly in that area. In 1934, the Highway Department, impressed with the development of the athletic field, and urged by the School Board, purchased several lots and square blocks west to Maple Street for development of a parkway. The whole area was graded, and in August, 8,000 yards of black dirt were spread, trees and shrubs were planted the following spring.

Early in 1936, a tunnel under Vermillion Street was built costing $2,300 so that school children did not have to cross that busy roadway to get to the field. Colonel Hayden S. Cole, president of the First National Bank, donated money for the tennis court that was completed in May 1937. The stadium was dedicated on May 29, 1937, and called Todd Field. The park area was called Roadside Park, and was dedicated the same day.

The Hastings Athletic Club solicited funds from the public, and raised enough money to let a $2,350.51 contract to light the field. Previously all games had to be played during daylight hours that seriously restricted public attendance. A lighted field afforded evening games where sellout crowds were common. 041b061a72


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