With just a quick blink you might miss it, or maybe
just mistake it as woods. But this massive now abandoned softball field once
held over 12,000 people. It was known as Raybestos
Memorial Field and hosted the Stratford Brakettes Woman’s Softball team.
The field hosted many notable games including the 1974 ISF Women's World
Championship in which the United States defeated Japan for the gold medal. The
field was owned and operated by Raymark Industries, Inc. a major asbestos
removal company which had a factory adjacent to the field. Everything took a
turn for the worst in the late 1980’s when allegations that Raymark Industries had
been burring asbestos underground outside its factory. The EPA came in and discovered
that the field which opened in 1947 and area surrounding it was highly
contaminated, and like that the factory was shut down and the field shut its
gates in 1987.
The field remains intact today with not many things
at all removed due to the fear of releasing asbestos fibers into the air.
UPDATE AUGUST 2020: Field Reported to be demolished
My name's Mike, I enjoy camping, hiking, fishing and Urban exploration. I started this website in 2012 because I believe in documenting the past for future generations, and to share these interesting places with others..
Where exactly is this located? Ive read just north of the metro north tracks, and such, but any exact address, or where to park/walk? I would love to check this out!ReplyDelete
100 Frog Pond Lane, Stratford, CTDelete
in between longbrook park and stop and shop. right next to the dog poundReplyDelete
The Raymark facility operated at (the Stratford) location from 1919 until 1989, manufacturing asbestos brake linings and other automotive asbestos products. The facility operated as a hazardous waste generator and land disposal facility. Raymark Industries, Inc. is a RCRA subtitle C regulated facility which is currently subject to bankruptcy proceedings.ReplyDelete
Hazardous waste produced on site includes lead-asbestos dust, metals and solvents. From 1919 to July 1984, Raymark used a system of lagoons to capture waste lead and asbestos dust produced by its manufacturing process. Dredged materials from the lagoons were landfilled at numerous other locations in the town of Stratford, Connecticut.
I grew up a 1/4 mile from Reybestos field. In the early 60's there were all sorts of shows there along with the softball games. There were drum and bugle corps competitions, the town's Fourth of July fireworks, etc. One year the annual Barnum Festival held there "Bally-hoo show there, probably around 1962. The stars were Bob Hope, Pat Boon, and Rosemary Clooney.ReplyDelete
I remember one of Bob Hopes jokes. Bob said to Rosemary that the liked her perfume and asked whT it was. She replied, Evening in Paris. He quipped back, " I thought it was Afternoonin Devon.
We used to plat on big piles of white powdery dirt and rolling down them. It. Was probably asbestos.
This place is a block away from my house and I've been there many times (probably not to good for my health) but these are some better shots than I ever got. and if you got a little farther down there's an abandoned shack full of freezers which I can only assume was a concession stand. and There's also a storage unit whose doors are wide open that was full of Christmas decorations. This is one of my favorite places.ReplyDelete
Is this place still standing. Where's a good place to park and walk?ReplyDelete
I grew up in Devon across the Housatonic River from the Raybestos.plant. There was always a rancid odor that many blamed on Raybestos. Raybestos always blamed the Till Roofing plant across from them. When Till closed its plant the odor remained until Raybestos finally closed. The Raymark reorganization was a means of leaving the plant and avoiding responsibility for the asbestos that was left behind at the plant and fill that had been "donated" to the town to use for fill. This was used throughout the town including children playgrounds. Another digesting example of corporate greed without regard for the effects on the community. Much like what GE did in Bridgeport, Pittsfield and other locations.ReplyDelete
what town is this field in?ReplyDelete
NY and NJ demolition services and to receive your free quot http://www.amacinc.com/demolition_service.htmlReplyDelete
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I spent many nights covering the Brakettes there for newspapers when I was younger. I think they could get rid of all of it by brining in the right people in hazmat suits to get rid of the asbestos and then seal off the ground with some sort of a liner. I can't think that place is good for the people living near it especially with windy days.ReplyDelete
Behind the Frog Pond Bar . I watched the 86 Super Bowl Giants play a softball game there.ReplyDelete
I picked up new and deliverd used brake shoe cores to the factory when I worked for CT Drive Shaft in the early eighties. Saw a few games at that field back in those days. I thought they destroyed the place when they took down the factory buildings, I'm surprised they left it since it was all reportedly a Superfund clean up siteReplyDelete
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Raybestos Field was directly behind where the Dog Pound and Frog Pond used to be. Beside the Brakettes, the Raybestos Cardinals (men's fast pitch) and Raybestos Robins (younger women's fast pitch) played, as did the Brakeliners (slow pitch) and Stratford Original Little League. It was also used for many fast and slow pitch local, regional and national tournaments. The Brakettes won 20+ national championships and still play today across town, though on a much smaller scale. The Cardinals won 3-4 national championships.ReplyDelete
The park had a small locker room, large concession stand, partial electric scoreboard (ball/strike/out lights) and full press box.
The roofing company nearby was Tilo. Where the Raybestos factory used to stand is where Walmart and Home Depot are now.
There starting to knock it down and put in a road went past there today. I used to play ball in my early yearsReplyDelete
I grew up on Osborne Street in the 1950s and played in the Raybestos dump with the discarded brake linings as a not to smart kid. Happy to say I am 70 and still ticking. Very sad what happen to the field. Played little league on that field. I have lived in California since 1973.ReplyDelete
The main goal of the batter is to hit the ball and get to all the bases before the ball does to be able to make a home run and give the team a most expensive softball batReplyDelete
I grew up in the Raybestos Field neighborhood and despite the negative aspects of Raybestos, I absolutely treasure the memories of growing up there. I recently went to the tribute night for Joan Joyce at Deluca Field and also got to speak with Willie Roze, one of Joan's team mates who came to honor her. I told Willie how the Brakettes were like the Yankees to us...an iconic group of players and you were able to have the batting line up memorized for years! I also told Willie that unless you grew up in that neighborhood, you could never make someone who hadn't lived it, appreciate how special those days were!!ReplyDelete