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Throwback: The first game at Victory Field wasn’t played on Opening Day

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 05:00:27-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Victory Field opened on July 11, 1996, but the Indianapolis Indians weren’t the first to play ball on the field.

Just days ahead of Opening Day, former WRTV reporter Sy Jenkins reported that the first ball game had actually happened several weeks before the $18-million dollar park opened.

According to Jenkins, a security guard working at Victory Field heard activity coming from the field at night. The guard came upon two cars parked near the grass and about 8 or 9 men playing baseball. Upon further inspection, the guard noted the cars were Indianapolis Police patrol cars and some of the players were wearing Indianapolis Police uniforms.

Indianapolis Police confirmed it got a complaint about trespassing, but none of the trespassers were caught. Stadium officials doubled security at Victory Field following the unauthorized game.

According to IPD spokesperson Lt. Bill Myers, the department was given too little information to investigate.

"They had no numbers, no names, no car numbers, nothing to identify who those officers were, and it quite frankly puts us in a quandary."

The late-night players did seem to leave the field as they found it.

“From what I understand, there was great care taken to make sure there was no damage,” said Myers.

The security guard that discovered the late-night game was assigned duties away from the ballpark following the incident.