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The Evolution of Ricketts Park

In 1939 the very soil that sits beneath the famed Ricketts Park was purchased by what was known at that time, the town of Farmington. On the 13th day of April of that year, two separate parcels of land were deeded to the town of Farmington by a J.H. Lavery, a widower, and a husband and wife by the name I.D and Clara B. Brown.   The price, as disclosed on the deeds, was one U.S. Dollar and other valuable considerations.

This historical transaction of the two parcels would be the beginning to the creation of Ricketts Park. Soon after the transaction, the property became known as the Farmington town park.  It would first becomethe place which would signify the area’s fairgrounds although it would also be a place where the dirt fieldwould be used to play a little ball.

Each year the San Juan County Fair was hosted at the park and seventeenyears later in 1956 the County Fair would be relocated to what is now known as McGee Park. With the move of the fairgrounds came a motion in 1957 by a man named Orvil Ricketts to designate 5 acres of land north of the old Fairgrounds to be used for a baseball field. This sandlot would be developed for play over the next few years and in 1962 the “city park” would host the Babe Ruth Southwest Regional Tournament.

Impressed with the way the tournament was run in 1963 the park would become the host site of the Babe Ruth World Series. With the coming of the World Series a development plan was implemented to make improvement to the ball field. Huge improvements were made all of which were with volunteers and donations of materials. The city of Farmington’ council also allocated $3,345 dollars for maintenance after the park was built.

At that time the field would be known as Babe Ruth Field. A concession stand was built by El Paso Natural Gas and Justis Supply along with the city of Farmington. Materials for a fence, backstop and bleachers were donated by Oil field companies mainly El Paso Natural Gas and Justis Supply, who also provided all of the welding to construct the fences, backstop, and bleachers. Boards for the bleachers and stairs came from the city of Farmington. Two men. Doc Jones of El Paso and Jim Clay of Justis Supply would coordinate the construction.

The following year in 1964, the Connie Mack Southwest Regional Tournament would be held at Babe Ruth Field. In 1965, the Crown Jewel of the American Amateur Baseball Congress, the Connie Mack World Series would be hosted by the city.

In 1967, in a formal action taken by the Farmington City Council, Babe Ruth Field would be re-named to Orvil Ricketts Park. Through the years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, Ricketts Park has evolved to become one of the most recognized amateur baseball diamonds in the country with the longest standing World Series tournament in baseball.

Since 1965 the Connie Mack World Series has called Farmington, New Mexico its home.