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Ray Winder Believes!
Ray Winder Field was a baseball park in Little Rock, Arkansas. The ballpark sat with home plate in roughly the north-northwest corner of the property. The former boundaries of the park were Interstate 630 (south, right field); Jonesboro Drive (west, right field corner); South Monroe Street (west, first base stands); buildings on driveway extended from Ray Winder Drive (north, third base stands); buildings bordering South Palm Street (east, right field). The field was in operation for around 74 years.
The ballpark was constructed during 1931, as a new home field for the Little Rock Travelers, later to become the Arkansas Travelers, minor league baseball team. The Travelers vacated Kavanaugh Field, near Little Rock Central High School, and opened their 1932 season on April 13 at the newly completed ballpark, which was initially called Travelers Field for the team name.
On August 26, 1966, Traveler Field was renamed Ray Winder Field, after Raymond Winder, who was involved with the business end of The Travelers for some sixty years. Winder started as a ticket seller in 1915, was named as the Arkansas Traveler business manager in 1931, and became part owner in 1944. The Traveler franchise was moved to Shreveport following the 1958 season, leaving Little Rock without a baseball club for the first time since 1914. Traveler Field sat empty during the 1959 season while efforts continued to return minor league baseball to Little Rock. After a public stock drive raised funds to purchase a bankrupt New Orleans franchise, the Travelers were resurrected in Little Rock for the 1960 season. Ray Winder was again asked to manage the day to day details of rebuilding the club.
In 2005, construction began on a new ballpark in North Little Rock which would eventually become the home of the Arkansas Travelers. On September 3, 2006, the final game of the 2006 season, a capacity crowd filled Ray Winder Field as fans returned for the last Traveler game at Ray Winder Field. During this game, the Travelers beat the Springfield Cardinals by a score of 7 to 3. Beginning with the 2007 season, the Arkansas Travelers home ballpark is Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.