Iowa History Daily: On September 2, 1959, the name of Des Moines’s downtown baseball stadium changed from Pioneer Memorial Stadium to Sec Taylor Stadium in honor of longtime “Des Moines Register” sports editor Garner ‘Sec’ Taylor. Replaced in 1992 by a more modern stadium bearing the same name, the park continues to honor Sec Taylor through the name of the playing surface despite Principal buying naming rights to the stadium in 1994.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, during 1887, several newspaper stops took Taylor throughout the Midwest before he ultimately landed at the Des Moines Register in 1914. Serving on the paper for the next fifty-one years, Taylor gained national acclaim for his “Sittin’ In with the Athletes” column. Focused on fact-based reporting, Taylor shines as an important figure in sports journalism history.
Pioneer Memorial Stadium, originally built in 1947 to host the Class A Western League Des Moines Bruins, also briefly hosted the Class B Des Moines Demons. When the Iowa Oaks of the American Association came to town in 1969, the stadium served faithfully well into the 1980s as the Oaks became the Iowa Cubs.
With a bond issue passed in 1991, the modern facility familiar to ballgame goers today came into being, and the Sec Taylor Stadium moniker carried over. Although submerged in the Flood of 2003, Sec Taylor continued to welcome visitors well into the 21-st century before the change of name to Principal Park in August of 2004. Today, Taylor finds remembrance in “Sec Taylor Field” at Principal Park. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar