Wherein illustrator Sterling Hundley depicts Lou Gehrig hitting a ball into the James River.
Mayo Island Homer - Feature
Time and flooding have all but eroded the memories of Richmond’s Mayo Island. What remains is little more than a swath of earth that holds up the halfway point of Mayo Bridge. Few stop to enjoy the island these days, perhaps because it is not accessible except by swimming or wading.
There was a time when Mayo Island served as the home of Richmond’s minor league baseball team, the Richmond Colts, a farm team for the Philadelphia Athletics and then the New York Giants. On and off from 1894 to 1941, Tate Field, as it was called, was used for home and exhibition games involving professional teams and rivals in the Eastern, Virginia and Piedmont leagues.
Sluggers Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig played a bit of hardball at Tate Field, and once a Gehrig home run ball landed in the James River, bobbing through the rapids. A fire in 1941 destroyed the facility, forcing the Colts to relocate to Shepherd Stadium in Colonial Heights. Gehrig and Ruth moved on as well—into baseball’s history books.