Lou Gherig on Mayo Island
By: Sterling Hundley
Time and flooding have all but eroded the memories of Richmond’s Mayo Island, and what remains is little more than a swath of earth that holds up the half way point of Mayo Bridge. Surrounded on all sides by the James River, few stop to enjoy the island these days. There was a time when Mayo Island served as the home of Richmond’s minor league baseball team, the Richmond Colts; farm team for the Philadelphia Athletics.
On and off from 1894- 1941, Tate Field, as it was called, was used for home and exhibition games against League rivals, and Professional teams. Legendary sluggers Babe Ruth, and Lou Gherig played a bit of hardball there, and a Lou Gherig home run found it’s way into the James River, bobbing and weaving through the rapids that surround the island. Frequent flooding, and a fire in 1941 eventually forced the Colts to relocate to Shepherd Stadium in Colonial Heights’.