Robin Roberts Stadium, then named Reservoir Park, opened on May 12, 1925. About 12,000 people watched a Three-I League baseball game between the Springfield Senators and the Terre Haute Hottentots.
The Senators remained a Three-I team until 1949, then switched for a single season to the Mississippi Valley League. The Senators went out of business in 1951, and the city had no professional baseball until the 1970s.
In 1976, the park was renamed in honor of baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts, a graduate of Lanphier High School, and in 1978, the AAA-level Springfield Redbirds began play in Springfield.
After the Redbirds moved to Louisville, Ky., following the 1981 season, the Class A Springfield Cardinals became the city’s home team through 1993. The Springfield Sultans played two seasons in the park, followed by the Frontier League Capitals for six years. No professional baseball was played in the city for the next six seasons, until the Springfield Sliders were formed in 2008.
The Sliders remained Robin Roberts Stadium’s professional home team as of 2014. Benedictine University at Springfield also plays at the field.
Recent improvements include a resurfaced playing field (2008) and an electronic scoreboard (2011), but the State Journal-Register in 2010 said the park was showing its age. “Robin Roberts Stadium at Lanphier Park (the ballpark’s formal name) is more relic than treasure,” sports editor Jim Ruppert wrote.
Source: Springfield Sliders game program for 2013
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Reservoir Park, with its opening in 1925, replaced League Park, which was located at 11th & Black. League Park was last used for a Three-Eye League team in 1914, known as the “Watchmakers.” Reservoir’s name was changed to Lanphier Park in 1934, to honor Robert Carr Lanphier of the Sangamo Electric Co. He requested that the park be named “Sangamo Park” but the board which controlled the stadium did not comply with his wish. Prior to the opening of Memorial Stadium for football in 1949, Lanphier was used for high school football. The field was laid out from the third base dugout to the right field fence. Portable bleachers were set up in left field to center field. Memorial’s first game on Sept. 22, 1949, saw Springfield defeat Feitshans 14-6 before 7000 fans.