(PHOTO CAPTION: Still photo from Bob Nagy’s video so sharp it appears to be an architect’s rendering.)
HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — A stunning high-definition video tour of Hot Springs’ new Majestic Park baseball complex has been created free of charge and posted to YouTube by Hot Springs resident Bob Nagy.
“This video is, to put it mildly, simply stunning,” Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison said. “It’s so high quality that you think you are looking at an architect’s rendering of Majestic Park, but in fact it is actual drone footage shot and edited by Bob Nagy. When you are watching it, you get the feeling that you’re seeing something created for an IMAX theater.”
The video can be viewed at this web address:
“The video is 4K quality, super-high-end,” Visit Hot Springs Marketing Director Bill Solleder said. “We could never have afforded to hire a studio to create such a quality production. Bob Nagy just went out on his own and produced this masterpiece and posted it to YouTube, where we discovered it.
“Bob is a former professor at the University of Texas – Austin and also is the engineering mastermind behind KUHS radio.
Asked about the creation of his video, Nagy said, “Majestic Park looks like it's always been there. Probably because it used to be a baseball field. The symmetrical layout and beautiful turf made it easy to shoot.”
Arrison said, “We’re having guided tours of Majestic Park today (Friday, August 27) as part of Hot Springs Baseball Weekend, and Bob’s video will capture the excitement of this new Hot Springs attraction for those who are unable to come for the guided tours from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today.”
Work is progressing on the Majestic Park complex, and teams will begin using the facilities in 2022 for state and regional tournaments and games for local teams. It is a five-field complex located on the site of the former Hot Springs Boys and Girls Club and was the site of one of the first spring training sites in Major League Baseball history. The Detroit Tigers first used it for spring training in 1908 and Babe Ruth attended his first training camp as a member of the Boston Red Sox on this site in 1915.
Henry (Hank) Aaron, Jackie Robinson and many other Hall of Famers played and trained at the Majestic Park site. Nowhere else in the country can a young person playing baseball say he or she played on the exact site where the legends of the sport played.
All five of the Majestic Park baseball fields will have artificial turf infields and outfields with MUSCO Lighting. The Championship Field will also accommodate college, high school and professional play.
The history of Majestic Park, located at Carson and Belding Streets in the center of Hot Springs, is a rich and colorful one.
In 1909 the Boston Red Sox leased the property and it was named Majestic Park after their spring training headquarters downtown in the Majestic Hotel. Ruth attended his first spring training as a Red Sox player at the site in 1915.
From 1908 through 1918 the site hosted spring training games for the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Browns. Twenty Major League exhibition games were played at the park.
The Ray Doan Baseball School and the George Barr Umpire School were held at Majestic Park. Instructors included Dizzy and Paul Dean, Grover Alexander, Rogers Hornsby, Cy Young, Tris Speaker and Schoolboy Rowe. Legendary female Olympic gold medalist and LPGA champion Babe Didrikson attended one of the schools. Didrikson was universally regarded as the greatest female athlete of all time, excelling in track and field, baseball, basketball and golf.
Jaycee Park was built on the site in 1947 and served as the home field for the Hot Springs Bathers (Cotton States League) from 1947 to 1955. Jackie Robinson played in an exhibition game there in 1947.
In 1952, a game in the Negro League World Series was played at the site when the Indianapolis Clowns faced the Birmingham Black Barons. The Clowns featured an 18-year-old shortstop named Henry (Hank) Aaron.
Majestic Park is part of Hot Springs’ rich history as The Birthplace of Major League Baseball Spring Training. The Historic Hot Springs Baseball Trail includes a guided tour of locations throughout the city that were the sites of significant events during the late 19th Century and up until the mid-20th Century when Hot Springs was the favored training site for 50 percent of the members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Historical markers at these locations guide visitors through the colorful history of the game as it played out in Hot Springs. A block-long mural at Convention Boulevard and Malvern Avenue in the downtown area illustrates the legends of the game who played in the city.
For more information contact Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.