Jax City Council Considers Renaming Historic Durkeeville Ball Field For Hank Aaron

Apr 13, 2021

The Jacksonville City Council is scheduled to discuss a plan Tuesday evening to rename a historic Jacksonville baseball field in honor of the late baseball great Hank Aaron.

Aaron, who passed away in January at age 86, played for the former Jacksonville Braves Class A Minor League team in 1953. He also played at Jacksonville’s Durkee Field - which is now called J.P. Small Memorial Stadium.

Under the plan, the ballpark at 1701 Myrtle Ave. N. near 8th Street in Jacksonville's Durkeeville neighborhood would be renamed Henry L. Aaron Field at J.P Small Memorial Stadium.

The measure is being sponsored by council members Ron Salem, Ju'Coby Pittman, Sam Newby, Reggie Gaffney, Danny Becton, Aaron Bowman, Tommy Hazouri, Joyce Morgan, Terrance Freeman, Kevin Carrico, Al Ferraro, Rory Diamond and Randy White.

Aaron, who was nicknamed  "Hammerin' Hank," was best known for shattering Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974 when he hit is 715th career home run.

Aaron lived four blocks from Durkee Field in the 1950s and walked to the ballpark to play for the Jacksonville Braves, according to Durkeeville Historical Society President Lloyd Washington, who spoke with WJCT News in 2017.

The City Council is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.