Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Aldrich Field

Aldrich Field on Elmgrove Avenue was dedicated at a baseball game on May 16, 1925, before a crowd of 7000, which filled the new grandstand and “a small wooden stand ... hastily erected to accommodate the overflow.” The Brown Alumni Monthly estimated that there were a thousand automobiles in the neighborhood of the field. A Brown band in white uniforms led by Irving Harris ’28 followed Bruno II in the opening procession. Two brothers, Henry L. Aldrich 1876 and Charles T. Aldrich 1877, were there to hear the field named for them. They also gave a demonstration of 1870s pitching, with Charles as pitcher and Henry as catcher, before the main event, a game with Dartmouth which Brown won, 3-2. In 1924 the Aldrich brothers had subscribed $100,000 toward the new athletic facilities, and on April 8, 1925 added $500,000 on condition that the University could match this amount from other sources. In the summer of 1943, and again in 1944, plots of land at Aldrich Field were made available to faculty and employees of the University to plant “Victory Gardens,” in which to raise their own vegetables as part of the World War II effort. The Aldrich brothers spent their lives as each other’s best friends. They lived together, were business partners for fifty years, and decided jointly on their philanthropies. They gave away their money while they lived in order to enjoy seeing its benefits. They announced once in an interview, “When we go away, we like to go together.” During the week after Commencement in 1931 both brothers died within four days of each other. The field was their memorial, and after the new athletic fields were acquired in 1958, Aldrich Field was sold in 1961 for a residential development which included streets named for Presidents Maxcy, Faunce, Barbour, and Wriston. The Aldrich name was transferred to the new Aldrich-Dexter Field.