Frank Hardy Made My Photographs Two

The Grounds Keeper …

with 18 comments

This is one of my all-time favorite photos … no special reason, except once you start looking at the photo all sorts of things start appearing.  First, look at all of the trash lying on the grounds.  Next, you see that there is a chicken wire fence separating the people in the stands from the players on the field, so all of this trash is from the players!  I guess that they did not have trash cans back in the 1950’s or the players must have felt that the grounds keepers would pick up after them.   Then you look at the grounds keeper himself … he has a smile on his face and he looks to be taking a lot of pride in his job.  The guy has really looks to be enjoying himself … he is probably thinking to himself that he has a front row seat to the action, he gets in free and he is getting paid to be around a game that he obviously loves.  The team must think a lot of him, because he is even included in a couple of the teams photos … I doubt that the Blue Wahoos are going to include their grounds keepers in their team photo.  The Blue Wahoos, for those who do not know, is the name of the AA baseball team that will be playing at the new ballpark being built in downtown Pensacola.  Thanks for looking …

 

Written by Frank Hardy

July 31, 2011 at 10:36 am

18 Responses

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  1. I have many baseball resources in town. I will do some research and see what I can come up with. I was younger at the time, but my memories of Potash are very vivid.

    Like

    cpccola

    November 4, 2013 at 7:34 am

    • Fair enough to me. Thanks for the comments and please check back periodically … Frank

      Like

      Frank Hardy

      November 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

  2. As I mentioned in a previous post, when Potash died he was cremated. Per his wishes, his cremains were buried under home plate at Admiral Mason Ballpark. When they started the demolition for the Veterans Memorial, there is no telling what happened to his ashes. BUT I DO KNOW WHERE HIS SOUL IS!!!!!!

    Like

    cpccola

    November 3, 2013 at 9:23 am

    • Thanks again … Did you know where he came from or if he was from Pensacola? I have found him in a photo of the PHS Football team from the 1950’s, so he must have prepped the football field over at PHS stadium. Thanks for commenting … Frank

      Like

      Frank Hardy

      November 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

  3. This is definitely Admiral Mason Ballpark. You can tell by the box seating area. From what I was told, Potash got his nickname from an incident with potash as a child. He also stuttered. He loved what he did and loved every ballplayer as though each was his own. As much time as I spent at that ballpark , (which was A LOT) I never saw Potash say a cross work to anyone.

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    cpccola

    October 31, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    • I cannot get over all of the people that recognized Potash and everyone has said something nice about him. I wonder what ever happened to him. Thanks for taking the time to comment and please check back … Frank

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      Frank Hardy

      November 1, 2013 at 8:13 pm

  4. A lot of people don’t know that Potash lived at Admiral Mason Ballpark. My Daddy and Uncle, better known as Buddy and Eddie Pursell were fixtures at the park coaching Babe Ruth. Uncle Eddie died unexpectedly in February 1973 but Daddy kept coaching into the ranks of Connie Mack. That was played at the fields at the airport. Only a few people know that after Potash died, he was cremated, and buried under home plate at Admiral Mason Ballpark. When demolition began on the park, there is no telling what happened to his ashes, but I do know where his soul is!!!!

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    cpccola

    October 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

    • I have not heard anything about him being buried under home-plate … that is news to me. He also has shown up in several photos of PHS teams from the 1950’s and 60’s. Everyone seemed to know Potash and I have not heard a bad thing about him. Thanks for commenting and please check back … I have been busy with other things and have neglected posting recently. But, I do have several ready to post and I will try to get them up in the next week or so … Frank

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      Frank Hardy

      October 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm

  5. Potash was also the grounds keeper at PHS when Fred Waters coached there.

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    Tommy Hughes PHS Class of 1966.

    December 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    • Potash must have gotten around a good bit, because quite a few people have recognized him and commented about him working at Admiral Mason Park. I might have seen him in several baseball team photos as a manager, also. He must have been popular with the players and the fans … Thanks for the comment and please check back … Frank

      Like

      Frank Hardy

      December 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      • When I played Babe Ruth baseball. The park had a Potash Day and he was recognized. He played the
        drums, and supposed to have some connection to Hank Williams. I never knew his real name, so if
        someone does, please reply.

        Like

        j. Kirchharr

        May 31, 2013 at 8:54 am

      • Thanks for the comment … I do not know anything about Potash, but from the comments that other people have written about him, he was well know and popular. As far his musical abilities or talent, you are the first that has mentioned anything about him playing the drums or having played with Hank Williams. But as they say … Anything is Possible! I am sure if anyone knows anything about any of this they will comment. Potash has received a good number of comments so far. I had no idea who he was when I put this photo up … to me it was not anything about him, but how ” primitive ” ( for lack of a better word ) the old Admiral Mason Ball Park was. No infield grass, the bleachers looked to be plain concrete block, there looked like a lot of trash … all things that are the opposite of today’s ball parks. And the people had just has much fun without having to spend tens of millions of dollars to watch semi-pro baseball! Thanks again and please check back … Frank

        One more thing about the Babe Ruth Baseball Teams in Pensacola … there is an exhibit down at the Blue Wahoo’s stadium / park showing memorabilia from the Pensacola Babe Ruth Team that was the National Champs back in the 1950’s. Just ask someone at the park and they will direct you to the area because it has other historical pieces regarding the history of Baseball in Pensacola. If you go, let us hear what you think about the exhibit … Frank

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        Frank Hardy

        May 31, 2013 at 2:00 pm

  6. Great photo. The groundskeeper was called “Potash.” Why, don’t know. I recall he was named ground’s keeper of the year in the AFL around 1959.

    Like

    Rick Fountain

    January 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    • Rick … Thanks for the comment. One of the reasons that I started this blog, beside the obvious reason of sharing my father’s work, was to find out who a lot of these people were. As my dad used to say, ” All I do is photograph them, I don’t explain them”. That was a take on an old saying from a comedian from back in the 1940’s ( someone like Jack Benny, maybe ), ” All I do is tell’em, I don’t explain them “. So when my father died back in 2008, I had thousands of negatives and no information on 99% of them. I started scanning and cleaning the negatives up in Photoshop and posting them on a blog. I have received a lot of comments from people from all over the world from people who have recognized individuals and places and wanted to share them with everyone. I did not mean to be long-winded on my explanation, but I want people to understand my reasoning for this blog, since I am sure most people who see this did not know my father or are from Pensacola or have any ties to the Panhandle of Northwest Florida. Please feel free comment on any thing you recognize in any of these post and know that all comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks for looking … Frank

      Like

      FrankHardy

      January 8, 2012 at 10:39 am

    • Absolutely, Rick. As soon as the picture popped up on my screen, I said to my wife, “That’s Potash!” In addition to going to many games there, I sold refreshments there with the Knights of Columbus.

      Like

      Donovan Baldwin

      January 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      • I have a lot of comments about Potash and I believe that he is in several photos that I have posted of the PHS baseball team from back in the 1960’s. He must have been a character because everyone speaks favorably of him. Thanks again … Frank

        Like

        Frank Hardy

        January 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm

  7. Is this picture of Admiral Mason Park? Also, most protective screening runs behind home plate and runs up both sides to somewhere short of the dugouts which of course allows trash to be dropped or thrown from the stands plus wind would blow it all around the field.

    Just the same, what a great picture.

    Wasn’t Coast Photo owned by the Melton family?

    Like

    Terry Straub

    January 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    • Terry … Thanks for the comment and I agree with what you say. The photo just looks “still” to me, there does not look to be anything moving / blowing around in the photo and the trash could have come from the players themselves … it just looked like a lot of trash to me. The point I really tried to make was how happy the grounds-keeper seemed to be doing his job. This being back in the 1950’s, he most likely only made a couple of dollars an hour, if that, but he sure did seem happy and he was proud of the job he was doing … something many people today do not have. I do not mean to get too philosophical with my comments, just a quick observation along with the photograph. What I really am interested in finding out is who this man is. Trying to put a name behind the face.

      And yes, a man by the name of Chick Melton owned Coast Photo. He was an ex-Marine pilot that retired here with his family … he was nice to my father and me. I was surprised when Coast went out of business … you would have thought that he could have sold the business to someone because I am sure that it made money. Maybe someone out there might have something to add.

      Thanks again for looking and I do appreciate all comments – Frank

      Like

      FrankHardy

      January 4, 2012 at 11:07 am


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