Constructed in 1949, Carroll Merchants Park has a rich history with America's greatest pastime. The diamond originally hosted Carroll's first semi-pro baseball team,
the Merchants, from the late 1940s and the early 1950s. Merchants Park later served as a venue for the Iowa high school state baseball championship from the 1990s until 2005. Merchants Park now hosts a Merchants baseball team that plays in the Corn Belt League.
The Merchants' Beginnings
The Carroll Merchants were originally founded by Bill Farner, who was also the president of the Iowa State League. The semi-professional team help produce Major League Baseball players such as Johnny Blanchard and Sammy Esposito. Johnny Blanchard won two World Series rings while playing for the New York Yankees. After Sammy Esposito played for the Merchants he went on to have a successful Major League Career with White Sox.
The Merchants Today
In 2015 Carroll saw the return of the Merchants, not as a semi-pro team but as a summer collegiate team preparing for the Major League in the M.I.N.K. League. In 2016, the Merchants were a part of the inaugural season for the newly formed Corn Belt Summer Collegiate Baseball League consisting of four teams in the Omaha area and three from western Iowa. The league provides a venue for college players that want to develop their skills to enter the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
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