History of Billy Hebert Field

  • Stockton couple gives Billy Hebert Field new life

    Stockton couple gives Billy Hebert Field new life hardcastlesMARK RICHEY/CVBJ
    J.D. and Danielle Hardcastle say they bought the field to help local youth and support the community.

    STOCKTON – Just a year and a half ago, it looked like the game was over for Billy Hebert Field. The ballfield that was once home to the Stockton Ports and the Pacific Tigers had been abandoned as teams left for bigger, more modern facilities.

    But J.D. and Danielle Hardcastle, owners of All Star Sports, took over the stadium from the city in September 2011 and are bringing it back for a new generation to enjoy.

    “In our plans it was all about youth, community — using it for those things rather than just maintaining it,” said Danielle Hardcastle.

    The Hardcastles submitted a bid through Stockton’s request for proposals process. They won the city over with their plans for sports camps, Little League games, travel team tournaments and availability to local high school teams.

    In February, they finished a major renovation of the field by installing artificial turf in the infield. That means the bases and pitcher’s mound can be moved to accommodate younger as well as older players. It cost about $160,000, but they received help from local businesses. The field will last about 10 years and is an economy in the long run.

    “It cuts way down on maintenance costs,” Hardcastle said. “You don’t have any dirt, any grass to take care of. And you don’t get rained out.”

    Last year, they could only play about 30 tournaments on the field because some were rained out. This year, they expect to play nearly every weekend from March to November.

    One of the new opportunities for Little League players is Friday Night Lights. Teams from District 8 will get a turn to play under the lights on the new field. “What other opportunity are they going to get?” said Hardcastle. “And maybe that spurs kids to get more involved and maybe they’ll become a Major Leaguer one day, who knows?”

    Businesses have the opportunity to advertise at the field, with signs in the outfield, the bleachers, the scoreboard or the dugouts. There are also ad opportunities available on the ballpark’s, and the option to purchase naming rights for the field is available.

    The Hardcastles believe it’s a good opportunity to reach families who come to the field. Six teams play during weekend tournaments – that’s not just players but their families as well and many of them are from out of town. It’s a chance to introduce them to Stockton.

    “When these kids are done, they don’t know what’s around here,” Hardcastle said. “We can push them towards the Waterfront Hotel, which is gorgeous. We can push them to Lincoln Center. The moms are off, the kids are done playing, send them to the nice boutique shopping.”

    They have also partnered with the Stockton Ports, the Thunder and the University of the Pacific to offer young ballplayers tickets to those games.

    In addition, there is an area near the gate where sponsors are listed along with QR codes that link to coupons or more information. “So they’re not only seeing (an ad) in the outfield, but we’re also doing a call to action,” Hardcastle explained.

    In the future, the Hardcastles said they may hold concerts at the field as well as football or YMCA camps.

    “Benefiting everybody, that’s really our goal,” Hardcastle said.

    -Central Valley Business Journal
  • "Reflection of the Times"

    By Daniel Thigpen

    Record Staff Writer

    January 14, 2011 12:00 AM

    STOCKTON — Add another to the list of Stockton assets pinched for money and being considered for outsourcing.

    This one is an 84-year-old, once-popular Oak Park baseball field with a rich history. It is named after Billy Hebert, a Stockton resident killed during World War II, cutting short his promising professional baseball career.

    The circumstances surrounding the city's proposal to contract out control of the field is familiar territory in Stockton's continuing budget mess. Rent proceeds have declined as teams have moved to more modern facilities, and budget cuts to parks workers have kept them from consistently maintaining the field, officials say.

    J.D. Hardcastle, a former University of the Pacific pitcher who now teaches baseball in San Joaquin County, remembers home games at Billy Hebert Field before the university built its own stadium for the Tigers.

    Hardcastle's company — All Star Sports — still uses the Oak Park ballfield for its seasonal programs. During a recent summer camp, he said, the field's neglect was all too visible, with overgrown weeds and a rough infield.

    “The field wasn't in great shape,” he said. “Not what you would expect at such a nice facility.”

    Hardcastle said his company will likely compete to take over Billy Hebert Field when the city begins accepting proposals.

    “I have some pride in that field and what the facility can provide the community,” he said. “It was beautiful when we played there.”

    The Stockton City Council last month approved a plan to solicit proposals from outside groups to operate and maintain the facility.

    “We are very sensitive to its historical value here in Stockton. Just due to the budget reductions in park worker staff, we just can't give it the attention it needs,” said Adolfo Cruz, deputy director of community services. “By contracting it out, somebody could really put it to use to its maximum capacity so the community will really benefit from it.”

  • Billy Hebert Field is a stadiumin Stockton, California. It is primarily used forbaseballand was the home field of theStockton Portsuntil they moved toBanner Island Ballparkin 2005. The stadium continues to be used as a venue for high school baseball playoffs. It also has been used as a practice facility for theStockton Lightningminor Arena League footballteam. The ballpark has a capacity of 6,000 people and opened in 1953. Prior to 1953, the land upon which the field is built was used for baseball since the late 19th century. In 1927, Oak Park Field was constructed. After the field's grandstand was destroyed by fire for a second time, the modern-day grandstand was built in 1953. The field is named for Billy Hebert, the first resident of Stockton to die inWorld War II.[1]

    -Source Wikipedia

    Notable Players

    Don Baylor, Bobby Grich, Cal Eldred, Garry Sheffield, Dave henderson....

    Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig at Billy Hebert -  Bustin Babes vs Larupin Lou's  Barnstorming Tour-The Pitch
  • The Walk Off Home Run

    Newly Remodeled Fields and Youth baseball Tournaments every weekend.