BROWN PARK & JOHN STELLA FIELD
Brown Park is on "U" street between 15th and 16th street in south Omaha. The ball diamond has been around at least 100 years and has seen a lot of baseball.
The diamond is the home field for the South High Packers and the South Omaha American Legion team. It was recently renovated and the Omaha City Council recently named the field John Stella Field at Brown Park to honor a long time south Omaha baseball booster. He coached the South High School team from 1985 through the 2001 season and has been an American Legion coach since 1982.
In the 1930's Leo "Zip" Lowry coached South High School to many a championship and in the 1950's legendary coach Cornie Collin called Brown Park home for his Omaha South High School teams.
In 1956, Collins was in his 19th season as head of the Omaha South Legion team (Metz). He had 11 city titles, 4 state championships and his team qualified for the 1948 American Legion National Championships.
The diamond was showing its age a few years ago. A group of South Omaha boosters led by John Stella raised money and donated a lot of time and effort to put the diamond back into shape. Lighting, infield grass, fences, grandstands, parking and the press box were all put back into pristine condition. This Omaha landmark is ready for its next 100 years of service.
The new scoreboard reflects the resurgence of community spirit in South Omaha. The sponsorship by the Electricians Local #22, NECA Contractors and the South High Alumni Association helped restore this gem of a ballpark.
A special thanks to Randy Lukasiewicz for sharing his photos and to Rick Baxter of the Nebraska Baseball Association (website).