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Gilmore Stadium History and Photos

       ** Click Here Tto View Photos **                                               

In May 1934, a few months before Farmers Market opened, Gilmore built the first race car track designed specifically for midget car racers, a venue built of love and commercial savvy. Gilmore loved racers and his marketing sense led him to support them as a demonstration of Gilmore Oil products.  He named his venue Gilmore Stadium. 

His romance with cars extended well beyond the construction of Gilmore Stadium. As a sponsor, E.B. Gilmore took vehicles to the Winner's Circle at the Indianapolis 500 in 1935 and 1937. As a patron, he helped establish a land speed record which lasted for eight years. As a businessman, he created economy runs which evolved into modern stock car racing. In 1987, E.B. Gilmore was elected to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame and in 1992, he was inducted into the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa.

Gilmore Stadium was also home to the Los Angeles Bulldogs, the first professional football team in Los Angeles. Art Aragon, the Golden Boy of boxing, fought in the 18,000 seat stadium. The site was also used for rodeos, wrestling matches and even swimming. It also hosted donkey baseball, dog shows and at least one cricket match. Esther Williams performed in a diving and water ballet performance. A temporary above ground pool was constructed for the event. Several professional boxing title matches where held in the stadium. This was also where presidential candidate Harry Truman delivered his famous 'stiff upper lip' speech. No sooner had the Gilmore Stadium become a fixture in Los Angeles than E.B. Gilmore acted again. The Hollywood Stars Baseball Team played their first season at the stadium, while the Earl Gilmore was building his Gilmore Field.  It was completed in May 1939 to accommodate the Hollywood Stars Baseball Team, a minor league professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League, owned by Robert Cobb,Bing Crosby, Barbara Stanwyck, and Cecil B. DeMille and other Hollywood celebrities.

Gilmore Field was perhaps the most intimate baseball venue ever created in a metropolitan area. Home plate was exactly 34 feet from the seats, first and third bases only 24 feet away. Gilmore Field taught a generation of Angelenos to love baseball. The Hollywood Stars popularity created the climate which helped persuade the owners of the Dodgers to move west, before the 1958 season.

Hollywoodphotographs.com has a great photos of the Gilmore Stadium

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