Category Archives: Balboa Stadium
Balboa Stadium, on the campus of San Diego High School, was built as part of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, which was held in nearby Balboa Park. The stadium officially opened on May 31, 1915, and was originally called City Stadium, a name that stuck through 1939. Fans had wanted a flashier name for the stadium, and “Balboa” stuck after ’39. In addition to the sporting events that were tied to the high school, Balboa Stadium hosted civic events, concerts, midget auto racing, barnstorming baseball tours, semi-professional football games and countless other public displays. Some of the highlights included a speech by President Woodrow Wilson, a celebratory event honoring Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig visiting during their famed 1927 barnstorming tour, and concerts by The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.
>Two weeks after the Houston Oilers defeated the San Diego Chargers by a score of 10-3 in the 1961 AFL Championship Game, the league’s best and brightest gathered in San Diego to participate in the AFL’s first all-star game. The all-star squads represented either the AFL’s Eastern or Western Divisions, consisted of 29 players, and were led by the coaching staffs of that year’s division winners, the Chargers and Oilers.
|Balboa Stadium during the first AFL All-Star Game|
Back Row – David Webster, Cotton Davidson, Abner Haynes
Front Row – E.J. Holub, Mel Branch, Bill Krisher, Jon Gilliam, Sherrill Headrick, Paul Rochester, Chris Burford
Back Row – Charlie McNeil, Dick Harris, Jack Kemp and Don Norton
Front Row – Bill Hudson,Earl Faison, Dave Kocourek, Emil Karas and Ernie Wright
|Abner Haynes (l), Cotton Davidson (c) and Sid Gillman (r) in the winner’s locker room.|