E.J. Block Athletic Field, which was built in 1941, was funded by the Block Family, founders of Inland Steel and the beneficiaries to many of East Chicago's current institutions. Intended for the use for Inland Steel employees and their children, the stadium hosted professional minor league baseball in 1995. The stadium is across from historic Washington Park with it's wooden benches and steel girders, the standing pools of water in the dugouts, and it's dimensions are all reminiscent of a bygone era.
Today it serves has a home field for East Chicago Central Cardinals as well as Calumet College of St. Joseph and serves as host for the American Legion Post 369 baseball team.
The summer season is a busy year for Block Stadium as it not only host baseball games, but local organizations have held annual festivities there. The Puerto Rican Parade and Cultural Organization of Northwest Indiana, Inc. have had their annual celebrations in July.
In September, the Union Benefica Mexicana host their annual Fiestas Patrias celebration.
Block Field is one of those unusual, notable relics that it’s good to see got its ever-so-short moment in the limelight. Many communities have nice old stadiums that, for one reason or another, have never hosted pro ball. Here’s one that got the chance.
1601 E. 144th
East Chicago, IN 46312
Distances from the plate:
Left field - 360 feet
Center field - 384 feet
Right field - 320 feet
Height of fence:
Outfield - 10 feet