The Green Bay Bullfrogs have the unique honor of playing at one of the country’s oldest stadiums with Joannes Stadium. Originally built in 1929, Joannes Stadium has hosted numerous baseball teams throughout its over eighty year history, including the Bullfrogs since 2007.
One of the biggest games in Joannes Stadium history occurred in 1935 when the stadium hosted an exhibition game between the St. Louis Browns and Pittsburgh Pirates. Roger Hornsby played first base, and Honus Wagner coached the Pirates. Over 3,500 fans attended the game.
Professional baseball returned to Joannes Stadium on a more permanent basis in the 1950s and 1960s. During that time, Joannes Stadium was home to the Green Bay Blue Jays, a Class-D Minor League affiliate of the Cleveland Indians and Brooklyn Dodgers. Popular players of the time included Frank Howard, who in 1958 hit 37 home runs and knocked in 119 RBI. Howard went on to become the 1960 National League Rookie of the Year. In 1959, George Scott had an amazing 155 RBI for the Blue Jays. Another well known player of the time was Boyceville, Wisconsin native, Andy Pafko, who went on to play for the World Champion Milwaukee Braves. The Blue Jays left Green Bay when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1957.
From the 1970s until August of 2006, Joannes Stadium was home to a number of local teams including the Green Bay Blue Ribbons, Green Bay Sultans, and the Green Bay Billy’s.
On September 19th of 2006, Joannes Stadium got a new team to call the park home when the Green Bay City Council awarded the lease of Joannes Stadium to the Northwoods League. Green Bay was awarded an expansion team to the NWL to begin play in 2007, and the Green Bay Bullfrogs were officially born.
Improvements to Joannes Stadium started right away in September of 2006 to improve the ballpark. A year later in 2007, construction began on the 4,084 square foot Fan Deck in right field. The Leinies Northwoods Fan Deck created a unique viewing and entertainment option for fans that is still utilized today. The approximately 400-person deck raised the seating capacity of Joannes Stadium to 2,000.
Other initial improvements to Joannes Stadium in 2006 included the painting of a new batter’s eye in center field, the addition of flag poles to the center field wall, a new sound system, and the construction of a new press box.
On June 4th of 2007, the Green Bay Bullfrogs held their first home game in the franchise’s history, as they took on the Battle Creek Bombers.
In 2008 the Bullfrogs continued with improvements to Joannes Stadium; this time with a new 28 foot-by-28-foot scoreboard in right field. The scoreboard included a new message board and back-lit Green Bay Bullfrogs logo. A pitch speed radar was also installed in left center field so fans can see how fast pitchers are throwing.
2013 brought about even more changes for the Green Bay Bullfrogs, as the team was acquired by Green Bay Baseball LLC, a member of Big Top Baseball. Improvements to the stadium began in February of 2014 with the replacement of the chain-link fence behind home plate to a new high visibility net. A new 300-foot concession stand was added along the third base side of the field, and a new entrance to the ballpark in the left corner of the stadium closest to Green Bay East High School was installed.