How Mayberry Field at Unity Park honors Greenville’s past, celebrates future

As the City of Greenville moves forward on Mayberry Field, the next phase of Unity Park, we’re looking back at the role baseball played on that land.


An early, conceptual rendering of Unity Park highlights the baseball field. | Rendering by MKSK

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There’s new movement on the next phase of Unity Park as the City of Greenville put out a request for proposals for Mayberry Field, a Little League regulation field that will boast grandstand bleachers, a press box, batting cages, dugouts, a bullpen, and a concessions stand.

The history of Unity Park is a story we’ve shared before, bringing together two parks that were once segregated in the past as a place for everyone to come together in the present and future. Today, we’re focusing the lens on the role baseball played where Unity Park now stands.


Though the parks were side-by-side, they looked very different. | Photo by Joe Jordan circa 1954 via The Greenville County Historical Society

Mayberry Park

In 1927, the City of Greenville built a park for Black children who weren’t allowed to play in segregated parks. The 15 acres of marshy meadowland, named Mayberry Park, included an athletic field with bleachers and a playground.

Meadowbrook Park

About a decade later, in 1938, half of the land inside Mayberry Park was leased to a Baltimore businessman at no cost to build Meadowbrook Park for Greenville’s all-white Minor League Baseball team — The Greenville Spinners. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame players went on to play at Meadowbrook including Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, and Mickey Mantle.


The Greenville Black Spinners | Photo via The Greenville Drive

The Greenville Black Spinners — a team of mostly local Black players — started playing their games at Meadowbrook Park on Monday nights when the park wasn’t being used by The Spinners. Until 1967, Sterling High School — a Black high school when local schools were segregated — also played baseball and football in the park when it was available to Black athletes.

Meadowbrook Park burned down in 1972, and according to the Greenville News, a cause was never determined.

Remembering Mayberry and Meadowbrook

In the city’s “Voice of Unity” series, Southernside and West Greenville residents share their memories of Mayberry and Meadowbrook Parks and the influence of baseball on their neighborhoods. Hear about catching foul balls, watching the games, and how it brought the community together.