From Lost Duluth: Landmarks, Industries, Buildings, Homes, and the Neighborhoods in Which They Stood, copyright © 2011, Zenith City Press, Duluth, Minnesota.
When the Duluth Cardinals entered the Northern League in 1903, they needed a place to play. So, that April, contractors hastily built a wooden ballpark with seating for 3,000 in the shadows of the DM&I ore docks. The next year the team became the Duluth White Sox, winning pennants in 1904 and 1905. Athletic Park later became the home field of the National Football League’s Duluth Kelleys, who entered the league in 1923. Sportswriter and broadcasting legend Halsey Hall, who would become famous as the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins, reported that Athletic Park had no locker rooms and that the playing field was an “uneven, coal-dust surface.” It was actually iron ore dust. The Kelleys faced Curly Lambeau and his Green Bay Packers in 1924, the only time the Pack ever played in Duluth. Hall performed the referee duties, flagging Duluth’s Bill Stein fifty-yards for “slugging,” which helped a last-minute rally by the Packers. Despite the call, and a five-yard penalty for “stalling,” Duluth hung on to win, 6–3. The Kelleys went on to become the Duluth Eskimos, a team that included Hall-of-Famers Ernie Nevers, Johnny “Blood” McNally, and Walt Kiesling. They only played one game at Athletic Park: because of Nevers’ star power, the NFL made the Eskimos play every game except their first on the road in order to sell more tickets. In 1935 the Duluth White Sox were sold to Kansas City, who changed the team’s name to the Duluth Dukes. In 1941 Athletic Park was destroyed and Wade Municipal Stadium became the home of the Dukes. The team changed names several more times until folding in 1970. (The 1993–2002 Duluth Dukes had no connection to the original franchise.)