In the early twentieth century, CF&I management used leisure activities, most notably baseball, to rebuild the image of the company and boost morale among the workers and communities of southern Colorado in the years following the Ludlow Massacre. Baseball had been popular in southern Colorado since the late nineteenth century, but the sports popularity skyrocketed after the most significant labor battle America had ever seen. John D Rockefeller jr. and CF&I management began rebuilding their image immediately following the Massacre. The company used leisure activities to show the community, both local and national, that they cared about the workers and that they were determined to proactively prevent another disaster from happening. Management also realized the need to get the workers back on their side and boost the morale of the men they depended on to produce in the mine and mill towns of southern Colorado. Baseball was the obvious sport to focus on, as the popularity was already established in southern Colorado, and the game could be played by workers from any background or nationality. Baseball fit the mold for the public relations makeover the company needed, and the workers and communities of the mill and mine towns got on board with the increased demand of the sport.

The Ludlow Massacre, the most violent and significant organized labor battle the United States has ever seen, threatened the entire structure of mill and mine culture in southern Colorado. In an effort to recover from the Ludlow Massacre; the 1914 attack of organized strikers by the National Guard which left several workers, two women, and eleven children dead, CF&I management attempted to create structured recreational activities for workers to boost morale and create a sense of community and camaraderie in the mine and mill towns of southern Colorado. Chief mine owner, John D Rockefeller jr. led the campaign to unite workers, management and the communities of the steel towns after he was held responsible for the 1914 Massacre that brought negative attention from around the country.

Rockefeller focused on wholesome, clean recreational activities for CF&I workers. Laborers often flocked to saloons and bars to partake in the consumption of alcohol, but Rockefeller’s values did not align with promoting intoxication, especially with Prohibition on the rise in America. While visiting several mining towns in southern Colorado in September, 1915, Rockefeller noted in his diary that, “The town of old Segundo has several saloons and has been a refuge for undesirables and turbulent characters... The gates are always open for anyone to enter and no questions are asked of those who go in, nor is a marshal at the gate.” Between the effects of Prohibition pending and Rockefeller’s personal beliefs, CF&I’s focus became promoting wholesome recreational activities for workers and to partake in. Baseball was already wildly popular among workers, and the communities of southern Colorado, and quickly became the focal point of leisure activities among steel workers in mine and mill communities. Baseball seemed to be the perfect fit because all workers, including immigrants from various countries could participate, a competitive sense of pride formed among all of the teams, and the community could come out to support their squads. Furthermore, the competitive spirit of the game promoted physical fitness and pride, characteristics that enriched the working environment as well as leisure time.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, baseball exploded in the industrial towns of southern Colorado. Baseball provided entertainment for the mining towns, and also created a sense of community pride and identity. By 1908, there were more than twenty coal camps in the region and many of them had developed strong rivalries between the camp baseball teams. This time period coincided with a large influx of immigration from Eastern European countries. Steel towns in Southern Colorado became melting pots with workers who spoke different languages, followed different religions, shared different values, and often did not understand each other. The ethnic diversity in coal camps created many challenges; workers had a difficult time communicating with each other and often shared few common interests, which made chemistry problematic. Putting these workers together on the playing field often remedied these problems, as baseball is an enjoyable game played in the sunshine with simple rules and little equipment needed. As the popularity of the sport grew in mining towns, baseball games were regularly played on Sundays, as miners had Sunday’s off. These games provided entertainment and escape for workers and the communities in the early years of the twentieth century, and after Ludlow, the games became increasingly competitive.

As the popularity of baseball and the tension of Ludlow both increased going in to 1915, CF&I tapped into welfare capitalism in an attempt to focus on the positive aspects of the mine and mill towns and boost morale. Through the creation of the Industrial Bulletin, a publication that gave workers a voice and promoted social programs to enhance the lives of workers, and creating venues for leisure activities, CF&I began to rebuild their image and reinvent the social structure of the company.

“The Minnequa Works baseball league was made possible through the operation of the social and industrial betterment feature of the industrial representation plan. At a cost of thousands of dollars, the company erected three years ago the baseball plant where the contests are held. It consisted of a first class playing field, a spacious and well-built grandstand, players dugouts, shower baths, sanitary drinking fountains... All expense in connection with its repairs and maintenance is borne by the company... There is also a corps of police from the regular plant staff on the ground to make sure that order is observed.”

Welfare capitalism allowed CF&I to promote and execute higher levels of competition and brought in more spectators, which expanded the popularity of baseball in southern Colorado and improved the morale of workers and the image of the steel mill. They play at "Parks Field," named after the manager of the Minnequa Works. Average attendance is 1500, but they get as many as 2500 spectators at times. The erection of the stadium led to increase attendance and a stronger sense of pride in the teams that competed as well as the towns of Southern Colorado.