Showing posts with label Former MLB Ballparks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Former MLB Ballparks. Show all posts

Friday, August 5, 2011

Oldest Remaining Ballpark: Rickwood Field

Rickwood FieldThis summer we finally got to see Rickwood Field even if it was just from the outside.  Rickwood Field is the oldest ballpark still in use having been in use since 1910.  It is barely used nowadays, but the Birmingham Barons do play one throwback game here every season called the Rickwood Classic.

Despite being over 100 years old, Rickwood Field is kept in good looking shape.  Kind of amazing considering it also is not even actively used by any team.  Although, I guess it is easier to keep a ballpark looking nice if you do not have a sell out or near sell out crowd coming in so often like the Red Sox and the Cubs have had over the years.
Rickwood Field
We only got to see the outside and peak in through the fences in a few spots, but was still worth the slight detour on our way from Kentucky to Florida.  They supposedly do have daily self guided tours, but the place was totally locked up when we got there.  Probably because we got there too late in the day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 58: Atlanta Fulton County Stadium

On July 16, 2009, we checked out the site of the former Atlanta Braves stadium that was known as Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. It is not exactly hard to find and is really something everyone that goes to a Braves game should check out since it is right there in the Green Parking Lot across the street from their current ballpark, Turner Field. The most historical moment at this stadium was probably Hank Aaron hitting his 715th career home run over the left field wall, which broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record.

The outline of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium’s field is recreated with a red brick warning track around what used to be the field, but is now a parking lot. The brick is also used for the other parts that would have been dirt (i.e. the base paths and batters box). While all of the brick is just meant as a recreation of the field look there is something that is original to the park.

The thing that is original to the Atlanta Fulton County Stadium and still remains in the middle of what is now the parking lot is a piece of the outfield wall. This piece is the wall Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run over on April 8, 1974. A baseball shaped marker is placed on the preserved piece of the wall. The marker says Hank Aaron Home Run 715 April 8, 1974.

The main thing to see is the piece of the outfield wall, but you can also find the locations of the original bases, home plate, and pitching mound. This is not too different than we have found in several other parking lots on this trip (i.e. Comiskey Park, Veterans Stadium, Shea Stadium). The markers, however, are metal plates rather than stone like the others. They sure get hot. I usually pose by the home plate and touch the home plate while Dad takes a photo, but it was too hot to touch them, so I just had my hand close to it.

If you are going to do old ballpark hunting in a parking lot only once, this is the one to not miss. The other ones are cool to find, but this is one is the most interesting because there is actually a piece of the park kept there. I also like the brick marking the dirt areas of the field. However, the metal plate markers look like a cheap way to do it and messes up the otherwise well done marking of the old stadium.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 50: Veterans Stadium

Veterans Stadium is where the Philadelphia Phillies played before moving into their current ballpark, Citizens Bank Park, in 2004. The stadium was used by the Phillies since it was opened and until the end of the 2003. The stadium was demolished and turned into a parking lot for the Phillies new ballpark next door before the 2004 season began. The Philadelphia Eagles also used the Stadium from 1971 to 2002.

Outside the parking lot we first found the obvious statues of baseball players and the Veterans Memorial. The statue of the baseball players is bigger than life and has plaques commemorating the history of Veterans Stadium as it is related to baseball. There is also a football one that commemorates the history of football played there. The Veterans Memorial not only commemorates the former site of the stadium, but also is a memorial to veterans, as the stadium was.

In the parking lot we found the markers for home plate, the bases, and the pitching mound. The markers are granite and have a plaque in the middle with a ballpark image that says Phillies and Philadelphia Veterans Stadium 1971-2003. The bases say which base they are, so they do not all look exactly the same. There are also goal posts markers in the parking lot somewhere to honor it having been a football stadium, but we did not find them or even care to try to locate those.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 51: Shea Stadium

Shea Stadium is where the New York Mets played as recent as last year. The Stadium was originally opened in 1964. The Mets used it the whole time the Stadium existed, but it was not the only use of the stadium. The New York Jets used in from 1964 through 1983 and the New York Giants used it in 1975. Even the Yankees played here in 1974 and 1975 as their home stadium while the old Yankee Stadium was being renovated.

Unlike the old Yankee Stadium, which is slowly being demolished with a current timeline of being down by the end of 2010, Shea Stadium’s demolition went quickly. After giving only two weeks after the 2008 season ended for items to be salvaged for sale to collector’s, they began to demolish the stadium. The final demolition was finished in February 2009. Now the site is a parking lot for the new Citi Field. In the parking lot you can see plaques marking the spots for the home plate, bases, and pitching mound for were in Shea Stadium.

Day 43: Old Yankee Stadium

I am trying to catch up on posts about the last week or so and was about to do the post on the Mets old stadium when I realized I never did a Former MLB Ballparks post about the Old Yankee Stadium. We saw what is just the shell of the old stadium when we went to the new Yankee Stadium.

Old Yankee Stadium was first opened in 1923 and was often called the House That Ruth Built. The Stadium remained in use until the end of last season. This year the Yankees moved into their new stadium and the old Yankee Stadium is to be demolished. Honestly, I thought it would already be down when we visited. Instead, though, the shell of the stadium was still there.

It basically looks the same as it always has on the outside, but a few places you can glimpse into the park and notice that it has been completely stripped of seats and other mementos. At the game it becomes apparent how all these things that were stripped from the stadium are being dispersed, as there are a lot of ads on the video scoreboard telling fans to go to a website to own a piece of the Old Yankee Stadium.

I am not sure how long until the Old Yankee Stadium is to be completely gone, but I believe the plan is for the site to become a park. I assume they will end up putting some sort of plaque or plaques where the home plate and/or bases were originally located. I think the giant bat outside of it is to remain. I also think there is a movement to keep Gate 2 as part of the park.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 47: Huntington Avenue Grounds

Before heading south towards New Jersey and the Yogi Berra Museum, we headed back north to Boston. Originally I had meant for us to see the site of the old Red Sox park, Huntington Avenue Grounds, but I totally forgot the day we went to the game. Yesterday would have been convenient to do it, too, since we drove through Boston to get to New Hampshire, but I did not remember about seeing the former MLB ballpark site until last night. The site is now occupied by Northeastern University, but they have some plaques and a statue to commemorate the site.

The main thing to see is the Cy Young statue. I really thought this would get Mik interested in the stop, as he really likes Cy Young, but I had to force him in front of it and then quickly take a photo of him before he rolled away from it. The statue is located where the pitching mound used to be. Cy Young is one of the significant players that played at Huntington Avenue Grounds not just for helping the Red Sox (called the Pilgrims at the time) win the first World Series in 1903, but also for pitching the first perfect game of the modern era there.

Another thing to find at the former Huntington Avenue Grounds site is a home plate shaped plaque. It is not obviously there, but if you just walk in the direction Cy Young is looking getting ready to pitch you will stumbled upon it somewhat hidden in the grass. Engraved in the stone home plate is a little about the First World Series. The info includes stating that the first game was played on October 1, 1903 on this site (exactly 84 years before I was born) and that general admission cost 50 cents.

The one other thing commemorating the old park that we found was a plaque on the side of the Cabot Building on the Huntington Avenue side. The plaque marks approximately where the left field flag pole stood.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Forbes Field 1909 World Series

The second baseball I got at PNC Park is one commemorating the 1909 World Series. I thought it was cool to get even though it does not say 100th anniversary. I could not settle for just this one, though, since it says Forbes Field instead of PNC Park, however I decided to get this one along with the PNC Park one since we did after all go to the site of Forbes Field before going to PNC Park. The ball has a Forbes Field 1909 World Series logo on one side and a Pirates P logo on the other side. It also says 1909 World Series Champions.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 35: Forbes Field

On June 23, 2009, we went to the site of the former Forbes Field after seeing the Homestead Gray’s West Field. Forbes Field is significant in general baseball history because it was the first all steel and concrete ballpark. Pittsburgh sports history wise is it significant for being the site of four World Series (1909, 1925, 1927, and 1960) including a Game 7 game winning homer by Bill Mazeroski on October 13, 1960. During its use from 1909 to 1972 Forbes Field was not only used by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but also the Negro Leagues Homestead Grays, the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Pitt Panthers.

What is left of Forbes Field is on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The main thing left is part of the outfield wall. Part of it up on a small hill is intact as it would have been when Forbes Field was used including a few spots with the distance markers on them (note one section with the distance number is at the Pirates current park, PNC Park). The rest of the outfield wall can be followed via a brick line in the sidewalk and brick benches along were the wall once stood. Behind the wall that still stands there is a replica of the original Forbes Field entrance.

There is also supposed to be the original home plate from the final game played at Forbes Field located inside a nearby building about where it once was, but I did not feel trying to locate it and wanted to get to the game early to try to find the historic marker for Three Rivers Stadium, which in the end we did not locate because of where we ended up parking and arriving close to when the gates opened for the game.