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

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 32: Tiger Stadium

After the Detroit Tigers game on June 20, 2009, we drove by the ballpark they used before moving into the current park. Not much is left of Tiger Stadium, as they began the final demolition earlier this month, but there still was a good chunk of it left to see and photograph. It certainly is not the best way to have seen it, but it is better than missing it entirely, since it is supposed to be entirely gone by the end of this month.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 29: League Park in Cleveland

On June 17, 2009, we got to Cleveland a little early, so we took the time to drive a few miles out of the way to see League Park. The parked opened in 1891 as the home of the National League Cleveland Spiders. It served as their home from 1891 through 1899 when the team was dissolved following a 20-134 record losing season. In 1901 the American League Cleveland Indians were formed and used League Park from 1901 through 1946. They played night and weekend games at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium from 1934 through 1946 before making the switch to all games at that stadium, which was shared with the football team.

Not much remains of League Park, but it was a worthy baseball historical place to visit. The ticket office building and the wall for the first base grandstand is all that is left of League Park. The interesting thing, though, is that the field is still a public park, so while the structure of the park is gone the field aspect can still easily be imagined. The grassy park area is not in that great of condition, but it is better than there just being a home plate plaque for a gone park that has a mall (Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis) or parking lot (Comiskey Park in Chicago) on top of the site now. The way it remains a grassy park makes it retain its spirit of being a ballpark despite its deteriorating state.

Most interesting about the Park is the Ohio Historical Marker plaque that tells about some of the highlight things that occurred at the park. The historical aspect of the park began with the first game in 1891 with Cy Young pitching for the Cleveland Spiders win over the Cincinnati Redlegs. In 1908 Addie Joss threw a perfect game at League Park. In 1915 the Washington Senators stole a record 8 bases in one inning at League Park. In 1920 League Park was where Bill Wambsganss executed the first and only unassisted triple play in Word Series history. Also, in that World Series game Elmer Smith hit the first World Series grand slam and Kim Bagby was the first pitcher to hit a homer in a World Series. League Park was also the site of Babe Ruth’s 500th home run in 1929 when he hit it over the right field wall. There is several more historic moments from this park on the League Park Society’s website here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 28: Blue Ash Sports Complex Replica Stadiums

Back on June 16, 2009, before the Cincinnati Reds game Dad and I went out to the Blue Ash Sports Complex in Blue Ash, Ohio, to see the replica baseball fields they have there. Since we were not going straight to the game from there we let Mik stay at Grandpa’s while we went to the Blue Ash Sports Complex. While dragging him to experience all the current MLB ballparks is a must, we have been lenient with him not having to truly experience the extras such as him staying in the car at the Field of Dreams.

The main field to see at Blue Ash Sports Complex is the Crosley Field replica. Crosley Field is where the Cincinnati Reds used to play from 1911 through 1970. The replica in Blue Ash recreates Crosley Field’s original dimensions for the outfield. It also includes a replica of the outfield wall and scoreboard. Most of the original Crosley Field has been destroyed, but one of the original ticket booths is here and I believe the scoreboard and/or the clock on the scoreboard might be original. I think some of the seats are from the original Crosley Field as well. Lastly, if you look inside the window of the ticket booth you can see the original outfield wall sign for the 366 foot part of the wall.

Of course, visiting Blue Ash Sports Complex is not exactly the same as the original Crosley Field, however, it is way better than just the home plate plaques that honor many demolished ballparks. It also serves as a great ball field for youth baseball games. It really gives the feel of what the field was like, except for all the seating and concourse.

Along the back of the bleachers on the 3rd base line there are plaques representing different former Reds players that have played in the Reunion games at the Crosley Field replica park. This includes Ken Griffey, Tug McGraw, and Pete Rose.

At the Blue Ash Sports Complex there is also a field that has the dimensions of the Reds’ Riverfront Stadium, which they used after Crosley Field and before their current ballpark (Great American Ballpark). The Riverfront one is not anywhere near as interesting as the Crosley Field replica, but it is kind of cool that they have recreated its dimensions as well.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 16: Mall of America and the Ballpark Connection

You know no trip to Minneapolis is complete without a trip to Mall of America. Perhaps you thought that there was no way we would work it into our ballpark trip without it being a non-baseball sightseeing stop. Well, it is a baseball sightseeing spot and even a ballpark one. That is because the Mall of America is built where the Metropolitan Stadium once stood, which is where the Twins played until the Metrodome was built.

In what used to be the Camp Snoopy Amusement Park and is now a Nickelodeon themed park in the middle of the mall there are two things to search out related to the Metropolitan Stadium. One is the original red seat up on the wall near the Log Ride. This seat is where the longest home run in the stadium was hit. The other thing is a plaque commemorating where the home plate used to be. Unfortunately, rides block the view of the seat from home plate and make it hard to notice how far that homer was actually hit.

This was a fun stop in my opinion even though it was only a half hour stop. Mik hated it because he just wanted to get on the road after the Twins game and get to Chicago as soon as possible, but if we gave into his every complaint then we would see nothing. Dad seemed to think it was a worthwhile stop like I thought, so two out of three is not bad considering Mik’s lack of wanting to enjoy anything beyond the mini bats and food.