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Baseball: BRAVES FIELD, PART ONE

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posted on Jan, 20 2006 @ 09:56 PM
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TOEJAM, M.C. AUSTIN AND whoever else is interested:

You have asked me to post info from my two baseball parks books on ancient Braves Field, which was home to the Boston Braves from 1915-1952. This post will contain the info from "Ballparks of North America," by Michael Benson." I will post the info from my other Ballparks book right after I get this one done.

Benson reports this park shut down after the 1952 season, not the 1953 season, as I had thought. Also, the outrageous dimensions of 402 down both foul lines and 550 to deepest center field ended once and for all during the 1928 season, contrary to what I had thought. From mid-1928 until the park's closure, the dimensions were generous: 320 to the right field lne; 390 to deepest right; 370 to CENTER FIELD (!!!); and 340 down the left field line. Fence heights ranged from 8 feet to 68 feet (the scoreboard in left field). The center field dimension perhaps helps explain why Boston's Wally Berger held the rookie home run record (38, in 1930) for many decades, until steroid king Canseco came along.

It was not a good park for a passed ball. The distance from home to the backstop was 75 feet, from 1915-1936, and 60 feet after that. Of the parks built back then, it had a high seating capacity--40,000--and they once crammed 47,123 in there for a 1932 doubleheader. In 1948, the year of their ONLY World Series appearance other than the 1914 "Miracle Braves" epic comeback to win the penant and sweep the hugely favored Philadelphia A's, they had a then-giant attendance of 1,455,439. (They lost, 4 games to 2, in 1948.) In 1918, by comparison, they drew 84,938.

It was one of the last parks to get lights. They spent $500,000 to install lights in 1946, only six years before the park's closure.

Legend has it that during the park's construction, 12 horses and mules were buried alive, under 3rd base... and were left there for the entire time the park was there.

AND PER TOEJAM'S INFO: On 5/1/20, Braves Field did indeed host the longest MLB game ever, a 1-1 tie between Boston's Joe Oeschger and Brooklyn's Leon Cadore, both of whom pitched complete 26-inning games.

Benson reports the Red Sox used this cavernous monster of a park as their homepark NOT in the 1915 OR 1916 Series, but rather in the 1915 AND 1916 Series. The park then held 4,300 more people than Fenway.

I have already reported the total numbers of balls hit for inside-the-park HR's and conventional HR's here during the 402-550-402 years (209 and 7, respectively), including 4 inside-the-park on one day.

Once the fences were moved in, they initially kept the monstrous scoreboard on the field, which occasionally resulted in ground balls' going into open holes and disappearing. The fence's 68-foot apex was a clock.

AND NOW, BENSON'S WONDERFUL NEXT-TO-LAST PARAGRAPH:

"Much of Braves Field still stands. It has been turned into Nickerson Field, the home of Boston University football. The open first base side stands, original outfield fence, and office building are still there. Field is astroturfed [
]. The university owns the stadium, and the place is still looking sharp. Nickerson was also the home of the United States Football League's Boston Breakers."

This book was written in 1989, so I can't swear that the info re Nickerson Field is still valid, but a Google Search should reveal that info.

Toejam and M.C. Austin, I hope this gives you the kind of info you were hoping to get. (Ditto anyone else who cared.) I will now set about looking for my other ballparks book, and will then post any additional info from there. But that book is, as a general rule, a lot heavier on pictures and not as heavy on info, plus I'm sure much of its info will be redundant.

OK, I will not post this and look for the other book. I hope Toe, MC and some others find this interesting.

B.H.N.




posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 02:34 AM
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I've got to post this, to get the two Braves Field posts that y'all wanted in line with each other. That should do me in for the night.

Baseball History Nut



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 10:09 AM
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Was this stadium also the home of the NFL's Boston Braves?



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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Don't know about that. I was asked to get more info from my two books on baseball parks, and post it, for the benefit of Toejam and one other. These posts titled Part One and Part Two are the baseball-related stuff I came up with. Didn't see anything about the park's being a pro football field, and I just now re-read one of the books, which I think would have had that info, were it true.

YO, TOEJAM, do you like the info I came up with?

B.H.N.



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by BaseballHistoryNut
Don't know about that. I was asked to get more info from my two books on baseball parks, and post it, for the benefit of Toejam and one other. These posts titled Part One and Part Two are the baseball-related stuff I came up with. Didn't see anything about the park's being a pro football field, and I just now re-read one of the books, which I think would have had that info, were it true.


There's a particular reason why I was asking, I just found the answer and yes, the Boston Braves, who became the Boston Redskins, a year later, played thier first season at Braves field, before moving to Fenway for four seasons.

Redskins history LINK

scroll to the bottom, it's the first thing mentioned

[Edited on 1/21/2006 by Gibbs Baby!!!]



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 05:29 AM
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thanks for doing the research and posting the info, very interesting stuff, i'm glad that some of these old ballparks have been saved from the wreckers ball, they are a part of our history and culture and should be preserved, but in this era of astronomical property prices too many are being turned into condos and parking lots, do your books cover minor league parks as well? if so check out the late, great Red Wing Stadium, back in Rochester NY, this is where i grew to love baseball, sitting in the stands with my dad watching some great players come through on the way to the BIGS....Rochester has a great baseball history that goes back to the origins of the game



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 02:23 PM
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One of my books is loaded with pictures (at least 50% of the book), and is strictly major league.

The other one has info on tons of ballparks, including tons of minor league ones, or ones like your own Sick Stadium which was Major League for exactly one year, with few or no pics for most parks, but in many cases quite a lot of info. Obviously I cannot provide the info on 50 ballparks, but within reason, TJ, ASK AWAY!!!

BHN



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 08:14 PM
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Originally posted by toejam
thanks for doing the research and posting the info, very interesting stuff, i'm glad that some of these old ballparks have been saved from the wreckers ball, they are a part of our history and culture and should be preserved, but in this era of astronomical property prices too many are being turned into condos and parking lots, do your books cover minor league parks as well? if so check out the late, great Red Wing Stadium, back in Rochester NY, this is where i grew to love baseball, sitting in the stands with my dad watching some great players come through on the way to the BIGS....Rochester has a great baseball history that goes back to the origins of the game



DEAR TOEJAM,

The book with few pictures, which is called "Ballparks of North America," has a TON of stuff on Rochester, NY. It has a brief paragraph on "The Flour City Nine," "The Live Oaks" and in-town rivalries back to 1858, and then it has stuff on each of the following ballparks:

1. Hop Bitters Grounds, 1880-1886 or later;

2. Culver Field, 1886-1907;

3. Riverside Park, 1895-1897;

4. Jones Square, 1890;

5. Windsor Beach, 1890;

6. Ontario Beach Grounds, 1890-?;

7. Bay Street Park, 1908-1928, where "the outfield was big enough for cars and carriages to park out there" (a rival for Braves Field in those years?); and

8. Silver Stadium, a.k.a. Red Wing Stadium, 1929-the present (?).

As to many of these fields, it has only one or two sentences, or one or two brief paragraphs. As to Culver Field and your baby, Red Wing Stadium, it has a lot of info.

SO, TOEJAM....

Please let me know how many of these parks you want info about. Since I am not working tonight, I'm willing to provide at least a brief summary as to ALL, and an extended summary as to two or three of these parks, including the long ones, if you like. It seems pretty clear you'd like all the info on Red Wing Stadium, and if you say so, I'll give you all this book has to offer on that one.

I will also MAIL IT TO YOU so you can look at the few b/w pictures, if you (like me) have a P.O. Box... and will promise to mail it back within a month. The book has a close-up shot of the third base and left-field foul line seats; the same view from a much greater distance, giving a more panoramic view; and an overhead view of the stadium, taken from above and beyond the right-center field fence. Apparently there were no bleachers in fair territory, except down the left field line, but there were foul-territory seats all the way down both lines, and there was an upper deck which went slightly past the infield on both sides.

TO THE REST OF Y'ALL---It should be obvious by now that although I know an iota or two about modern hoops history and modern football history, and although I watch college and pro FB closely (albeit not through an expert's eyes), I know no other sport remotely like I do baseball.

But my offer to Toejam is not a solitary one. To those of you I have gotten to know pretty well--e.g., Gibbs, IA Clonz and the father whose fears I share--I will send non-precious baseball materials, esp. non-precious books, if you need them. We have a closely-knit bunch of long-timers on here, and although I may not like what I perceive to be some of y'all's politics--and I'm CERTAIN some of y'all feel that way about mine (except Gibbs, after a remarkable email I sent him), I don't see any of the established regulars screwing me out of baseball books.

Now, don't ask for my autographed Lefty Grove card or anything like that, lol, but I may be persuaded to offer someone else something from my library if I think they'd like it on a loan basis. And if I allude to something in my library, and one of you would like to read it, ask me. Just please don't take it personally if I say, "I'm sorry, but please wait until we have known each other a little longer," or something to that effect. If I say it, I'll mean it, and I'll get back to you when I'm ready. It probably won't be long.

That's a lot more than most baseball history fanatics would do, I assure you. And I don't say that to elicit any pats on my back; just so you'll understand my situation. I live in the single most liberal town of over 15,00 people in this country, BAR NONE, and an African-American guy I thought I knew well was all gung ho to learn about Oscar Charleston when I told him that Charleston was the only non-steroid user you could make a rational case for as having been better than Babe Ruth. He talked me into lending him my biographies of not only Charleston, but also Satchell Paige (very well-written) and Josh Gibson (poorly written).

I never got them back, and I learned a short time late from a disgusted co-worker of this guy's, also African-American, that he had known he was leaving town in less than a week when he conned me into that "loan." He, the second guy, was a hardcore baseball fan himself. He listened to what I told him about Charleston, voiced shame that as an African-American he'd never heard of the man, and said he'd love to find the thief for me and kick his @ss, then read the books, then return them. And I know HE meant it.

Anyway, you'd think a guy like me, who played poker to get thru college and has since made a living practicing criminal law, would be OVERLY-jaded about human nature. Most of the time I am. But the reason I presently don't own biographies of the three greatest players in Negro League history--one of whom was clearly the greatest catcher ever; another of whom rivals Grove, Clemens, Pedro and Walter Johnson for the greatest pitcher ever; and the last of whom seriously rivals Ruth (born only one year before him) as the greatest PLAYER ever (James rates him #4); is that a lying thief ripped me off for those books.

So forgive me if I'm circumspect. But even so, these ballparks books are probably out of print, and I'm willing to loan them out to people I get to know here. That's not TOO tight-@ssed, is it?

B.H.N.



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