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Thread: Busch Stadium [I] / Sportsman's Park [IV]

  1. #1

    Busch Stadium [I] / Sportsman's Park [IV]

    Not sure if this has already been posted, but I came across a link to some amazing photos of Sportsman's Park in the early 60's. You don't really hear too much about this ballpark, certainly not as much as its contemporaries.

    http://photosbybmw.com/Sport_Park_web_pages/index.html

  2. #2
    It's always interesting to see the old, long gone classical parks in color.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by tdinan View Post
    Not sure if this has already been posted, but I came across a link to some amazing photos of Sportsman's Park in the early 60's. You don't really hear too much about this ballpark, certainly not as much as its contemporaries.

    http://photosbybmw.com/Sport_Park_web_pages/index.html
    That's a terrific series of pictures you discovered--thanks for posting them. Here's an aerial taken from the Goodyear "Blump".
    Last edited by Lpeters199; 06-14-2009 at 07:34 PM.

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    It has a nice shape to it!
    The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

  5. #5
    I've always felt some affinity for Sportsman's Park. Nothing flashy, no defining characteristic. Just a solid, midwest, utilitarian, no nonsense stadium. I think a farmboy would feel very comfortable here.

  6. #6
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    One of the coolest things I've ever seen in a ballpark is the way the upper deck grandstands end right at the foul poles. Very very cool look to it.
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    Last edited by cgcoyne2; 10-20-2008 at 06:19 AM.
    Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying! (Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own" (1992)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by cgcoyne2 View Post
    One of the coolest things I've ever seen in a ballpark is the way the upper deck grandstands end right at the foul poles. Very very cool look to it.

    I wonder why more parks never did that. It would seem like the perfect way to dispute any fair vs. foul disputed homerun arguments.

  8. #8
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    very cool pics

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by PeteU View Post
    I wonder why more parks never did that. It would seem like the perfect way to dispute any fair vs. foul disputed homerun arguments.
    How? A fair ball can still land in or hit the upper deck.

  10. #10
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    What do you mean? Like if it were to curve around behind the foul pole? Not trying to be a wisea$$, just wondering...

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by DallasGoon View Post
    What do you mean? Like if it were to curve around behind the foul pole? Not trying to be a wisea$$, just wondering...

    Exactly. Pretty much every ball hit in the air down the line either hooks or slices. Maybe if there was a wall at the end of the grandstand a fair ball would never enter the grandstand. I believe Busch Stadium was open at the ends of the grandstand.
    Last edited by Smirkman; 10-21-2008 at 11:56 AM.

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  13. #13
    I grew up going to Cardinal games at Sportsman's/Busch I. You can't see it in these photos (taken by my good high school buddy, Bernard Waxman) but there was a 2 to 3 foot wide screen attached to the foul pole in fair territory from the wall to the roof of the upper deck. So, any drive that flew within 3 feet of the pole that ricocheted back onto the field either hit the pole or the screen and was therefore a homer making it easier for the ump to call it fair or fowl.

  14. #14
    Actually you can see this screen in the foreground in the third photo down, third from the left, taken from the upper deck right field corner, if you click on it and blow it up.

  15. #15
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    Here are a few images of my recreation of Sportsman's park using Sketchup. I'm mainly using photos as my guide in the recreation. My next goal once it is done is to do a modern retrofit of the park as if it had lasted up until now with improvements over the years, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tugger View Post
    I've always felt some affinity for Sportsman's Park. Nothing flashy, no defining characteristic. Just a solid, midwest, utilitarian, no nonsense stadium. I think a farmboy would feel very comfortable here.
    The one defining charactersitc was the screen that covered the right field pavilion. Any ball hit off the screen would bounce back into play. I read one time that if the screen had not been there, Stan Musial would have had another 75 homeruns.

    That old ballyard is long gone. It's location is in a very blighted area of St. Louis. I never saw a game there, as it was torn down in 1966, three years before I was born. But, every time I drive past Grand and Dodier I get chills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stlfan View Post
    Here are a few images of my recreation of Sportsman's park using Sketchup. I'm mainly using photos as my guide in the recreation. My next goal once it is done is to do a modern retrofit of the park as if it had lasted up until now with improvements over the years, etc.
    Looking good. If you get the chance you should make a copy of this Sketchup file and then go into the copy and replace the baseball field with a football field.

  18. #18
    DiggerODell Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by cgcoyne2 View Post
    One of the coolest things I've ever seen in a ballpark is the way the upper deck grandstands end right at the foul poles. Very very cool look to it.
    What a dandy of a ballyard! I love the simplicity of the grandstands. Can you imagine someone building a new park like this these days, or even thinking about it? No way Jose!

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    Last edited by bandit12; 05-02-2009 at 08:53 AM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by tdinan View Post
    Not sure if this has already been posted, but I came across a link to some amazing photos of Sportsman's Park in the early 60's. You don't really hear too much about this ballpark, certainly not as much as its contemporaries.

    http://photosbybmw.com/Sport_Park_web_pages/index.html
    Thanks for posting the Waxman photos, great stuff! I'd seen some of them before, hadn't looked at them in a while. I probably got to see about 25 games at Sportsmans/Busch from 1962-1966. First game I saw Musial hit a hr to beat the Cubs. Last game was on a Friday nite against SF, final series played at the park. I was just checking the attendance figures for that final weekend. Only 14K for the game I was at, even with the Giants in town and a great pitching matchup [Gibson vs. Perry] Saturday's game had 15K and the final on Sunday only had 17K.

    I loved the place and while I was impressed with the newness and amenities of the downtown ballpark, soon found myself missing the old place.
    It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandit12 View Post
    I like this photo best of all, and wish there was a version of it in original form without the effects.

    Sportsman's looks like it was in the middle of an established neighborhood. What kind of area is/was it?

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg B. View Post
    I like this photo best of all, and wish there was a version of it in original form without the effects.

    Sportsman's looks like it was in the middle of an established neighborhood. What kind of area is/was it?
    The street in that shot is Grand Avenue, which runs north to south through the center of the city. Just a bit south of the ballpark on Grand is where a lot of the old great movie houses and theaters were located, very close to St. Louis University. At the time also a lot of good dining. The Fox is the only theatre that survived, it's an excellent concert venue. The neighborhood surrounding the ballpark at one time was middle class homes and apartments. There was a large factory, Carter Carburetor, that was adjacent to the park and employed a lot of the folks in the area. The area was probably in it's hey day during the 40's through the mid 50's, when a lot of people began moving out to the new subdivisions being built in the suburbs outside the city limits. By the time the ballpark closed in 1966 the neighborhood had changed, pretty similar to what was happening in many of the cities in the northeast and midwest. The area around the Fox has made a bit of comeback, the area where the park was located is terrible, about as run down as you can get.
    It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by 64Cards View Post
    The street in that shot is Grand Avenue, which runs north to south through the center of the city. Just a bit south of the ballpark on Grand is where a lot of the old great movie houses and theaters were located, very close to St. Louis University. At the time also a lot of good dining. The Fox is the only theatre that survived, it's an excellent concert venue. The neighborhood surrounding the ballpark at one time was middle class homes and apartments. There was a large factory, Carter Carburetor, that was adjacent to the park and employed a lot of the folks in the area. The area was probably in it's hey day during the 40's through the mid 50's, when a lot of people began moving out to the new subdivisions being built in the suburbs outside the city limits. By the time the ballpark closed in 1966 the neighborhood had changed, pretty similar to what was happening in many of the cities in the northeast and midwest. The area around the Fox has made a bit of comeback, the area where the park was located is terrible, about as run down as you can get.
    Thanks for the info. I see the Carter building is still there and I can see what you mean by the area being run down. A quick trip up and down google street view tells the tale.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=UTF-8...59.996578&z=19

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandit12 View Post
    Thanks for the info. I see the Carter building is still there and I can see what you mean by the area being run down. A quick trip up and down google street view tells the tale.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=UTF-8...59.996578&z=19
    That is a very interesting trip. While I guess you could say it is run down, what I find more interesting is just how barren it is in spots. Lots of buildings are no more and there are just a whole bunch of vacant lots, grassed over fields, or newer structures set well back from the street. It looks like a low-rent suburbia in some areas. It is remarkably different from the community that was seen in that photo.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg B. View Post
    That is a very interesting trip. While I guess you could say it is run down, what I find more interesting is just how barren it is in spots. Lots of buildings are no more and there are just a whole bunch of vacant lots, grassed over fields, or newer structures set well back from the street. It looks like a low-rent suburbia in some areas. It is remarkably different from the community that was seen in that photo.
    To illustrate your point...here's a pretty telling comparsion, courtesy of Historicaerials.com.
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