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  • Ballpark Quirks & Oddities

    I was recently reading some quirky things about the Baker Bowl:

    -A swimming pool was located underneath the clubhouse until WWI
    -There was a hump in center field where the ballpark ran overtop a subway tunnel, some players said they could feel the trains rumbling below

    any other strange, quirky or just plain odd nuances of ML park?

  • #2
    Griffith Stadium had an oddly shaped center field because three homeowners wouldn't seel when the ballpark was being built.

    The outfield of the Polo Grounds was on a downhill slant. The bullpens were aso in fair territory.

    I believe that both Fenway Park and Crosley Field had hills in their outfields.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bkmckenna View Post
      I was recently reading some quirky things about the Baker Bowl:

      -There was a hump in center field where the ballpark ran overtop a subway tunnel, some players said they could feel the trains rumbling below
      The term "subway" has different connotations in various geographical areas. This was actually a line of the Philadelphia & Reading (reorganized as simply the "Reading Railroad") and carried both freight and passenger trains through Philadelphia.

      Here's a photo of the "hump" along with some other points of interest on the Baker Bowl:

      Baker Bowl photo & info
      Last edited by Aa3rt; 08-19-2007, 07:33 PM.
      "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

      "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
        Griffith Stadium had an oddly shaped center field because three homeowners wouldn't sell when the ballpark was being built.
        Actually, it was five houses. Here are 2 good views of Griffith Stadium and the houses that intruded on the field of play:

        Griffith Stadium, view #1

        Griffith Stadium, view #2

        Finally, an overview diagram, with dimensions, of the playing field:

        Griffith Stadium diagram
        "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

        "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.

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        • #5
          The Polo Grounds also had an apartment for its groundskeeper and his family. The apartment was located beneth the left field grandstand just past the foul pole.

          I could only imagine what it was like to have one of your friends from school living at the Polo Grounds.

          The afore mentioned slope at the Polo Grounds was also (so I have been told) a feature at Yankee Stadium as it was part of the old drainage systems. A manager in the dugout could only see the upper half of his outfielders and if they leaned forward on their knees they would disappear completely.


          Richard

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          • #6
            I read somewhere that the backstop at the Metrodome is set up such that a pitch that passes the catcher will not return to him, it caroms either right or left.

            Hmmm.
            More to come, I'm sure.
            "Someone asked me if I took steroids. I said, 'No. I had a contract with Wheaties.'"
            --Bob Feller

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            • #7
              Pat Santarone, the Orioles' groundskeeper, grew a tomato patch in the right field corner near the foul pole at Memorial Stadium. Hall of Fame Manager Earl Weaver also helped in the upkeep of the plants.
              Last edited by PeteU; 08-21-2007, 05:40 AM.

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              • #8
                Crosley Field had no direct access from the dugout to the clubhouse. The players had to walk through the seating area to get back and forth.

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                • #9
                  Griffith Stadium

                  Sorry it took a while to get back . . . .

                  Griffith Stadium, home of the Washington Senators from 1911-1961, had a 90 degree corner sticking into center field, as mentioned, because the homeowners on the other side of the wall refused to sell.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by 2Chance; 08-23-2007, 09:39 AM.
                  "Someone asked me if I took steroids. I said, 'No. I had a contract with Wheaties.'"
                  --Bob Feller

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                  • #10
                    Busch Stadium, while being one of the "cookie cutter" stadia, distinguished itself by one, being a part of its St. Louis neighborhood, and two, its design at the top of the stadium. How do you like those arches, giving tribute to the larger arch by the Mississippi River, "gateway to the west?"
                    Attached Files
                    "Someone asked me if I took steroids. I said, 'No. I had a contract with Wheaties.'"
                    --Bob Feller

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                    • #11
                      my favorite quirk of a current ballpark

                      LETS GO YANKEES!

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                      • #12
                        Columbia Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-1909, had only one dressing room for the home team. Visitors had to suit up at their hotel.

                        Kansas City Municipal Stadium, home to the Monarchs, A's and Royals. Athletics' owner Charles O. Finley tried to build a short "pennant porch" in right field 296 feet from home plate. The league said no. So he built it the minimum 325, painted ONE-HALF PENNANT PORCH on the wall, put a chalk line 296' out, and told the stadium PA announcer whenever a ball hits that line (or beyond) to announce "That would have been a home run in Yankee Stadium."

                        Finley had also put a small petting zoo behind the right field fence with goats, sheep and a picnic area.

                        Tiger Stadium had its double-deck outfield grandstand, and a 125-foot flagpole in the field of play in center.
                        Attached Files
                        "Someone asked me if I took steroids. I said, 'No. I had a contract with Wheaties.'"
                        --Bob Feller

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wrigley Field may have many, but I'll only mention one:
                          It's the only park with no padding on the outfield walls.

                          Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati had outfield distances measured in both English and Metric. 100.58 meters down the lines, 114.30 to the alleys, 123.13 to center. (or 330, 375, 404)

                          Minute Maid Park in Houston, which incorporates architectural elements from the 1911 Union Station to which it it attached, was the first to feature a closed-captioning board for the hearing impaired.

                          Tal's Hill (shown above) is reminiscent of Duffy's Cliff in Boston, which was a 10-foot incline that ran across left field, all the way to the centerfield flagpole, named after Duffy Lewis, who played it so well. This is before they built the Monster, which until 1947 wasn't so green because it was covered with advertising. It also gives homage to Tiger Stadium's in-play flagpole. It's all very interesting, but looks to me like a series of injuries waiting to happen.


                          Duffy's Cliff

                          Pittsburgh's Forbes Field was so large that they actually used to store the batting cage in front of the wall in center field during games. In the 1920s they sold and repaired automobiles beneath the left-field bleachers.

                          Green foam-rubber crash pads placed on the concrete wall in right and right-center were the first in the majors. Wooden walls installed in left and center in 1909 were replaced with brick and ivy in 1946.

                          The Ballpark in Arlington has a double-decked right field, just like Tiger Stadium, a brick exterior, evoking memories of Ebbets Field and Shibe Park, and a 14-foot left field wall, also giving it a kind of a mini-Fenway feeling. But this is a modern park and thoroughly Texan. The exterior facade is made of Sunset Red Granite from Marble Falls, TX and there are 35 cast-stone steer heads and 21 Lone Stars on the arches surrounding the park.

                          The playing field is 22 feet below street level, to avoid problems with those Texas winds.
                          "Someone asked me if I took steroids. I said, 'No. I had a contract with Wheaties.'"
                          --Bob Feller

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 2Chance View Post
                            Athletics' owner Charles O. Finley . . . told the stadium PA announcer whenever a ball hits that line (or beyond) to announce "That would have been a home run in Yankee Stadium."
                            If memory serves me right, that practice stopped after a game where the visiting team constantly kept hitting balls in that area, each time dutifully followed by the announcement.

                            Originally posted by 2Chance View Post
                            Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati had outfield distances measured in both English and Metric.
                            As did Montreal's Olympic Stadium... where, of course, the numerals for the Metric dimensions were larger than those for the Imperial dimensions.
                            X

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                            • #15
                              I think it's really odd to have a pool in your stadium, even if the stadium is in Arizona. What if someone is in the pool during a game, someone hits a home run into the pool, and you're underwater and you get hit with the ball? Don't you think that's at least a little dangerous?

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