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  • Veterans Stadium

    Ah yes, the "Vet".

    The Cookie Cutters need some love!

    First photo from the stadium opening day on 4.10.71 against Montreal (Att: 55,352). The first ever pitch has just been delivered by Jim Bunning to everybody’s “favorite TV announcer” Tim McCarver. Boots Day of the Expos is a the plate and Ron Hunt is in the On Deck circle. Denny Doyle of 1975 World Series fame is the Second Baseman. Note the Revolutionary War character and cannon being suspended from the upper deck just to the right of dead center field.

    Second photo is an aerial of Philly sports facilities in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The Vet of course is now a parking lot, the Spectrum remains (why I don’t know) and mammoth 105,000-seat JFK Stadium is the site of the Wachovia Center.

    Third photo is of Section 573 in the upper deck, an area designated as the “Bull Ring”, after Greg “The Bull” Luzinski. He bought tickets there for various youth organizations. Photo is dated 1978.

    The fourth and fifth photos: Here we have a ground level shot of the Vet during the 12-10 slugfest on May 4, 1980 won by the Dodgers in front of 34,027. Randy Lerch has just thrown one by Bill Russell. This is probably the Top of the 4th (5-0, LA) or the Top of the 6th (7-0, LA) as both innings had Russell at bat against Lerch with the bases empty. I’m more inclined to think it’s the Top of the 4th because there is nobody warming up in the Phillies bullpen and in the 6th Dusty Baker had just ripped a 2-run HR making the score 7-0 before Russell came to the plate. One would think that Dallas Green would have had the bullpen warming up before Russell ever got a chance to see a pitch.

    Dating this picture without a scoreboard looked at first like a daunting task. But then I noticed Luzinski’s “Bull Ring” in Section 573, and the fact that the banners on the left field fence were commemorating the 1950 NL Champs along with the 1976-1978 NL East champs. Luzinski’s last year in Philly was 1980, so the picture had to be taken in 1979 or 1980. From there it was easy.

    When I went to my one game at the Vet in 1985, I sat all the way in the back of the 700 level underneath the Marlboro Ad sign.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by sflnyc; 10-18-2007, 04:37 PM.
    Obladi, Oblada...

    July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

  • #2
    Originally posted by sflnyc View Post
    the Spectrum remains (why I don’t know) and mammoth 105,000-seat JFK Stadium is the site of the Wachovia Center.
    I've scratched my head about the Spectrum every time I've been in Philly.

    Though looking on Wikipedia, JFK Stadium itself somehow survived until 1992.

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    • #3
      October 21, 1980: Game 6 of the World Series

      One of the most famous catches in Philadelphia sports history. Frank White's one-out pop-up in the 9th inning jumps out of Bob Boone's glove and into Charlie Hustle's glove. Rose promised the Phillies in 1979 he would get them over the hump and he helped deliver 1 year later.
      Attached Files
      Obladi, Oblada...

      July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

      Comment


      • #4
        By the time I got to see The Vet in 1991, the huge message board in right field was gone. I remember every day was a "special" day - for example, "Welcome to Hazleton Day" as shown in the photo posted earlier.

        What impressed me was that you could buy other teams' yearbooks at the Newsstands inside. The prices were high, but it was better than buying them by mail.

        The thing I found fascinating was that the entire property was a parking lot, except for the small group of houses just beyond what was the left field stands. It would be interesting to know the history of the Vet/CBP property - was it originally intended to be residential, or by the time the existing houses were there the landowner received a better offer?
        X

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        • #5
          The Spectrum is still being used. The Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League call that arena home while the Flyers call the Wachovia Center home.
          Follow me on Facebook, or Twitter.

          sigpic If you love your freedom, thank a vet...and this 10-year U.S. Army vet says, "You're welcome.".

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sflnyc View Post
            Dating this picture without a scoreboard looked at first like a daunting task. But then I noticed Luzinski’s “Bull Ring” in Section 573, and the fact that the banners on the left field fence were commemorating the 1950 NL Champs along with the 1976-1978 NL East champs. Luzinski’s last year in Philly was 1980, so the picture had to be taken in 1979 or 1980. From there it was easy.
            Good detective work! That's half the fun, isn't it?

            Remember a great time a group of us Met fans had at the Vet one night in the mid 80's (1986 I think) - game was on ABC Monday Night Baseball and we brought a huge Met banner and paraded it around the upper deck - cops eventually took it away to avoid causing a "riot" (their words). Best part was a young lady who bought a beer from the vendor right in the walkway for the sole purpose of throwing it at my friend who was talking up our Mets as we walked by! Oddly enough after the game (which the Mets won) the trash talking stopped and it was all handshakes and "good luck", etc. I miss those crazy Vet fans - CBP is much more sedate!

            Showcasing the finest photography to illuminate the lesser known stories from classic baseball. Now over 2000 followers!
            https://twitter.com/behindthebagbtb

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            • #7
              Originally posted by hsnterprize View Post
              The Spectrum is still being used. The Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League call that arena home while the Flyers call the Wachovia Center home.
              Exactly. Along with the indoor soccer league team, and the arena football team, who plays there just on Saturdays. It's not even major teams that use it. How could it possibly be profitable for them to keep it open for a few irrelevant teams to play in?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by nymdan9 View Post
                Exactly. Along with the indoor soccer league team, and the arena football team, who plays there just on Saturdays. It's not even major teams that use it. How could it possibly be profitable for them to keep it open for a few irrelevant teams to play in?
                I'm sure it's used for more than that: Conventions, car/rv/boat shows, boxing, concerts, circuses, rodeos, general rentals etc..

                All the major sports tenants moved out of the Fabulous Forum many years ago, however, it's still a thriving, privately owned venue today.

                http://www.thelaforum.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Elvis View Post
                  I'm sure it's used for more than that: Conventions, car/rv/boat shows, boxing, concerts, circuses, rodeos, general rentals etc..

                  All the major sports tenants moved out of the Fabulous Forum many years ago, however, it's still a thriving, privately owned venue today.

                  http://www.thelaforum.com/
                  But the Forum and the Staples Center, as you said, are owned by different people. Also the Staples Center has two basketball teams and a hockey team, in addition to the WNBA team, Arena Football team, and NBADL team, so there are going to be very few open dates, making a second arena in the area make more sense.

                  This may deserve another thread, but is there any other precedent for this? An old baseball stadium/football stadium/arena standing right next door to its sucessor, surviving for years, and still being in use?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nymdan9 View Post

                    This may deserve another thread, but is there any other precedent for this? An old baseball stadium/football stadium/arena standing right next door to its sucessor, surviving for years, and still being in use?
                    This would be a great topic, admittedly a bit off-topic. One Example is in the pics - JFK Stadium was scarcely used by yhr eagles after the 50's, but was used until 1987 for concerts (most notably live aid).
                    South Side park was 3 blocks south of Comiskey and lasted into the 40's as the home of the Chicago American Giants.
                    I think Manhattan Field (PG3)was used for a few years after the Giabts moved next door to Brotherhood Park (PG4).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nymdan9 View Post
                      Exactly. Along with the indoor soccer league team, and the arena football team, who plays there just on Saturdays. It's not even major teams that use it. How could it possibly be profitable for them to keep it open for a few irrelevant teams to play in?
                      Hell, the 19 year old Miami Arena is still techincally open, eight years after the Heat and Panthers moved out. Even the Miami Hurricanes basketball team moved into an arena on campus. I don't know how often it is used, but they haven't torn it down.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nymdan9 View Post
                        I've scratched my head about the Spectrum every time I've been in Philly.

                        Though looking on Wikipedia, JFK Stadium itself somehow survived until 1992.
                        I think it's interesting from those pictures that JFK Stadium is a good 35,000 seats larger than Veterans Stadium, yet looks so much smaller. I guess it's the elevation that does it.

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                        • #13
                          Last out at Veteran's Stadium - September 28, 2003
                          Chase Utley grounds into game ending double play 5-4-3


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                          • #14
                            Pre-game September 28, 2003 (last game at the Vet)

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                            • #15
                              7th Inning Stretch - September 28, 2003 (last game at the Vet)

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