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  • Sportsman's Park II

    Hello, I've read this forum for a while now, but this is my first post. I was wondering if there are any pictures of Sportsman's Park II, the stadium in which the St. Louis Browns played in the 1880's? This park sounds very interesting and I'm having a tough time visualizing it, especially the beer garden in right field. I would appreciate any information you guys could provide about this park. Any little tidbit would be most welcome.

  • #2
    Here are some pics from Sportsman's Park. The last pic is Musial's last hit in the majors.
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Icee... any chance that you'ld be willing to let www.digitalballparks.com use these photographs in their upcoming galleries?

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      • #4
        Thanks for the pictures. They are interesting, but I was actually looking for pictures of the Sportman's Park before this. I was reading a book called "Green Cathedrals" and it mentions Sportsman's Park II being played in from 1882-1901. It says there was a beer garden in right field that was in play. I believe they were on the same site but the parks were different. I have never been able to find a picture of this park from that time and was curious about any information pertaining to it. Again, thanks for the pictures. I found a sketch, but it's hard to make out anything, it looks like there was some sort of track around it:

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        • #5
          Originally posted by atlantabraves44 View Post
          Thanks for the pictures. They are interesting, but I was actually looking for pictures of the Sportman's Park before this. I was reading a book called "Green Cathedrals" and it mentions Sportsman's Park II being played in from 1882-1901. It says there was a beer garden in right field that was in play. I believe they were on the same site but the parks were different. I have never been able to find a picture of this park from that time and was curious about any information pertaining to it. Again, thanks for the pictures. I found a sketch, but it's hard to make out anything, it looks like there was some sort of track around it:

          I also have the book "Green Cathedrals" I believe that was a bicycle track around it, and yes it did have a beer garden. I believe Chris VonDerAye owned the team at the time. He was a german (obviously with that last name) who owned a beer garden near the park. He believed owning the team would bring more customers to his beer garden before and after games. The park I think burned down and the Sportsmans Park that most know it was built and lasted until 1966.

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          • #6
            http://digital.library.umsystem.edu/...age/image-idx?

            [url]http://digital.library.umsystem.edu/cgi/i/image/image-idx/cgi/i/image/image-idx?

            http://digital.library.umsystem.edu/cgi/i/image/image-idx/cgi/i/image/image-idx?sid=3f411bccb97b15d3ca4caf7006a2ffb0;q1=umcscs anic;rgn1=umcscsanic_all;size=20;c=umcscsanic;last type=boolean;view=entry;lastview=thumbnail;subview =detail;cc=umcscsanic;entryid=x-sanborn6314.jpg;viewid=SANBORN6314.JPG;start=6181; resnum=6183

            Hedges took a significant portion of that profit ($75,000, reported the Post-Dispatch on December 23, 1910) and plowed it back into the ballpark. He reconfigured Sportsman's Park, shifting the field 180 degrees, remodeled and expanded the stadium, with a modern double-decked grandstand of steel and concrete. St. Louis had a long history of wooden stadium fires, including five in the 1890s and another one in 1901. Philadelphia's Shibe Park is usually credited as the first steel and concrete sports stadium, yet Sportsman's Park, built that same year, has a claim too. Since Hedges reconfigured the park, and the old grandstand became the bleachers of the new ballpark, it was not entirely new nor was it completely steel and concrete, since the bleachers were the old wooden stands.

            1902 and 1909 structures
            When the American League Browns moved from Milwaukee in 1902, they built a new version of Sportsman's Park. They initially placed the diamond and the main stand at the northwest corner of the block. In 1909, the Browns moved the diamond to its final location, at the southwest corner, in the shadow of a new steel and concrete structure -- the third such structure in the major leagues. The previous wooden grandstand was retained as left-field bleachers for a while, but was soon replaced with permanent bleachers. The Cardinals came back to their original home in mid-1920, as tenants of the Browns, after abandoning the outdated, mostly-wooden Robison Field.
            Last edited by elmer; 02-25-2008, 04:51 PM.

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            • #7
              Speaking of Chris von der Ahe, here's the Wiki article about him:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Von_Der_Ahe

              From that article, it briefly mentions the beer garden atlantabraves44 was referring to:

              Legal problems plagued von der Ahe's ownership, especially in the later years. In an effort to recoup his losses, in 1892 he moved to a larger ballpark, which he surrounded with an amusement park, complete with beer garden, a horse track in the outfield, a "shoot-the-shoots" water flume ride, and an artificial lake (used for ice skating in winter). The league, which prohibited gambling on its grounds, disapproved of the race track; so did von der Ahe's outfielders. The press called the facility "Coney Island West" and nicknamed von der Ahe "Von der Ha Ha."
              My favorite von der Ahe anecdote was the way he referred to himself as 'der boss president'

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              • #8
                Thanks for the wonderful info guys. If anybody has anything more it would be greatly appreciated.

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