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Recreation Park / Centennial Park

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  • Recreation Park / Centennial Park

    Field dimensions:
    LF - 300 ft.
    CF - 331 ft.
    RF - 247 ft.

    Recreation Park was the first home of the Philadelphia Phillies during the years 1883-1886 (at the time also nicknamed the Quakers), prior to the opening of Philadelphia Park (aka Philadelphia Grounds), the arena that would eventually become known as Baker Bowl.

    The park was bounded by 24th Street, Ridge Avenue, 25th Street and Columbia Avenue (which in 1987 was renamed Cecil B. Moore Avenue after the civil-rights leader).
    Recreation Park 1883-86.jpg
    The field was used at least as early as 1860, and during the Civil War, a cavalry of the Union Army occupied the park. In 1866, with new houses bordering the field, a nine-foot fence was erected and the field was put back in shape for baseball. But it was poorly maintained by 1871 and used less and less.

    The Philadelphia Centennials of the National Association leveled and resodded the field, built a 10-foot fence, clubhouse and grandstands in 1875. They called it Centennial Park. The league folded that year, and the park declined.

    Alfred J. Reach bought the field in 1882, renaming it "Recreation Park." He cleared the grounds, resodded the field, built a three-section wooden grandstand that held a capacity of 6,500 and fielded the independent team called "Fillies."

    Upon moving into Philadelphia Park, Recreation Park's grounds went into major decline from neglect, and it was eventually bulldozed in the early 1890's to make way for family homes. Today, the site contains an historical marker, and urban housing makes up most of what now occupies the area.

    Originally posted by RUKen View Post
    Scorecard from the inaugural season [1883]. (Although the "Metropolitans" were an American Association team, I am inclined to think that this is a scorecard for the NL Quakers rather than the AA Athletics, because Recreation Park was the home field of the Quakers.)
    1883scorecard-Recreation ParkPhiladelphia.jpg

    Recreation Park, 1884:
    1884Philadelphia-Recreation Park.jpg
    L-R: Joe Mulvey (3B), unknown (possibly Charlie Ferguson, P), John Coleman (P/OF), Blondie Purcell (OF), Sid Farrar (1B), Ed Andrews (2B), unknown, Jack Manning (OF), Jim Fogarty (OF)

    Photos and player ID's courtesy of RUKen
    Put it in the books.

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