No announcement yet.

Columbia Park / Columbia Avenue Grounds - Philadelphia, PA

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Columbia Park / Columbia Avenue Grounds - Philadelphia, PA

    Field dimensions:
    Left Field - 340 ft
    Left Center - 392 ft
    Deep Left Center - 440 ft
    Center Field - 396 ft
    Right Center - 323 ft
    Right Field - 280 ft

    Columbia Park (aka Columbia Avenue Grounds) was the first home of the Philadelphia Athletics from the team's founding in 1901 until their move to Shibe Park in 1909.

    The park was on the block bordered by North 29th Street, Columbia Avenue (now Cecil B. Moore Avenue), North 30th Street, and Oxford Street in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia (beer sales were prohibited in the park). The cost of construction was $35,000. The stadium was very small, and originally had a seating capacity of only 9,500. This was eventually increased to 13,600 by the addition of bleacher seating in the outfield. During some sold out games, unofficial additional seating could be found on top of the adjoining homes. There was only one dressing room, for the home team; visiting teams had to change at their hotels.

    The opening game in Columbia Park was held on April 26, 1901, after the first two games were rained out. The Athletics played the Washington Nationals (Senators 1) in front of an overflow crowd of 10,524, with some fans standing on the outfield walls and the roofs of nearby houses. The Athletics lost 5-1, despite three hits by second baseman Nap Lajoie.

    The Athletics won two American League pennants in Columbia Park, one in 1902 and one in 1905. The 1905 World Series was held in the Park; the Athletics lost to the New York Giants 4 games to 1.

    Conference on the field during a 1905 World Series game at Columbia Park.

    The stadium also briefly served as the home of the Philadelphia Athletics football club, before the team folded in 1902. As well, the Athletics leased the ballpark to the independent Negro League club, the Philadelphia Giants. The Giants played at the ballpark while the Athletics were on the road. The Giants were the first club to play night baseball in Philadelphia when they played under portable lights on June 4, 1902. The Philadelphia Phillies temporarily called Columbia Park home in 1903 while their Baker Bowl was being repaired after a balcony collapse on August 8, 1903. The Phillies played sixteen games at Columbia Park in August and September 1903.

    The final game played at the park took place on October 3, 1908. The visiting Boston Americans (Red Sox) defeated the Athletics 5-0 in the second game of a doubleheader. The lack of seating at Columbia Park was the main reason the Athletics left for Shibe Park. After the Athletics left, the park was almost entirely abandoned. Columbia Park was eventually demolished in the 1910's to make way for new homes.

    The sod from Columbia Park was transplanted to Shibe Park after the 1908 season.

    A game action photo of Columbia Park taken in 1907:
    1907 Columbia_Park_Philadelphia.jpg

    Philadelphia A's first baseman and captain Harry Davis in a batting pose at Columbia Park. Davis led the American League in home runs four years in a row (1904-07) while the Athletics played at Columbia Park:

    (text courtesy of Wikipedia)
    Last edited by milladrive; 06-08-2018, 12:47 AM.
    Put it in the books.

  • #2
    Wednesday, July 4th, 1906, Independence Day in the City of Brotherly Love with the New York Highlanders in town against the Athletics.

    "Game day was a double-header, with Rube Waddell facing Jack Chesbro in Game 1 and Chief Bender up against Al Orth in Game 2...I believe the shot toward home plate was taken at the beginning of Game 1 as the unmistakable figure of Rube Waddell can be seen conferring with catcher Shreckengost. Near the Highlanders dugout, a player can be seen holding/waving an American flag, due to the date being July 4th!"

    Reigning AL champs Philadelphia took the first game 3-1, with NY winning the nightcap, 2-1. The split kept the teams tied for second in the AL behind the Cleveland Naps. The White Sox would eventually win their first pennant that year, with NY finishing 2nd, 3 games off the pace.




    Showcasing the finest photography to illuminate the lesser known stories from classic baseball.
    Now over 2000 followers, including Howie Rose, Keith Olbermann, NYT baseball writer Tyler Kepner


    • #3
      1901 Opening Day at Columbia Park



      • #4
        Monday, October 9, 1905, before Game 1 of the 1905 World's Series, and the Athletics' captain Lave Cross famously presents Giants' manager John McGraw with a toy white elephant (on a green pedestal), resulting in a rare smile from McGraw. Umpire Jack Sheridan appears less than amused. This of course, was the response to McGraw's statement to the press in July 1902 that the AL "has a big white elephant on its hands" regarding the Philadelphia AL franchise. The Giants would have the last laugh as Christy Mathewson shut out the A's, 3-0, his first of his still-record three complete game WS shutouts in one series. The Athletics would continue to embrace the elephant symbol, incorporating it into use beginning in 1909.


        Larger photo from above, also before Game 1, L-R Cross, umpire Hank O'Day, umpire Sheridan, unknown Giant, and McGraw.


        NYT blurb of the occasion


        Original quote from McGraw in 1902

        Last edited by alpineinc; 11-11-2017, 06:18 PM.

        Showcasing the finest photography to illuminate the lesser known stories from classic baseball.
        Now over 2000 followers, including Howie Rose, Keith Olbermann, NYT baseball writer Tyler Kepner


        Ad Widget