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CONNIE MACK STADIUM(shibe park)

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  • CONNIE MACK STADIUM(shibe park)

    HELLO to everyone. was wondering did anyone out there ever go to old CONNIE MACK STADIUM. DOES anyone have any stories about going there and favorite memories of the old stadium. WOULD like to hear from you.I was never there when the stadium was still standing, i was there in 1990 when it was still a empty lot.there is now a church built on the property i have been told. hope to hear from you all out there take care everyone donald detroit mi
    LONG LIVE THE POLO GROUNDS 1891-1964
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/POLOGROUNDS1962

  • #2
    Connie Mack Stadium, or Shibe Park, was a nice looking ballpark. The outside of the park had a very unique design.

    My sister DEBS, and I used to go down to Philadelphia when OUR DODGERS played there, usually for a weekend. If We took the Pennsylvania Railroad, WE got off at the North Philadelphia Station. The ballpark was not too far from there. I should add that in the 50's many BROOKLYN fans, besides US, went to Philly to see OUR DODGERS. It was so much fun!

    The thing that stands out in my mind are the Philly Fans. For want of a better description, these fans put their team thru HELL! They booed them every chance they got. One player, Del Ennis, their leftfielder in those years, really got the brunt of their fire. WE could never understand WHY they could BOO their OWN TEAM. It used to be that OUR DODGERS had more people (US) cheering for them in Philadelphia than the Phillies had cheering for them. VERY STRANGE PLACE!

    c.

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    • #3
      Not too long ago, Mrs. Ennis revealed that the booing really bothered her husband, Del. Why did the Phillie fans boo Del Ennis? And Deb, did you think that Shibe resembled Ebbets?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by donzblock
        Not too long ago, Mrs. Ennis revealed that the booing really bothered her husband, Del. Why did the Phillie fans boo Del Ennis? And Deb, did you think that Shibe resembled Ebbets?

        Oh yes, Professor, I did!

        There was much about Shibe Park that reminded me of OUR Ebbets Field. The outside looked much like Ebbets, except for the front entrance; where WE had OUR Rotunda, Shibe's looked very European in design. Inside the park, particularly under the stands, almost everything looked exactly liked OUR Ebbets Field. On the field, it did also, although some of the dimensions were different. I think that Shibe Park, along with Fenway Park, Forbes Field, Crosley Field and Sportman's Park, along with OUR Ebbets Field, were built around the same time (1911-1915), which is probably why they all looked somewhat alike.

        One of the things I failed to mention previously was the trip back to OUR hotel (17th/Locust) after the game. Keep in mind this was 1955/1956/1957, but WE passed through some very, very, scary neighborhoods and saw some things that scared US half to death. I will never forget one Friday night WE actually saw a dead body laying in the street, as cars drove by........VERY SCARY! We questioned the cab driver about it, and he told US to ignore it, "it happens all the time".

        As to WHY the Phillies fans booed Del Ennis.....I know WE discussed this a while back, but I forget the details....please enlighten our new audience.

        c.

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        • #5
          Del knocked in over 100 runs every year; he was a solid, dangerous hitter, a bit slow on the basepaths and in the outfield but adequate. He could hurt you, and he definitely did not deserve to be booed by the fans. Neverthelss, he was (and so was Schmidt). Why?

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          • #6
            I can STILL smell the urine-vested aroma of Connie Mack Stadium. The warning track was gravel, a gray gravel, that had to hurt when falling or sliding on it.

            Along the 1B and 3B walls (there was a low, gray-painted concrete wall in front of the first row) there were steel grates over drains. In '68 Richie Allen threw a ball during warmups that came to rest on a grate. I still have it. That night Bobby Wine hurt his back (I didn't see it because a beer man was standing in front of me). At the time there were rumors they'd let him pitch in a game because he had such a strong arm. Surprisingly Cookie Rojas got that chance in a game against the Giants, I believe later that year (he types as he figures he better go check the BB Encyclopedia to confirm his wretched memory). My embellishment for years had Rojas striking out Mays ans popping up McCovery in a very lopsided loss.

            I can tell you this... The Phillies NEVER drew black fans, and justifiably so. But when the Giants and Dodgers came to town, so did the local black baseball fans.

            Anyone have one of those popscorn megaphones with the open bottom that we always wondered why more popcorn didn't fall through?

            And NO ONE, NO ONE, hit more majestic, awesome homers than Richie Allen in that park.

            Pennies hurt when chucked from the LF upper deck at shlubs like Ted Savage!!

            Tony Gonzales was the most overrated defensive OF of all time.

            I was at the Chico Ruiz stole home game that started the worst collapse in sports history in '64. No wonder I'm scarred.

            I still despise Gene Mauch.

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            • #7
              Connie Mack Stadium

              Hi Polo Grounds,

              My dad grew up in Philly before moving to Boston in the early 50's. We used to visit my grandparents at the Jersey Shore every summer. It was either '68 or '69 when my dad decided to take me for a drive up to North Philly so he could see Shibe Park one more time before the Phils moved. I was 9 or 10. The Phils played the Mets. The surrounding neighborhood made more of an impression on me than the ball park. It was scary stuff for a kid whose experience in life to that point was lilly white Boston only. Wow. The stadium was cool looking from the outside. Inside didn't strike me as a whole lot different than Fenway. It was old and dumpy. It smelled like cigars and piss. The fans were miserable to their Phillies.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chief Knockahoma
                Hi Polo Grounds,

                My dad grew up in Philly before moving to Boston in the early 50's. We used to visit my grandparents at the Jersey Shore every summer. It was either '68 or '69 when my dad decided to take me for a drive up to North Philly so he could see Shibe Park one more time before the Phils moved. I was 9 or 10. The Phils played the Mets. The surrounding neighborhood made more of an impression on me than the ball park. It was scary stuff for a kid whose experience in life to that point was lilly white Boston only. Wow. The stadium was cool looking from the outside. Inside didn't strike me as a whole lot different than Fenway. It was old and dumpy. It smelled like cigars and piss. The fans were miserable to their Phillies.
                I'd say piss was the dominant aroma.

                We're still miserable to our team. Imagine your Sox' ownership telling you their goal was to win 85 games, or that they were a small market team (as an excuse for not spending money to win) or that failure was acceptable. Those three recent comments are part and parcel of WHY we are the way we are. Add 10,000 losses and one WS ring to that equation.

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                • #9
                  I was there twice, once in 1951 (on the final day of the season when Jackie Robinson made a spectacular catch )and once in 1958 or 1959 (to see the Giants).

                  Although I was a little boy the first time and a teen the second time, I, too, vividly remember the area leading to the park as being scary. It was a slum by any standard. My Dad and I went, and he was unusally silent during that part of the trip as we drove through.

                  I remember that there was an Acme supermarket across from the park.

                  I agree that the exterior reminded one of Ebbets Field a bit. The interior was dingy.

                  When Phila had riots in 1964, I read in the paper of violence around the park.

                  Within the past two years, I was looking at one of the Phila websites that discussed neighborhoods. One poster, who apparently lives in North Phila, warned visitors to NOT go there unless essential, and then only in the daytime and with security of some sort.

                  I doubt that the Phils could have stayed there under any circumstances.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EbtsFldGuy
                    I was there twice, once in 1951 (on the final day of the season when Jackie Robinson made a spectacular catch )and once in 1958 or 1959 (to see the Giants).

                    Although I was a little boy the first time and a teen the second time, I, too, vividly remember the area leading to the park as being scary. It was a slum by any standard. My Dad and I went, and he was unusally silent during that part of the trip as we drove through.

                    I remember that there was an Acme supermarket across from the park.

                    I agree that the exterior reminded one of Ebbets Field a bit. The interior was dingy.

                    When Phila had riots in 1964, I read in the paper of violence around the park.

                    Within the past two years, I was looking at one of the Phila websites that discussed neighborhoods. One poster, who apparently lives in North Phila, warned visitors to NOT go there unless essential, and then only in the daytime and with security of some sort.

                    I doubt that the Phils could have stayed there under any circumstances.
                    Actually, it was a Penn Fruit supermarket across the street. And the landmark "Phillies" restaurant a few blocks away that my friend's father liked to stop in on every time we went to a game. Today, I beleive he was placing bets in the backroom on our way to the park, undetected by us naive children.

                    The former Connie Mack site is now a Baptist church and is directly across the street from Dobbins Tech (high school) and still in a notoriously bad area but I'd imagine over the next five years that area will be encroached by redevelopment.

                    My most vivid ballgame remembrances were my father picking up a ball thrown by Richie Allen during pre-game that stopped in the drain grate just the other side of the three foot high wall along the infied seats. I still have the ball inscribed by my 13 year-old hands in 1968. The same game was the night Bobby Wine got hurt. The beer man was in front of me went it happened and I never saw it. Up to that point there had been rumors that Wine would get a chance to pitch. He never did, but my next most vivid memory was the night Cookie Rojas did get the chance to pitch in a Giants' blow out of the Phillies. And he pitched quite well striking out Mays and going through the heart of the order.

                    The third event was the Chico Ruiz steal of home that started the 10-game losing streak in September '64. Don't ask me what I had for breakfast, but I still remember leaving mom's blue cooler under my seat that night, never to be seen again.

                    Anyone who went the games in the mid to late '60s will attest to the unbelievable mammoth homers Richie Allen hit in that place using what by today's standards would equate to a tree trunk for a bat. I believe it was a 45 ouncer. In those days hitters didn't subscribe to the bat speed theorum of hitting.

                    Yes, I'm scarred.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=johncap]Actually, it was a Penn Fruit supermarket across the street.

                      At least in 1951, it was an Acme market, with the ivory background and blue paint. It struck me when I saw it because an Acme had recently opened a mile from my home in NY. Acme was (is?) a PA based chain, I believe. While Acme is long gone from NY, it may still be in business elsewhere.

                      Perhaps it became a Penn Fruit later.

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                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=EbtsFldGuy]
                        Originally posted by johncap
                        Actually, it was a Penn Fruit supermarket across the street.

                        At least in 1951, it was an Acme market, with the ivory background and blue paint. It struck me when I saw it because an Acme had recently opened a mile from my home in NY. Acme was (is?) a PA based chain, I believe. While Acme is long gone from NY, it may still be in business elsewhere.

                        Perhaps it became a Penn Fruit later.
                        I guess it could have been but in the '60s it was actually offices as well for Penn Fruit. There was a huge, at leasst relatively to me being a pre-teen, neon Penn Fruit sign up on top facing the ballpark. The parking lot, perhaps 30 cars, was probably the largest actual lot in the whole area.

                        Acme is still here in name but was acquired some years back by Albertsons and then Albertsons itself was acquired a year or so ago so Acme has changed hands a few times over the years since it was purely a Philly operation.

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                        • #13
                          My only Connie Mack game was in Aug. '67 vs. the Cubs. Richie Allen made a late inning error to allow the Cubs to tie the game. He came up to the plate in extra innings to a smattering of boos which instantly changed to cheers when he drilled one over the scoreboard just to the right of dead-center field sending everyone home happy. What a moonshot!

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                          • #14
                            Is there any commemoration on the site of Connie Mack of the fact that the Phils (and A's) once played there?

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                            • #15
                              Fans of Shibe Park and its neighborhood will find intersting the essay by a college student contained in the link below. It gives a perspective, over a broad span of time, of the area, and the factors contributing to its present state. Also speaks of what the demise of Shibe Park meant to North Philadelphia.

                              http://members.aol.com/glassjaw49/ShibePark.html

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