|Team: Philadelphia Phillies||Capacity: 18,800 (1930)|
|Opening Day: April 30, 1887||Closing Day: June 30, 1938|
|Dimensions: LF 341, CF 408, RF 272-280||Surface: grass|
|Cost: $80,000||Owner: Philadelphia Phillies|
|Burned: August 6, 1894||Razed: 1950|
|AKA: Philadelphia Baseball Grounds, National League Park, Huntingdon Grounds|
When this park first opened up, it took over over the spot that Lakefront Park in Chicago held, best park in the country. When this park was abandoned, it was by far the worst park in game. The Baker Bowl was named after Phillies owner William F. Baker. It was also called The Hump because it sat on top of a elevated piece of land so a railroad tunnel could run under center field. (UPDATE: Research has shown that the train tracks went under the clubhouse, not the field). This park has a strange history. Other than baseball, it had been used for a circus, horse diving, grazing ground for three sheep and a ram (between games), donkey baseball, midget auto racing, crusades, police and fire department parades, roller skating ice skating, and the Alpine Music Bar.
In 1923, 11-year-old Reuben Berman was detained overnight for keeping a baseball hit into the bleachers and refused to give it up. The judge ruled that "a boy who gets a baseball in the bleachers to take home as a souvineer is acting on the natural impulse of all boys and is not guilty of larceny." As a result, you can now keep that ball hit into the stands.
This park had a knack for falling apart. It burned down in 1894 and the Phillies had to play at the University of Pennsylvania Athletic Field. It cost $80,000 to rebuild the park and an additional $40,000 worth of improvements were done. On August 8, 1903, the second part of a double header had to be cancelled because the third base stands collapsed into 15th Street, killing 12 people and injuring 232. A fight had broken out behind the left field stands, and many fans rushed onto the stands to witness it. In 1915, extra seats were added in center field for the last game of the World Series. The Phillies lost. On May 14, 1927, 10 rows of the right field stands collapsed. Also, lightning split a flagpole in half in 1935.
No ball was ever hit over the center field clubhouse, but Roger Hornsby hit one through one of the clubhouse windows. This park was abandoned for Connie Mack Stadium in 1938 and torn down in 1950.
© 2003-17 Paul Healey.