Connie Mack Stadium
|Team: Philadelphia Athletics (AL 1909 - 1954), Philadelphia Phillies (NL 1938 - 1970)||Capacity: 20,000 (1909), 33,608 (1961)|
|Opening Day: April 12, 1909||Closing Day: October 1, 1970|
|First Night Game: May 16, 1939||Dimensions: LF 360, CF 515, RF 360 (1909) LF 334, CF 410, RF 329 (1970)|
|Cost: $457,167.61 ($141,918.92 for land and $315,248.69 for stadium)||Owner: Athletics Grounds Co.|
|Architect and Construction: William Steele and Sons||Razed: June 1976|
|AKA: Shibe Park|
Connie Mack Stadium, named after the long time manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, was named that in 1953. Previously it was called Shibe Park after Ben Shibe, an A's stockholder and baseball manufacturer. This was the first concrete and steel park built. It paved the way for Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and others.
The park had a beautiful French Renaissance tower behind home plate, which housed Mack's office. This was one of the many renovations done to this park that included double-decking it and adding left field stands in 1925. A mezzanine was added in 1929 along with other improvements.
In 1935, Connie Mack sued 20th street residents for sitting on their roofs and watching the game for free. He lost the suit so he installed a "spite wall" to block their view. This wall was 50 feet tall, 13 feet higher than the Green Monster.
In 1956 the scoreboard, taken from Yankee Stadium, was installed. Balls hitting the 75 foot tall clock were homeruns, while balls hitting anywhere below the top of the 60 foot tall Ballantine Beer sign were in play. The only ball to clear that scoreboard was hit by Richie "Dick" Allen. Update: I received an e-mail from a person with a first hand account that on May 28, 1965 Wes Covington hit one over the board, and clock, as well.
Home plate was moved to Veteran's Stadium. In June, 1976, while the All Star Stadium was being played on one the south side of Philadelphia, in Veteran's Stadium, Connie Mack Stadium was being torn down in the north side.
Phillies retired number and the year it was retired:
© 2003-05 Paul Healey. Photographs of the old stadium and Connie Mack © their owners. Used without permission.