Crosley Field

Crosley Field was a Major League Baseball park in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was the home field of the National League's Cincinnati Reds from 1912 through June 24, 1970, and the original Cincinnati Bengals football team, members of the second (1937) and third American Football League (1940–41). It was not the original home of the current NFL franchise of the same name - the home of those Bengals in 1968 and 1969 was nearby Nippert Stadium, located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Crosley Field was on an asymmetrical block bounded by Findlay Street (south), Western Avenue (northeast, angling), Dalton Avenue (east), York Street (north) and McLean Avenue (west) in the Queensgate section of the city. Crosley has the distinction of being the first major-league park with lights for playing night games.

The "Findlay and Western" intersection was the home field of the Reds from 1884 until mid-season 1970, when the team moved to Riverfront Stadium. The location of the diamond and consequently the main grandstand seating area was shifted several times during the 86½ seasons that the Reds played at the site. Three different parks stood there:

1884–1901: League Park
1902–1911: Palace of the Fans
1912–1970: Redland Field, renamed Crosley Field in 1934
Crosley Field
The Old Boomerang
Schwab's Field
Findlay & Western
Crosley Field
Former namesRedland Field (1912–1933)
LocationFindlay Street and Dalton Avenue, Cincinnati
Coordinates39°7′0″N 84°32′7″W / 39.11667°N 84.53528°WCoordinates: 39°7′0″N 84°32′7″W / 39.11667°N 84.53528°W
OwnerCincinnati Reds
OperatorCincinnati Reds
Capacity20,696 (1912–1926)
26,060 (1927–1937)
29,401 (1938–1946)
30,101 (1947–1950)
29,980 (1951–1952)
29,439 (1953–1955)
29,584 (1956–1958)
30,322 (1959–1963)
29,603 (1964–1969)
29,488 (1970)[1]
Field size1912
Left Field — 360 feet (110 m)
Left-Center — 380 feet (116 m)
Center Field — 420 feet (128 m)
Right-Center — 383 feet (117 m)
Right Field — 360 feet (110 m)
Backstop — 38 feet (12 m)
1958
Left Field — 328 feet (100 m)
Left-Center — 380 feet (116 m)
Center Field — 387 feet (118 m)
Right-Center — 383 feet (117 m)
Right Field — 366 feet (112 m)
Backstop — 78 feet (24 m)
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke ground1911
OpenedApril 11, 1912
ClosedJune 24, 1970
DemolishedApril 19, 1972
Construction costUS$225,000
($5.84 million in 2018 dollars[2])
ArchitectHarry Hake
Tenants
Cincinnati Reds (MLB) (1912–1970)
Cincinnati Reds (NFL) (1933–1934)
Cincinnati Bengals (AFL) (1937 and 1941–1943)
Cincinnati Tigers (NAL) (1937)
Cincinnati Buckeyes (NAL) (1942)
Cincinnati Clowns (NAL) (1943–1945)

History

Redland Field
Redland Field c. 1920

Rebuilding

Between the 1911 and 1912 seasons, the entire seating area of the Palace of the Fans as well as the remaining seating from the original League Park were demolished. They were replaced with the third steel-and-concrete stadium in the National League. It consisted of a double-deck grandstand around the diamond, positioned in the southwest corner of the lot. Beyond first and third base were single-deck covered pavilions extended to the corners, with bleachers in the right field area. The unusual angle of the covered areas down the lines, and behind home plate gave that area a distinctive "V" shape, giving rise to one of several nicknames the park had, "The Old Boomerang."

Redland Field, whose name was a reference to the Reds' name and color, was built for $225,000 by Harry Hake Sr.'s architectural firm. It was one of many classic steel and concrete ballparks constructed during the first ballpark boom era of 1909–1923. Chicago's Wrigley Field and Boston's Fenway Park were also built during this era and remain in use today. Although occupying the site since 1884, the Reds dated their ballpark from the permanent structure opened in 1912.

Throughout its history, Redland/Crosley Field was usually among the smallest parks in the major leagues. It accommodated 25,000 fans in 1912; even at its peak, it barely exceeded 30,000 seats, excluding temporary seating areas created for opening day and World Series games. Contributing to this was the fact that there were no bleachers in left or center fields; all outfield seating (about 4,500 seats), were in the semi-trapezoid-shaped right field stands that came to be known as the "Sun Deck" (or, in the case of night games, the "Moon Deck").

Groundskeeper Mathias "Matty" Schwab, who had been hired in 1894, had the sod laid just in time for the Reds' first game at the new park, April 11, 1912. In the game, the Reds rallied from a 5–0 deficit to defeat the Chicago Cubs 10–6, the same team that had opened and closed at the Palace in 1902 and 1911 respectively. Schwab would be the Reds' groundkeeper until he retired at age 83 in 1963.

The Reds' on-field success continued to be sparse most of the time, but the club won the National League pennant in 1919, the franchise's first league title in 37 years, going back to the AA inaugural season. It was also the 50th anniversary of the Cincinnati Red Stockings' historic tour, and was a celebratory occasion for Cincinnati fans, especially when they scored an upset win over the Chicago White Sox in the World Series. The win was tainted by the fact, made public a year later, that the Series had been "thrown" by the heavily favored Sox. The Reds gradually returned to mediocrity and attendance flagged.

Crosley and lights

When local businessman Powel Crosley Jr. bought the struggling Reds in 1934, team president Larry MacPhail insisted that the ballpark be renamed in honor of the man many thought had rescued the franchise. Thus, the park was renamed "Crosley Field", and Crosley himself took the opportunity to advertise his Crosley cars. Under Crosley's ownership, the park underwent notable structural renovations.

Crosley Field from behind home plate
Crosley's lights are visible in this photo, taken in the late 1940s.

With the effects of the Great Depression in Cincinnati, the Reds convinced baseball owners to allow night baseball at Crosley Field. Without lights, Larry MacPhail insisted, the team would fold because of low attendance. Lights had been installed in a number of Minor League baseball parks in the early 1930s, with positive results. The major league owners acquiesced; 632 individual lamps in eight metal stanchions were erected and on May 24, 1935, the Reds hosted the Philadelphia Phillies under the lights. In attendance at the game was Ford Frick, President of the National League. In the White House, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a button that lit up Crosley Field, where a crowd of 20,422 fans, sizable for a last-place team in the middle of the Great Depression, came out to watch the game. Lou Chiozza was the leadoff man for the Phillies and thus has the distinction of being the first player to bat under the lights in a night game in the majors. The Reds won the game 2–1 behind right-hander Paul Derringer.

The sixth night game at Crosley Field was particularly notable for its wildness. The visiting St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds' rival and the defending World Series champions, were in town, and the fans showed up in droves. As the game progressed, the throng of Reds fans forced people onto the field of play which caused mass confusion for the police and umpires. (This was during a time in baseball when overflow crowds were often allowed to sit or stand on the fringes of the playing field.) Reds manager Chuck Dressen could only follow the game via the scoreboard. At one point, he was heard to say: "I see the Cardinals got a run — but I don't know how they got it".

During a lull in the eighth inning, a local burlesque performer named Kitty Burke came out of the crowd, picked up the Reds outfielder Floyd "Babe" Herman's bat, stepped into the batter's box, and dared the Cardinals' starter, Paul "Daffy" Dean, to throw her a pitch. He accommodated Burke with a soft toss; Burke grounded weakly to first base. The "pinch hit" appearance was never recorded as an official at bat, of course, but nonetheless, Burke began promoting herself as the first woman in major league history. Allegedly, the Reds gave her a uniform.

The late 1930s finally brought some prosperity to the club again, along with some changes to the ballpark. After the 1937 season, home plate was moved 20 feet toward center field, decreasing the park's outfield dimensions while expanding foul ground. Left field was reduced from 339 to 328 feet; right field from 377 to 366 feet; and the deepest part of center field, at the corner of the Sun Deck, was reduced from 407 to 387 feet.

The following summer, Crosley was the host site for Cincinnati's first Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In the middle of a pennant winning season of 1939, their first in 20 years, the Reds added roofed upper decks to the left and right side pavilions. This gave Crosley Field some 5,000 additional seats and the appearance it would retain for the rest of its existence. The Reds lost the World Series to the powerful New York Yankees in 1939, but would bounce back to win the pennant again in 1940, and defeat the Detroit Tigers in a seven-game thriller.

Later years

Crosley Field 1969
Crosley Field on August 16, 1969 during its final full season. Note the Coca-Cola ad behind the bleachers, and a Pepsi logo outside the park

By the 1950s, the Reds were back to mediocrity, but they had some sluggers, including the muscle-bound Ted Kluszewski, who took full advantage of Crosley's cozy dimensions. Crosley Field again hosted the All-Star Game in 1953.

After a poor season in 1960, the "Ragamuffin Reds" put everything together in 1961 and won the National League pennant, an effort documented in pitcher Jim Brosnan's book, Pennant Race. The dream season ended for the Reds at the hand of the Yankees, whose slugging duo of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle had demolished the rest of the American League. Maris, who had set a record with 61 home runs that season, also knocked one into the Moon Deck in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the World Series.

Crosley Field was the site of the major leagues' first save, after the save became an official statistic in 1969. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Bill Singer earned the save on April 7, 1969, in the season-opener, working three scoreless innings after taking over for Dodgers starting and winning pitcher Don Drysdale. Singer did not allow a hit, walking one batter and striking out one, as the Dodgers beat the Reds, 3–2.[3]

The Reds would continue to be a frequent contender, gradually building up toward what would become known as the "Big Red Machine". By the time the Reds reached that peak, though, Crosley would be but a memory.

Crosley Field's decline had begun in earnest in the mid-1950s with the automobile supplanting the train as the main method of transportation. The ballpark was located in the dense west end. Businesses (such as the Superior Towel and Linen Service, a.k.a. "The Laundry", as well as a large factory) bounded the park on three sides. The neighborhood was not suited for the automobile; parking increasingly became a major problem in the last 15 years of Crosley Field's existence, as did crime — especially during night games.

Around 1960, Powel Crosley was courted by a group seeking to return a National League franchise to New York City to replace the Dodgers and the Giants, who had moved to Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively after the 1957 season. The moves left the American League Yankees as the city's sole baseball team. Crosley was unwilling to move. However, he died the following year and his estate sold the team a few months later to Bill DeWitt, who kept Crosley's name on the park.

Complicating matters was that legendary football coach Paul Brown, the founder of the Cleveland Browns, who had been deposed by new owner Art Modell in 1963, was wanting to get back into professional football. He was granted an American Football League franchise for Cincinnati, the Bengals. A contingency of that agreement was that an appropriate facility be ready by the time the 1970 National Football League season began, which would be the first season that the AFL was fully merged with the NFL.

Crosley Field
Aerial view of Crosley Field c. 1970.

An agreement was struck to build a multi-purpose facility on the dilapidated riverfront section of the city. Riverfront Stadium seated about 60,000 people and was deemed a logical solution to a myriad of problems. The Reds were part of that agreement, and Crosley Field's end was in sight.

It was believed that the Sunday, September 28, 1969 game against the Houston Astros, which was that year's last home game for the Reds (who won 4–1), would be the final game ever at Crosley Field. However, delays in final construction of Riverfront Stadium, led to the Reds opening the 1970 season at Findlay and Western, against the Montreal Expos. New additions to the Reds that season were figures who would become Reds legends: manager George Lee "Sparky" Anderson and shortstop Dave Concepción, who had actually been signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent in 1967 as a pitcher. The 1970 Reds were pennant-bound, but Crosley Field did not figure into that event.

The Reds' last game at Crosley Field was played on June 24, 1970, against the San Francisco Giants. With the Reds trailing Juan Marichal and the Giants 4–3 in the eighth inning, catcher Johnny Bench tied the game on a solo home run. The next batter, first baseman Lee May won it on a solo home run of his own. The ninth inning was a relatively easy one for Reds reliever Wayne Granger; Bobby Bonds grounded out to first base.

One of the highlights of the closing festivities was mayor Eugene P. Ruehlmann taking home plate out of the ground and taking it via helicopter (which had landed on the field), to Riverfront Stadium and installing it in the artificial turf. After a brief road trip to Houston, which saw them sweep the Houston Astros, they returned to Cincinnati and opened Riverfront Stadium against the Atlanta Braves. They lost 8–2.

The Terrace

CrosleyField1968
The Crosley Field scoreboard with the Longines clock and the left field terrace. This photo was taken during the first game of a Reds/St. Louis Cardinals doubleheader on June 9, 1968. The Reds' Alex Johnson is the player shown here in left field, and, according to the scoreboard information, Lou Brock is at bat. Brock hit a fly ball to center for the second out, but the next nine Cardinals reached base safely, scoring ten runs. The Cards won the game 10-8.[4]

As previously noted, Crosley Field was usually among the smallest parks in Major League Baseball, both in seating capacity and playing field size.

Probably the most notable (or infamous) feature of Crosley Field otherwise was the fifteen-degree left field incline, called "the terrace". Terraces were not unusual in old ballparks. Most of them were constructed as a way to make up the difference between field level and street level on a sloping block, and most of them were leveled out ("Duffy's Cliff" at Fenway Park and Left Field bump at Wrigley Field are two examples).

The story of the Crosley Terrace is the reverse of the long-departed "Duffy's Cliff". There was no terrace in evidence during the ballpark's days as the Palace, which had a fairly high wall whose base was below street level. The terrace came about when the new ballpark was constructed for 1912. The club received permission to expand the playing field, by way of the city closing the eastbound lane of York Street. Instead of building a very high wall and retaining a level playing field, the club built a somewhat shorter wall with its base at roughly street level, with the sloping terrace making up the difference in grade.

As baseball boomed during the 1920s, many clubs built additional seating in their once-spacious outfield areas. The outfield area at Findlay and Western was already small, so building inner bleachers was not practical, and the Crosley terrace persisted and became one of the park's trademarks. It was used, as Duffy's Cliff had been, for temporary spectator seating, in the days when standing-room-only crowds would be allowed at the fringes of the field behind ropes. The terrace also served as a warning track, in lieu of the more typical dirt or gravel warning tracks that began to appear at most other ballparks by the 1950s. The slope was at least as much warning to an outfielder as a flat track was. Although the terrace was most prominent in left field, it extended clear across the outfield.

In later years, box seats were added to the terrace in the left field corner, in foul ground, directly facing the infield as the fair-territory seating once had. At the north end of the box-seat aisle, behind the corner boxes, and visible in some photos, was a stairway up to a roll-up exit gate to York Street. Another roll-up exit gate was on the center field side of the scoreboard. The terrace was shallower there, with a shorter flight of stairs up to Western Avenue.

There was a low fence in front of the left-center stairway (and the flagpole) which led to one of the two posted ground rules. The one on the low fence read, "Batted ball remaining back of barrier - 2 base hit. Bouncing out - in play." In building the new scoreboard for the 1957 season, that corner was reconfigured, eliminating the need for that short barrier and the ground rule. The other, more famous posted ground rule in the right-center field corner above the 387 sign (later 390) read, "Batted ball hitting wall on fly to right of white line - home run."

The Crosley terrace was not nearly as extreme as the terrace at Nashville's Sulphur Dell, but it still frustrated many outfielders, mostly left fielders and mostly from visiting teams. Babe Ruth was victimized by it on May 28, 1935, playing for the Boston Braves in his brief final season. He was headed for the Hall of Fame, but one day as Ruth was headed up the Crosley terrace, he fell down on his face. Less dramatically, Yogi Berra had to negotiate the terrace on a Frank Robinson double in Game 3 of the 1961 World Series.

Crosley Field LF terrace 1946
The terrace in 1946.

Frank Robinson, however, loved it. In the early 1990s, when the Baltimore Orioles were planning their future home, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Robinson, an Orioles executive and one-time Reds star, unsuccessfully lobbied to get the team to install a terrace in left field.

When the Houston Astros' new facility, Enron Field, was being built, a prominent addition to the field was a 30° center field incline with a flagpole, which was dubbed "Tal's Hill" in reference to its proponent, Astros executive Tal Smith. However, like many terraces of the past, it too has been removed and replaced with seating.

To commemorate their Crosley Field years, the main entrance of the Cincinnati Reds' new park, Great American Ball Park, features a monument called "Crosley Terrace" that features inclines and statues of Crosley-era stars Joe Nuxhall, Ernie Lombardi, Ted Kluszewski, and Frank Robinson. References to the terrace are also visible. This monument was designed by architecture firm Populous and sculptor Tom Tsuchiya.

Other uses

Through much of its history, Crosley Field was used for other events besides Cincinnati Reds baseball games.

The Negro Leagues' Cincinnati Tigers in 1936 and 1937 called Crosley home.

The original 1937 Cincinnati Bengals football team played home games there.

During World War I, the city's police force staged a review at Redland Field on October 17, 1917.

On August 21, 1966, Crosley Field hosted The Beatles, who were in the midst of their final American and Canadian tour. The concert had been scheduled for the previous day, but was rained out.

On June 13, 1970, Crosley Field hosted The Cincinnati Pop Festival. The band lineup included: The Stooges, Mountain, Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper, Traffic, Mighty Quick, Bob Seger, Mott The Hoople, Ten Years After, Bloodrock, Savage Grace, Brownsville Station, Zephyr, Damnation Of Adam Blessing, and John Drakes Shakedown.

Other events held there included a Roy Rogers rodeo, a political rally for Wendell Willkie, and even an Ice Capades show.

After the Reds

After the 1970 season, the Cincinnati Reds and the city, which had agreed to buy Crosley Field, were at an impasse over how much Crosley Field was worth. The Reds wanted $3.5 million; the city countered with a $1.5 million offer. Eventually the case went to court. The city contended that since Crosley Field's playing field was extremely depressed, it would need to be filled — a costly and time-consuming affair. The Reds countered that since Interstate 75 ran by it, the site would become premium real estate, and they should be fairly compensated for the increase in value. They also brought in an expert witness: Peter Edward Rose. Rose espoused the positives of Crosley Field.

Eventually, a jury set the sale price at $2.5 million. After the sale was made official, the city turned the park into an auxiliary auto impound lot while the Queensgate project was finalized.[5] Ironically, given the parking shortage for many years, Crosley had itself become a parking lot. Two years later, the demolition of Crosley Field began in earnest. The lights were dismantled and relocated to various recreation areas in the city.[6] The park was soon gutted; seats sold for $10 and fans and present and former club employees scrounged for mementos. On April 19, 1972, Pete Rose, Jr. pulled a lever that sent a wrecking ball into the side of Crosley Field. By autumn, just the faint outline of the grandstand remained.

Today, seven buildings occupy the site and a street runs through it. The former site of home plate has been painted in an alley.[7] The old left field terrace area is now a parking lot, but it's still distinguishable due to its slope and its location next to York Street. Dalton Street, which formerly dead-ended into Findlay Street, was extended through the former field of play.

Rebirth

In 1974, Larry Luebbers of Union, Kentucky, built a replica of the Crosley Field playing field on his farm. To that, he added memorabilia that he had harvested during Crosley's demolition, such as seats, signage, and the old Crosley ticket booth; painted advertising on the fences; and opened it for the Cincinnati Suds professional softball team, which he also owned. However, by 1984, it was gone, too. Luebbers was forced to sell his farm to pay off his creditors. Luebbers' son, Larry Luebbers, played for the Reds and several other clubs in the 1990s.[8]

At about the time Larry Luebbers' Crosley re-creation failed, Marvin Thompson, then city manager of the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash, came up with the idea to make one of the ballfields of a planned community sports complex a re-creation of Crosley Field. Administrative aide Mark Rohr was put in charge. He tracked down memorabilia for the park; what he couldn't find was often donated by fans. Items such as usher's uniforms, signage, rooftop pennants, and a field microphone were given to the new project, which opened in 1988 with an Old Timer's game (which has since been discontinued). The scoreboard, which is a re-creation, carries information from the final game at the old park. The field also has a white wall with "CROSLEY FIELD" in red letters in the appropriate font. This re-creation was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews from fans old enough to remember the real park, as well as many retired Reds players such as Pete Rose, Joe Nuxhall, and Jim O'Toole. A wall features a number of plaques commemorating Crosley-era Reds greats. Additionally, 400 seats from the original field were installed at the Blue Ash replica.

In an interview with author Greg Rhodes, Rohr, who wasn't a baseball fan when the project began, stated: "Sometimes I have a hard time understanding the people who come and stare at this place with tears in their eyes; a woman actually hugged the ticket booth and kissed it". The field is also used regularly by teams in various levels of play. Moeller High School's Varsity Baseball team plays its home games at Crosley.

Home runs

Crosley Field was known as a hitter-friendly park, though it was less so in its early days when the diamond was farther from the fences.

  • The first over-the-fence home run struck at Redland/Crosley Field was by outfielder Pat Duncan on June 2, 1921.
  • Ernie Lombardi once hit a home run that landed in a truck traveling beyond the outfield fence. The truck carried the ball for 30 miles. Writers facetiously called this the "longest home run" in history.
  • The Goat Run, additional rows of seats which decreased the right field porch from 366 feet (111.5 m) to 342 feet (104.2 m), was added specifically for slugging, sleeveless left-handed batter Ted Kluszewski, presumably to increase his home run total. However, "Klu" rarely hit home runs in the area and it was removed after the 1958 season. Crosley's normal right field layout had the rare element of a foul line farther away (366) than the power alley (360); this meant that balls hit down the right-field line "died" in the corner, with the batter often getting a triple, due to the long distance to third base from right field.
  • The scoreboard in left-center field was a major impediment to home-run hitting. At 55 ft (16.8 m) tall, and entirely in play (yellow lines appeared on walls many years later), many hits that would be home runs anywhere else became two-base hits, bouncing back to the outfielder. A sign to the right side of the clock at the very top of the scoreboard offered a free suit from a local tailor to any Reds player to hit the sign. Small consolation for a near miss on a home run.
  • On June 10, 1967, Houston outfielder Jimmy Wynn hit a home run to center, onto future I-75. This shot has been portrayed in many films and television shows.

Flood

In 1937, the Mill Creek flooded, submerging the field under 20 feet (6.1 m) of water.[9] As a lark, Reds pitcher Lee Grissom and the team's traveling secretary, John McDonald, got into a rowboat and entered Crosley Field over the left field fence and rowed to the area of the pitcher's mound. There was a photographer present, of course, and the picture has been well-circulated since then. For example, it can be seen on p. 40–41 of Lost Ballparks, by Lawrence Ritter.

Neighbors

Across the left field wall on York Street, a sign on the Superior Towel and Linen Service plant advertised a downtown clothier, Seibler Suits, which rewarded any player hitting the sign with a suit. Wally Post, who won 11, led the Reds in this unofficial statistical category; Willie Mays led all visitors with seven. Its demolition in the early-1960s netted 38 parking spaces.

References

  1. ^ "Crosley Field". Ballparks.com. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  2. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  3. ^ The editors of the Sporting News (1992). Baseball A Doubleheader Collection of Facts, Feats, & Firsts. St. Louis, Mo.: The Sporting News Publishing Co. ISBN 0-88365-785-6.
  4. ^ "June 9, 1968 St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. 1968-06-09. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  5. ^ "Strange sight". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). (AP photo). November 25, 1971. p. 70.
  6. ^ "Crosley Field lights move". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 3, 1972. p. 30.
  7. ^ "Site of Crosley Field as it is today". The Cincinnati Enquirer. April 5, 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Larry Luebbers". Retrosheet.org. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  9. ^ Winternitz, Felix; DeVroomen Bellman, Sacha (2007). Insiders' Guide to Cincinnati. Globe Pequot. p. 35. Retrieved May 8, 2013.

Bibliography

  • The editors of the Sporting News (1992). Baseball A Doubleheader Collection of Facts, Feats, & Firsts. St. Louis, Mo.: The Sporting News Publishing Co. ISBN 0-88365-785-6..
  • Cincinnati's Crosley Field: The Illustrated History of a Classic Ballpark by Greg Rhodes and John Erardi, 1995, Road West Publishing
  • Baseball Library.com
  • Green Cathedrals, by Phil Lowry, 1992
  • Baseball Parks of North America, by Michael Benson, 1989
  • The Cincinnati Reds, by Lee Allen, Putnam, 1948.

External links

1912 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1912 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League with a record of 75–78, 29 games behind the New York Giants. This was the inaugural year of the Reds' new stadium, Redland Field, later known as Crosley Field.

1938 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1938 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the sixth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 6, 1938, at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of the Cincinnati Reds of the National League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–1.

1940 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1940 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball that represented the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati entered the season as the reigning National League champions, having been swept by the New York Yankees in the World Series. Cincinnati won 100 games for the first time in franchise history. The team went 100-53 during the season, best in MLB. The team finished first in the National League with a record of 100–53, winning the pennant by 12 games over the Brooklyn Dodgers. They went on to face the Detroit Tigers in the 1940 World Series, beating them in seven games. This was their first championship since 1919.

1953 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1953 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 20th playing of the mid-summer classic between the All-Stars teams of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 14 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, home of the Cincinnati Redlegs of the National League. The team changed its name from Reds to Redlegs this season, during the height of anti-communism in the United States; it returned to the Reds six years later.

This was the second All-Star Game at Crosley Field, which had previously hosted fifteen years earlier in 1938. This game was originally scheduled for Braves Field in Boston, which had hosted in 1936. When the Braves relocated to Milwaukee in mid-March, the game was awarded to Cincinnati.

1955 Cincinnati Redlegs season

The 1955 Cincinnati Redlegs season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Redlegs finishing in fifth place in the National League, with a record of 75–79, 23½ games behind the NL and World Series Champion Brooklyn Dodgers. The Redlegs were managed by Birdie Tebbetts and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1957 Cincinnati Redlegs season

The 1957 Cincinnati Redlegs season consisted of the Redlegs finishing in fourth place in the National League, with a record of 80–74, 15 games behind the NL and World Series Champion Milwaukee Braves. The Redlegs were managed by Birdie Tebbetts and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1959 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1959 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in a fifth-place tie with the Chicago Cubs in the National League standings, with a record of 74–80, 13 games behind the NL and World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Prior to the season the club, after calling themselves the Cincinnati Redlegs for the past six seasons, changed its nickname back to the Reds. The Reds played their home games at Crosley Field.

1960 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1960 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in sixth place in the National League standings, with a record of 67–87, 28 games behind the National League and World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Reds were managed by Fred Hutchinson and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1961 World Series

The 1961 World Series matched the New York Yankees (109–53) against the Cincinnati Reds (93–61), with the Yankees winning in five games to earn their 19th championship in 39 seasons. This World Series was surrounded by Cold War political puns pitting the "Reds" against the "Yanks." But the louder buzz concerned the "M&M" boys, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, who spent the summer chasing the ghost of Babe Ruth and his 60–home run season of 1927. Mantle finished with 54 while Maris set the record of 61 on the last day of the season. With all the attention surrounding the home run race, the World Series seemed almost anticlimatic.

The Yankees were under the leadership of first-year manager Ralph Houk, who succeeded Casey Stengel. The Yankees won the American League pennant, finishing eight games better than the Detroit Tigers. The Bronx Bombers also set a Major League record for most home runs in a season with 240. Along with Maris and Mantle, four other Yankees, Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, Bill Skowron, and Johnny Blanchard, hit more than 20 home runs. The pitching staff was also led by Cy Young Award-winner Whitey Ford (25–4, 3.21).

The underdog Reds, skippered by Fred Hutchinson, finished four games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League and boasted four 20-plus home run hitters of their own: NL MVP Frank Robinson, Gordy Coleman, Gene Freese and Wally Post. The second-base, shortstop, and catcher positions were platooned, while center fielder Vada Pinson led the league in hits with 208 and finished second in batting with a .343 average. Joey Jay (21–10, 3.53) led the staff, along with dependable Jim O'Toole and Bob Purkey.

The American League added two teams, the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators, through expansion and also increased teams' respective schedules by eight games to 162. The National League was a year away from its own expansion as the Reds and the other NL teams maintained the 154-game schedule.

The Most Valuable Player Award for the series went to lefty Whitey Ford, who won two games while throwing 14 shutout innings.

Ford left the sixth inning of Game 4 due to an injured ankle. He set the record for consecutive scoreless innings during World Series play with 32, when, during the third inning he passed the previous record holder, Babe Ruth, who had pitched ​29 2⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox in 1916 and 1918. Ford would extend that record to ​33 2⁄3 in the 1962 World Series.

The 1961 five-game series was the shortest since 1954, when the New York Giants swept the Cleveland Indians in four games.

These two teams would meet again 15 years later in the 1976 World Series, which the Reds would win in a four-game sweep.

1963 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1963 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Cincinnati Reds finishing in fifth place in the National League with a record of 86–76, 13 games behind the NL and World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds were managed by Fred Hutchinson and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1965 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1965 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in fourth place in the National League, with a record of 89–73, eight games behind the NL and World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds were managed by Dick Sisler and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1967 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1967 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in fourth place in the National League with a record of 87–75, 14½ games behind the NL and World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds were managed by Dave Bristol and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1968 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1968 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds finishing in fourth in the National League, with a record of 83–79, 14 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds were managed by Dave Bristol and played their home games at Crosley Field. The team had 5,767 at bats, a single season National League record.

1969 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1969 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds finishing in third place in the newly established National League West, four games behind the NL West champion Atlanta Braves. The Reds were managed by Dave Bristol, and played their home games at Crosley Field, which was in its final full season of operation, before moving into their new facility in the middle of the following season.

Cincinnati Tigers

The Cincinnati Tigers were a professional Negro league baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Tigers were founded in 1934 by DeHart Hubbard, the first African American to win an individual Olympic gold medal when he won the long jump during the 1924 Summer Olympics. In 1937, the Tigers joined the Negro American League in its inaugural season. Using Cincinnati Reds hand-me-down uniforms, the Tigers played at Crosley Field. The Tigers folded after the 1937 season.

Kitty Burke

Kitty Burke was a nightclub entertainer from Cincinnati, Ohio who was noted for being the only female to ever attempt to bat in a Major League Baseball game, albeit unofficially.On July 31, 1935, Burke was sitting in the stands at Crosley Field during a game between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals when she began heckling the players. In what may have been a publicity stunt, she then strode to the on-deck circle, took Babe Herman's bat and proceeded to "pinch hit". She ended up grounding out to first base; however, the appearance was purely informal, and the umpires did not count this as an official at bat or out, as she was not on the roster. Allegedly, the Reds later gave her a uniform which she used while performing her act.

List of Chicago Cubs Opening Day starting pitchers

The Chicago Cubs are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Chicago that plays in the National League Central division. In the history of the franchise, it has also played under the names Chicago White Stockings, Chicago Colts and Chicago Orphans. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Cubs have used 68 different starting pitchers on Opening Day since they first became a Major League team in 1876. The Cubs have a record of 74 wins, 60 losses and 2 ties in their Opening Day games.

The Cubs have played in seven different home ball parks. They have played at their current home, Wrigley Field, since 1916. They have a record of 22 wins, 21 losses and 1 tie in Opening Day games at Wrigley Field. They had an Opening Day record of six wins, one loss and one tie at their other home ball parks, for a total home record in Opening Day games of 28 wins, 22 losses and 2 ties. Their record in Opening Day away games is 46 wins and 38 losses.

Ferguson Jenkins holds the Cubs record for most Opening Day starts with seven, in which his record was two wins, two losses and three no decisions. Carlos Zambrano has made six Opening Day starts. Larry Corcoran, Clark Griffith, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Charlie Root and Rick Sutcliffe have each made five Opening Day starts for the Cubs. Orval Overall, Lon Warneke, Bob Rush, Larry Jackson and Rick Reuschel each made four Opening Day starts for the Cubs, and Bill Hutchinson, Jon Lieber, Claude Passeau, Jack Taylor and Hippo Vaughn each made three such starts.

Five Cubs' Opening Day starting pitchers have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Griffith, Alexander, Jenkins, Al Spalding and John Clarkson. In addition, 300–game winner Greg Maddux was the Cubs' Opening Day starting pitcher in 1992. The Cubs have won the modern World Series championship twice, in 1907 and 1908. Overall was the Cubs' Opening Day starting pitcher both seasons, and the Cubs won both of those Opening Day games. Don Cardwell was the Cubs' Opening Day starting pitcher against the Houston Colt .45s on April 10, 1962, the first game in Houston's history. The Cubs lost the game by a score of 11–2.

List of Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starting pitchers

The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Cincinnati who play in the National League's Central Division. In their history, the franchise also played under the names Cincinnati Red Stockings and Cincinnati Redlegs. They played in the American Association from 1882 through 1889, and have played in the National League since 1890. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor that is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Reds have used 76 Opening Day starting pitchers since they began play as a Major League team in 1882.

The Reds have played in several different home ball parks. They played two seasons in their first home ball park, Bank Street Grounds, and had one win and one loss in Opening Day games there. The team had a record of six wins and ten losses in Opening Day games at League Park, and a record of three wins and seven losses in Opening Day games at the Palace of the Fans. The Reds played in Crosley Field from 1912 through the middle of the 1970 season, and had a record of 27 wins and 31 losses in Opening Day games there. They had an Opening Day record of 19 wins, 11 losses and 1 tie from 1971 through 2002 at Riverfront Stadium, and they have a record of three wins and six losses in Opening Day games at their current home ball park, the Great American Ball Park. That gives the Reds an overall Opening Day record of 59 wins, 66 losses and one tie at home. They have a record of three wins and one loss in Opening Day games on the road.Mario Soto holds the Reds' record for most Opening Day starts, with six. Tony Mullane, Pete Donohue and Aaron Harang have each made five Opening Day starts for the Reds. José Rijo and Johnny Cueto have each made four Opening Day starts for Cincinnati, while Ewell Blackwell, Tom Browning, Paul Derringer, Art Fromme, Si Johnson, Gary Nolan, Jim O'Toole, Tom Seaver, Bucky Walters and Will White each made three such starts for the Reds. Harang was the Reds' Opening Day starting pitcher every season from 2006–2010. Among the Reds' Opening Day starting pitchers, Seaver and Eppa Rixey have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.The Reds have won the World Series championship five times, in 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976 and 1990. Dutch Ruether was the Reds' Opening Day starting pitcher in 1919, Derringer in 1940, Don Gullett in 1975, Nolan in 1976 and Browning in 1990. The Reds won all five Opening Day games in seasons in which they won the World Series. In addition, prior to the existence of the modern World Series, the Reds won the American Association championship in 1882. White was their Opening Day starting pitcher that season, the franchise's first. Jack Billingham started one of the most famous Opening Day games in Reds history on April 4, 1974 against the Atlanta Braves. In that game, Billingham surrendered Hank Aaron's 714th career home run, which tied Babe Ruth's all time home run record.

Palace of the Fans

Palace of the Fans was a Major League baseball park located in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was the home of the Cincinnati Reds from 1902 through 1911. The ballpark was on an asymmetrical block bounded by Findlay Street (south), Western Avenue (northeast, angling), York Street (north) and McLean Avenue (west).

The "Findlay and Western" intersection was the home field of the Reds from 1884 through June 24, 1970, when the team moved to Riverfront Stadium. The location of the diamond and consequently the main grandstand seating area was shifted several times during the 86½ seasons that the Reds played there. The Palace of the Fans was actually the second of three parks that stood on the site:

1884–1901: League Park

1902–1911: Palace of the Fans

1912–1970: Redland Field, renamed Crosley Field in 1934

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Palace of the Fans
Home of the Cincinnati Reds
1912–1970
Succeeded by
Riverfront Stadium
Preceded by
Griffith Stadium
Shibe Park
Host of the All-Star Game
1938
1953
Succeeded by
Yankee Stadium
Cleveland Stadium
Franchise
Ballparks
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Key personnel
World Series Championships (5)
National League pennants (9)
AA pennants (1)
Division titles (10)
Minor league affiliates
Media
Seasons
Teams
Stadiums
Seasons
Teams
Stadia
Defunct stadiums of the National Football League
Early era:
19201940
Merger era:
19411970
Current era:
1971–present
Stadiums
used by
NFL teams
temporarily

Languages

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.