South End Grounds

South End Grounds refers to any one of three baseball parks on one site in Boston, Massachusetts. They were home to the franchise that eventually became known as the Boston Braves, first in the National Association and later in the National League, from 1871 to 1914.

At least in its third edition, the formal name of the park -- as indicated by the sign over its entrance gate -- was Boston National League Base Ball Park. It was located on the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Walpole Street (now Saint Cyprian's Place), just southwest of Carter Playground. Accordingly, it was also known over the years as Walpole Street Grounds; two other names were Union Base-ball Grounds and Boston Baseball Grounds.

1903 World Series – Huntington Avenue Grounds in the foreground, the third South End Grounds in the hazy background to the upper right

The ballpark was across the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad tracks, to the south, from the eventual site of the Huntington Avenue Grounds, home field of Boston's American League team prior to the building of Fenway Park.

The Boston club was initially known as the "Red Stockings," because four of its key players had come from the famous 1869–1870 barnstorming team known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings and took the nickname with them to Boston. Over time the team acquired other informal nicknames, such as "Beaneaters," "Red Caps," "Rustlers" and "Doves." This team eventually adopted the official nickname "Braves," just a few years before abandoning South End Grounds.

With its tight foul lines and expansive center field, like a scaled-down version of the Polo Grounds, it was sometimes said that the South End had no right or left field, only a center field.

South End Grounds was rebuilt twice during its lifetime, the first time by choice and the second time by necessity.

South End Grounds
Walpole Street Grounds
Grand Pavilion
Boston Base-Ball Grounds
South End Grounds, 1893
South End grounds in 1893
LocationBoston, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°20′15″N 71°5′13″W / 42.33750°N 71.08694°WCoordinates: 42°20′15″N 71°5′13″W / 42.33750°N 71.08694°W
OwnerBoston Braves
Capacity6,800 (1888)
Field sizeLeft Field – 250 ft
Left-Center – 445 ft
Deep Left-Center – 450 ft
Center Field – 440 ft
Right-Center – 440 ft
Right Field – 255 ft
* Dimensions for South End Grounds III
Broke ground1871
OpenedMay 16, 1871
ClosedAugust 11, 1914
Boston Braves (MLB) (1871–1914)

First park

The first game played at South End Grounds was May 16, 1871; the last was September 10, 1887. The ballpark's stands were demolished later that month to make way for a new structure.

Second park

SouthEndGrounds GS1
South End Grounds (1888), grandstand in background
SouthEndGrounds GS2
View from the grandstand (1888)

The second South End Grounds was opened on May 25, 1888. Sometimes referred to as the "Grand Pavilion," it consisted of a large double-decker grandstand behind home plate and uncovered stands stretching down the right and left field lines, as well as bleachers in right-center field. The medieval-style "witch's cap" turrets were a very popular decoration on public seating structures of the 1880s and 1890s. The ballpark seated 6,800 by one estimate.[1] It was the only double-decked baseball stadium ever built in Boston, apart from the rooftop seating which has turned the single-decked Fenway Park into a de facto double-deck ballpark. The stadium was destroyed in the Great Roxbury Fire of May 15, 1894, which began when children started a small fire beneath the right field bleachers, and which spread and destroyed the stadium and 117 other buildings. During the rebuilding process, the Bostons played their home games at Congress Street Grounds.

South End Grounds gate
Entrance ca.1900

Third park

South End Grounds #3 isolated from the 1903 World Series photo

The third South End Grounds was built in 10 weeks on the site of the old stand and opened on July 20, 1894.[2] Because the previous structure had not been sufficiently insured, there wasn't enough money to rebuild the stands according to its old plans, and a smaller structure was built. Few photographs of this ballpark seem to be in circulation. In one sense, the best known photo might be the one showing the opening game of the 1903 World Series, with the Huntington Avenue Grounds in the foreground; and the South End Grounds in the background, its season over, partially hidden by smoke from the rail yards. That image can be seen beside this text. On September 12, 1911, 44-year-old legend Cy Young pitched the final home game of his career in a Boston uniform at the grounds against the New York Giants and fellow future Baseball Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson.[3] The Braves moved out of the South End Grounds after their game on August 11, 1914 to accommodate larger crowds during the "stretch drive" of the 1914 pennant race. The team continued to play at Fenway Park until Braves Field was completed during the 1915 season.

Current use

The stadium was demolished after the Braves left. The parking lot between Northeastern University's Columbus Parking Garage and Ruggles Station of the Orange Line of the MBTA now stands on the former site of the grandstand and the infield. The outfield was located where the garage stands. A historical marker commemorating the South End Grounds is located at Ruggles Station.[4]


  1. ^ "South End Grounds (Boston) | Society for American Baseball Research". Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  2. ^ "South End Grounds". Ballparks.
  3. ^, box score of New York Giants at Boston Rustlers, 12 September 1911 (retrieved 18 November 2012)
  4. ^ "Remembering the South End Grounds". Patch. Retrieved 2018-11-11.


  • Green Cathedrals, by Phil Lowry
  • Ballparks of North America, by Michael Benson
  • Baseball Memories 1900–1909, by Marc Okkonen
  • Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century, by Marc Okkonen

External links

Preceded by
first ballpark
Home of the Boston Braves 
Succeeded by
Fenway Park
1878 Harvard Crimson football team

The 1878 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 1878 college football season. They finished with a 1–2 record. The team captain, for the second consecutive year, was Livingston Cushing.On November 9, 1878, Harvard opened its football season with a victory over Amherst at Boston's South End Grounds. Harvard scored three goals and three touchdowns and held Amherst scoreless.On November 16, Harvard lost to Princeton in a game played before approximately 1,000 spectators at the Boston Baseball Grounds. The New York Herald called it "a magnificent contest."One week later, on November 23, Harvard lost to Yale before 700 spectators at the Boston Baseball Grounds. Yale won on a kick for goal.

1888 Boston Beaneaters season

The 1888 Boston Beaneaters season was the eighteenth season of the franchise.

1890 Boston Beaneaters season

The 1890 Boston Beaneaters season was the 20th season of the franchise.

1890 Brown Bears football team

The 1890 Brown Bears football team represented Brown University during the 1890 college football season.

1894 Boston Beaneaters season

The 1894 Boston Beaneaters season was the 24th season of the franchise. The team finished in third place in the National League with a record of 83–49, 8 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. They hold the MLB record for most runs scored in a single season by one team with 1,220, a stunning 9.24 runs per contest.

1896 Boston College Eagles football team

The 1896 Boston College Eagles football team represented Boston College during the 1896 college football season. The 8 to 6 win over Holy Cross is disputed.

1899 Boston College Eagles football team

The 1899 Boston College Eagles football team represented Boston College during the 1899 college football season.

1902 Boston College Eagles football team

The 1902 Boston College Eagles football team represented Boston College during the 1902 college football season.

1914 World Series

In the 1914 World Series, the Boston Braves beat the Philadelphia Athletics in a four-game series.

The "Miracle Braves" were in last place on July 4, then won the National League pennant by ​10 1⁄2 games. The Braves' relatively unknown starting trio of pitchers, with a combined career record of 285–245, outperformed the Athletics vaunted rotation (929–654) in all four games. Hank Gowdy hit .545 (6 of 11) with five extra-base hits and also drew five walks for Boston in the series and was the difference maker in Games 1 and 3.

Adding to their supposed disadvantages, the Braves arguably lacked a notable home-field advantage. They had abandoned their 43-year-old home field South End Grounds in August 1914, choosing to rent from the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park while awaiting construction of Braves Field (1915). Thus their home games in this Series were also at Fenway.

This was the first four-game sweep in World Series history. The Cubs had defeated the Tigers four games to none in 1907, but Game 1 had ended in a tie before the Cubs won the next four in a row.

At least one publication, To Every Thing A Season by Bruce Kuklick, has suggested other factors that might have contributed to the sweep, noting that some of the A's may have been irritated at the penny-pinching ways of their manager/owner Connie Mack and thus did not play hard, and also noting the heavy wagering against Philadelphia placed by entertainer George M. Cohan through bookmaker Sport Sullivan, who was also implicated in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Chief Bender and Eddie Plank jumped to the rival Federal League for the 1915 season. Mack unloaded most of his other high-priced stars soon after and, within two years, the A's achieved the worst winning percentage in modern history (even worse than the 1962 New York Mets or the 2003 Detroit Tigers).

1915 Boston Braves season

The 1915 Boston Braves season was the 45th season of the franchise. The Braves finished second in the National League with a record of 83 wins and 69 losses, seven games behind the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies. The 1915 season was notable for the opening of Braves Field on August 13, the last of the National League's "jewel box" stadiums to be built. (Weeghman Park in Chicago, while opened in 1914, would not be occupied by the Cubs until the next season.) Prior to the opening of Braves Field, the Braves had played in Fenway Park for the first half of the 1915 season and the last 27 games of the 1914 season, having left their only previous home, South End Grounds, on August 11, 1914.

In the final game of the season, a 15–8 loss to the New York Giants, Joe Shannon made his final Major League appearance, and Red Shannon made his first Major League appearance. The two were twins, marking the first of three times that twins played on the same team (along with Eddie and Johnny O'Brien and Jose and Ozzie Canseco).

Boston Reds (1890–91)

The Boston Reds were a 19th-century baseball team located in Boston, Massachusetts that played in the Players' League in 1890 and in the American Association in 1891. They played in the Congress Street Grounds in the 1890s. The team took its name from the successful Boston club of the National Association and National League formerly known as the (Boston) Red Stockings, who had changed their name to the Beaneaters in 1883. The club lasted only two seasons, but in those two seasons they were league champions.

In 1890 the Reds won the Players' League pennant when they finished first ahead of the New York Giants, and then won the American Association pennant when they finished first ahead of the St. Louis Browns (now the Cardinals). The Boston Reds are one of two major league teams to win back-to-back pennants spanning two different leagues. The Brooklyn Dodgers did it also, winning the AA pennant in 1889 and the NL pennant in 1890.

At the conclusion of the 1891 season, the National League pressed for the consolidation of the American Association with the National League. Part of the posturing included the National League directing its champion Boston Beaneaters not to play the Reds in a World Series. The leagues settled, adding four AA clubs to a combined circuit. As part of the settlement, the owners of the four clubs not joining the combined circuit, including the Reds, were paid $135,000 and their players dispersed to the surviving clubs.

Their abandoned ballpark was revived for use by the National League club in 1894, during the weeks that South End Grounds was being rebuilt following a fire. The Congress Street Grounds, with its close left field foul line, quickly gained some more history, as Bobby Lowe hit four home runs in one game there, the first player to accomplish that feat.

Congress Street Grounds

Congress Street Grounds is a former baseball ground located in Boston, Massachusetts. The ballpark, as the name implies, was along Congress Street, near the intersection of Thompson Place, and not far from the Fort Point Channel on South Boston Flats, a newly filled in piece of land on Boston Harbor. The ground was home to the Boston Reds, that played in the Players' League in 1890 and the American Association in 1891.Although a short-lived facility, the ballpark witnessed some significant history. First, its occupants won league pennants in their two years of existence. Despite its success, the club was dropped during the NL-AA merger of 1892, as there was already an NL entry in Boston.

Then, between May and June 1894, Congress Street Grounds was the home to the Boston Beaneaters while their home grounds, the South End Grounds, were being rebuilt after the Great Roxbury Fire of May 15, 1894. It had a close left field fence, which benefited Boston's Bobby Lowe just a couple of weeks later, on May 30, 1894, as he became the first batter to hit four home runs in a single game, all of them down the line in left field.

The location is now occupied by several office buildings, and the alley behind them, which would go through the area of the outfield, was used in the 2006 film The Departed, in a key scene where Martin Sheen's character is pushed off a roof.

Gene McAuliffe

Eugene Leo McAuliffe (February 28, 1872 – April 29, 1953) was a Major League Baseball catcher who played for the Boston Beaneaters in 1904. The 32-year-old rookie stood 6'1" and weighed 180 lb.

On August 17, 1904, McAuliffe got into a home game against the Chicago Cubs at South End Grounds. He was 1-for-2 (.500) at the plate, and behind the plate he had one putout, one assist, and one error for a fielding percentage of .667.

He died in his hometown of Randolph, Massachusetts, aged 81.

History of the Boston Braves

The Atlanta Braves, a current Major League Baseball franchise, originated in Boston, Massachusetts. This article details the history of the Boston Braves, from 1871 to 1952, after which they moved to Milwaukee to become the Milwaukee Braves, and then eventually to Atlanta, to become the Atlanta Braves. The Boston Franchise played at South End Grounds from 1871 to 1914 and at Braves Field from 1915 to 1952. Braves Field is now Nickerson Field of Boston University. The franchise, from Boston to Milwaukee to Atlanta, is the oldest continuous professional baseball franchise.

Huntington Avenue Grounds

Huntington Avenue American League Baseball Grounds is the full name of the baseball stadium that formerly stood in Boston, Massachusetts, and was the first home field for the Boston Red Sox (known informally as the 'Boston Americans' until 1908) from 1901–1911. The stadium, built for $35,000 (equivalent to $1.05 million in 2018), was located on what is now Northeastern University, at the time across the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad tracks from the South End Grounds, home of the Boston Braves.

The stadium was the site of the first World Series game between the modern American and National leagues in 1903, and also saw the first perfect game in the modern era, thrown by Cy Young on May 5, 1904. The playing field was built on a former circus lot and was extremely large by modern standards-530 feet to center field, later expanded to 635 feet in 1908. It had many quirks not seen in modern baseball stadiums, including patches of sand in the outfield where grass would not grow, and a tool shed in deep center field that was in play.

The Huntington Avenue Grounds was demolished after the Red Sox left at the beginning of the 1912 season to play at Fenway Park. The Cabot Center, an indoor athletic venue belonging to Northeastern University, has stood on the Huntington Grounds' footprint since 1954. A plaque and a statue of Cy Young were erected in 1993 where the pitchers mound used to be, commemorating the history of this ballpark in what is now called World Series Way. Meanwhile, a plaque on the side of the Cabot Center (1956) marks the former location of the left field foul pole.

The Cabot facility itself is barely over a quarter mile away to the southwest from another, still-standing Boston area sports facility of that era, Matthews Arena (built in 1910), the original home of the NHL's Boston Bruins when they started play in 1924.

List of Boston and Milwaukee Braves Opening Day starting pitchers

The Braves are a Major League Baseball team that was originally based in Boston. They moved to Milwaukee in 1953 before moving to their current home, Atlanta in 1966. They played in the National League since its formation in 1876. At various points in the history in Boston, they were known as the Beaneaters, the Doves, the Rustlers and the Bees. During the 20th century until their move to Milwaukee, they played their home games primarily at two home ball parks – South End Grounds until 1914, and Braves Field from 1915 through 1952. They also played some home games at Fenway Park in 1914 and 1915, including Opening Day of 1915. Their home ball park in Milwaukee was County Stadium. 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 Braves used 40 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 80 National League seasons they played prior to moving to Atlanta. The Braves won 46 of those games against 42 losses in those Opening Day starts. They also played two tie games.Warren Spahn had the most Opening Day starts for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves with ten between 1952 and 1964. Kid Nichols made six Opening Day starts between 1893 and 1901. Jim Whitney (1881–1885) and John Clarkson (1888–1892) each had five Opening Day starts. Tommy Bond (1877–1880), Vic Willis (1900–1904), Dick Rudolph (1915–1917, 1919), Al Javery (1942–1945) and Johnny Sain (1946–1949) each made four Opening Day starts. Irv Young (1906–1908), Bob Smith (1927–1929) and Ed Brandt (1932, 1934, 1935) each had three such starts. Other pitchers with multiple Opening Day starts for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves were Charles Radbourn, Jack Stivetts, Hub Perdue, Joe Oeschger, Joe Genewich, Danny MacFayden and Lew Burdette.

Prior to moving to Atlanta, the Braves played in the World Series four times. The played in the World Series as the Boston Braves in 1914 and 1948, and as the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and 1959. They won the World Series in 1914 and 1957. Their Opening Day starting pitchers in World Series years were Lefty Tyler in 1914, Sain in 1948, and Spahn in 1957 and 1958. They lost their Opening Day game in 1914, 1948 and 1958, and won in 1957. In addition, the franchise won the National League championship eight times during the 19th century, prior to the existence of the modern World Series. Nichols was the team's Opening Day starting pitcher in three of those season, Clarkson and Bond in two of those seasons each, and Whitney was the Opening Day starting pitcher in one such season.

Jesse Barnes made an Opening Day start for the Braves against the New York Giants in 1925, after having made an Opening Day start for the Giants against the Braves in 1920. Spahn is the only pitcher to make an Opening Day start for both the Boston Braves and the Milwaukee Braves. Tony Cloninger, who made the last Opening Day start for the Milwaukee Braves in 1965 and the first for the Atlanta Braves in 1966, is the only pitcher to make an Opening Day start for both the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves.

List of Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day starting pitchers

The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Philadelphia. They play in the National League East division. Also known in early franchise history as the "Philadelphia Quakers", the Phillies have used 72 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 128 seasons. 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. Where decisions are known, the 72 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 33 wins, 40 losses and 20 no decisions (33–40–20); where decisions are unknown, the team's record was 17–19. No decisions are awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game. It can also result if a starting pitcher does not pitch five full innings, even if his team retains the lead and wins.Hall of Fame left-handed pitcher Steve Carlton has the most Opening Day starts for the Phillies, with 14, compiling a record of 3–9–2. He is followed by Robin Roberts (twelve starts; 5–6–1), Chris Short (six starts; 3–1–2), and Curt Schilling (five starts; 2–0–3). Grover Cleveland Alexander also made five Opening Day starts for the Phillies, equal to Schilling; however, no information on his decisions in those games is available. The team's record in his five Opening Day starts is 4–1.

Roberts holds the Phillies' record for most wins in Opening Day starts with five. Art Mahaffey has the best record in Opening Day starts for the franchise; though many players have won their only Opening Day start, Mahaffey started and won two Opening Day games, for a winning percentage of 1.000; Roy Halladay also has a 1.000 winning percentage, with two wins and a no decision in three starts. Conversely, George McQuillan is the only player to have a .000 winning percentage in more than one Opening Day start (0–2–0 in two starts). Brett Myers has a .000 winning percentage in his three starts, but has accumulated two no decisions (0–1–2). Carlton has the most Opening Day losses for the team, with nine.

The Phillies have played in six home ballparks. Their best overall Opening Day record is at Shibe Park (also known as Connie Mack Stadium), where they won 11 Opening Day games out of 14 played there (11–3). The team also owned an 8–17 Opening Day record at Baker Bowl (initially known as the Philadelphia Baseball Grounds), with 1 tie. Recreation Park's Opening Day record is 1–2, while Veterans Stadium has the lowest winning percentage (.200), with 2 wins and 8 losses. The Phillies currently play at Citizens Bank Park, where they are 1–5 on Opening Day.

The Phillies have played in seven World Series championships in their history, winning in 1980 and 2008. Carlton won his Opening Day start against the Montreal Expos in 1980, while Myers received a no-decision against the same franchise (now the Washington Nationals) in 2008, a game that the Phillies eventually lost, and lost the opening game against the Atlanta Braves in 2009. Carlton also started Opening Day in 1983, the year that the Phillies lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. Alexander started Opening Day in 1915, the Phillies' first World Series appearance, while Roberts started the first game of 1950, and Terry Mulholland the first game of 1993.

List of baseball parks in Boston

This is a list of venues used for professional baseball in Boston, Massachusetts. The information is a compilation of the information contained in the references listed.

South End Grounds

Occupant: Boston Red Stockings/Beaneaters/Braves – National Association (1871–1875) / National League (1876–1914 part)

Location: Walpole Street (southwest, home plate); railroad tracks (northwest, left field); Columbus Avenue (southeast, right field)

Currently: Parking lot between Northeastern University's Columbus Parking Garage and Ruggles Station of the Orange Line of the MBTADartmouth Street Grounds a.k.a. Union Athletic Grounds or Union Grounds

Occupant: Boston Reds/Unions – Union Association (1884)

Location: Huntington Avenue (to the north - home plate); Boston and Albany Railroad tracks (northeast - home plate and third base); Dartmouth Street (southeast - left and center fields); Boston and Providence Railroad tracks (south - center and right fields); Irvington Street (west, right field and third base - approximately corresponds to Yarmouth Street)

Currently: Copley PlaceCongress Street Grounds


Boston Reds – Players' League (1890) / American Association (1891)

Boston Beaneaters – NL (1894 part)

Location: Congress Street (south); Farnsworth Street (west)

Currently: Industrial, warehousesHuntington Avenue Grounds

Occupant: Boston Red Sox – American League (1901–1911)

Location: Huntington Avenue (northwest, left field); Rogers (now Forsyth) Street (southwest, third base); railroad tracks (southeast, first base); across the tracks to the north from South End Grounds

Currently: Solomon Court at Cabot Center on the campus of Northeastern UniversityBraves Field

Occupant: Boston Braves – NL (mid-1915–1952)

Location: Commonwealth Avenue (south, first base); Gaffney Street (east, right field); railroad tracks (north, left field); Babcock Street (west, third base)

Currently: Nickerson FieldFenway Park


Boston Red Sox – American League (1912–present)

Boston Braves – NL (1914 part – 1915 part)

Location: 4 Yawkey Way (24 Jersey Street) (southwest, third base); Brookline Avenue (northwest, left field corner); Lansdowne Street (north, left field); Ipswich Street (east, right field); Van Ness Street (southeast, first base)

Ruggles station

Ruggles is an intermodal transfer station in Boston, Massachusetts. It serves MBTA rapid transit, bus, and commuter rail services and is located at the intersection of Ruggles and Tremont streets, where the Roxbury, Fenway-Kenmore and Mission Hill neighborhoods meet. The station occupies the site that was previously the South End Grounds, home of the former Boston Braves from 1871 to 1914. It is surrounded by the campus of Northeastern University.

Ruggles is a station stop for the Orange Line subway, as well as the Providence/Stoughton Line, Franklin Line, and Needham Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail system. Thirteen bus routes stop at Ruggles, including four of the fifteen key MBTA bus routes.

Ruggles station opened on May 4, 1987 and was built as part of an Orange Line realignment project which relocated the former Washington Street Elevated Orange Line service into the Southwest Corridor. Commuter rail service to the station began on October 5, 1987. Ruggles is located at milepost 226.5, 1.1 miles from Back Bay and 2.2 miles from South Station.

Key personnel
World Series
Championships (3)
National League
Championships (17)
World's Championship Series
Championships (1)
National Association
Championships (4)
Division titles (18)
Wild card berths (2)
Minor league
Bowls & rivalries
Culture & lore
Major League Baseball
American Association
(19th century)
National League (19th century)
Minor league parks
Sports venues in the Greater Boston area
Never built

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