Veterans Stadium

Veterans Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It was located at the northeast corner of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue, as part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The listed seating capacities in 1971 were 65,358 seats for football, and 56,371 for baseball.

It hosted the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1971 to 2003 and the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL) from 1971 to January 2003. The 1976 and 1996 Major League Baseball All-Star Games were held at the venue. The Vet also hosted the annual Army-Navy football game seventeen times between 1980 and 2001.

In addition to professional baseball and football, the stadium hosted other amateur and professional sports, large entertainment events, and other civic affairs. It was demolished by implosion in March 2004 after being replaced by the adjacent Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field. A parking lot now sits on its former site.

Veterans Stadium
"The Vet"
Veterans stade
An aerial view of Veterans Stadium in 2002. Construction work on Citizens Bank Park is visible in the lower right.
Location3501 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19148
United States
Coordinates39°54′24″N 75°10′16″W / 39.90667°N 75.17111°WCoordinates: 39°54′24″N 75°10′16″W / 39.90667°N 75.17111°W
OwnerCity of Philadelphia
OperatorPhiladelphia Department of Recreation
CapacityBaseball: 61,831
Football: 65,352
Field sizeBaseball:
Left field — 330 feet (100 meters)
Left center field — 371 feet (113 meters)
Center field — 408 feet (124 meters)
Right center field — 371 feet (113 meters)
Right field — 330 feet (100 meters)
Backstop — 54 feet (16 meters) (2003)
SurfaceAstroTurf (1971–2000)
NexTurf (2001–2003)
Construction
Broke groundOctober 2, 1967
OpenedApril 10, 1971
ClosedSeptember 28, 2003
DemolishedMarch 21, 2004
Construction costUS$63 million
($390 million in 2018 dollars[1])
ArchitectHugh Stubbins & Associates
George M. Ewing Co.
Stonorov & Haws
Structural engineerMcCormick Taylor & Associates, Inc.
General contractorMcCloskey & Co.[2]
Tenants
Philadelphia Phillies (MLB) (1971–2003)
Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) (1971–2002)
Philadelphia Atoms (NASL) (1973–1975)
Philadelphia Fury (NASL) (1978–1980)
Philadelphia Stars (USFL) (1983–1984)
Temple Owls (NCAA) (1978–2002)
DesignatedSeptember 28, 2005[3]

History

Inception, design and construction

VeteransStadium1986-2a
Exterior of Veterans Stadium.

As early as 1959, Phillies owner R. R. M. Carpenter Jr. proposed building a new ballpark for the Phillies on 72 acres (290,000 m2) adjacent to the Garden State Park Racetrack in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The Phillies' then-home, Connie Mack Stadium, was starting to show its age (it had been built in 1909), had inadequate parking, and was located in a declining neighborhood. Furthermore, in 1959 alcohol sales at sporting events were banned in Pennsylvania but were legal in New Jersey. The proposed ballpark would have seated 45,000 fans, been expandable to 60,000 and would have had 15,000 parking spaces.[4]

The American League's Philadelphia Athletics had moved to Kansas City, Missouri after the 1954 season, the NBA's Philadelphia Warriors had moved to San Francisco in 1962, and Philadelphians weren't about to lose another professional sports franchise. In 1964, Philadelphia voters approved a US$25-million-bond issue for a new stadium to serve as the home of both the Eagles (who played at the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field) and the Phillies. Because of cost overruns, the voters had to go to the polls again in 1967 to approve another $13 million. At a total cost of $60 million, it was one of the most-expensive ballparks to date.[5]

The stadium was named by the Philadelphia City Council, in 1968, for the veterans of all wars. As early as December 1969, the Phillies expected that they would play the first month of the 1970 season at Connie Mack Stadium before moving to the new venue.[6] However, the opening was delayed a year because of a combination of bad weather and cost overruns.

The stadium's design was nearly circular, and was known as an "octorad" design, which attempted to facilitate both football and baseball. Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego had been similarly designed. As was the case with other cities where this dual approach was tried (other examples include RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.; Shea Stadium in New York City, the Astrodome in Houston; Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta; Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis; Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati; and Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh), the fundamentally different sizes and shapes of the playing fields made the stadium inadequate to the needs of either sport.

The stadium opened with a $3 million scoreboard complex that at the time was the most expensive ever installed.[7]

First game

Philly statue 99
Sculptor Joe Brown's statue "Batter" as it stood outside Veterans Stadium.

The Phillies played their first game at the stadium on April 10, 1971, beating the Montreal Expos, 4–1, before an audience of 55,352. The first ball was dropped by helicopter to Phillies back-up catcher Mike Ryan.[8]

Jim Bunning (named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996) was the winning pitcher while Bill Stoneman took the loss. Entertainer Mike Douglas, whose daily talk show was taped in Philadelphia, sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the game. The emcee for the opening ceremonies was newly-arrived Phillies play-by-play announcer Harry Kalas.

Boots Day opened the game by grounding out to Bunning. Larry Bowa had the stadium's first hit and Don Money slugged the first home run.[9]

Final games

Veterans Stadium Final Game - September 28, 2003
The Phillies' final game at the Vet; September 28, 2003.

As the stadium aged, its condition deteriorated. A hole in the wall allowed visiting teams' players to peep into the Eagles Cheerleaders dressing room. So many mice infested the stadium that the security force employed cats as mousers.[10] The final football game played at the Vet was the Eagles' 27–10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game on January 19, 2003. The Eagles moved into Lincoln Financial Field in August 2003.[11]

The final game ever played at the stadium was the afternoon of September 28, 2003, a 5-2 Phillies loss to the Atlanta Braves.[12] The final hit was recorded by Greg Maddux of the Braves, the final loss by the Phils' Kevin Millwood. The final Phillies run was scored by Marlon Byrd at the top of the 3rd inning, and the final run altogether by the Braves' Andruw Jones on a double by Robert Fick (who also had the last hit at Tiger Stadium as a Detroit Tiger 4 years earlier) at the top of the 5th. The final hit at the Vet was a single by the Phills' Pat Burrell at the bottom of the 9th. The next batter, Chase Utley, grounded into a double play to end the game and the Vet. However, the ceremony that followed pulled at the heartstrings of the sellout crowd. Both Paul Owens, a former general manager, and Tug McGraw, a former pitcher, made their final public appearances at the park that day; later that winter both men died.[13][14] The last publicly broadcast words uttered in the park were by Harry Kalas — a veteran announcer who helped open the facility on April 10, 1971 — who paraphrased his trademark home run call: "And now, Veterans Stadium is like a 3-1 pitch to Jim Thome or Mike Schmidt. It's on a looooooong drive…IT'S OUTTA HERE!!!" The team played their first game at their new home at Citizens Bank Park on April 12, 2004.

Demolition and commemoration

On March 21, 2004, the 32-year-old stadium was imploded in 62 seconds. Frank Bardonaro, President of Philadelphia-based AmQuip Crane Rental Company pressed the "charge" button and then Bardonaro and Nicholas T Peetros Sr., Project Manager for Driscoll/Hunt Construction Company combined to press the "fire" button to trigger the implosion[15] while Greg Luzinski and the Phillie Phanatic, the Phillies' mascot, pressed a ceremonial plunger for the fans.[16] A parking lot for the current sporting facilities was constructed in 2004 and 2005 at the site.

On June 6, 2005, the anniversary of World War II's D-Day, a plaque and monument to commemorate the spot where the stadium stood and a memorial for all veterans was dedicated by the Phillies before their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. On September 28, 2005, the second anniversary of the stadium's final game, a historical marker commemorating where the ballpark once stood was dedicated. In April 2006, granite spaces marking the former locations of home plate, the pitcher's mound, and the three bases for baseball, as well as the goalpost placements for football, were added in Western Parking Lot U.

Seating capacity

Baseball
Years Capacity
1971–1972
56,371
1973–1974
55,730
1975–1976
56,581
1977–1980
58,651
1981–1982
65,454
1983–1984
66,507
1985
66,744
1986
66,271
1987–1989
64,538
1990–1992
62,382
1993
62,586
1994–1995
62,530
1996–1997
62,136
1998–2000
62,363
2001–2003
61,831
Football
Years Capacity
1971
65,358
1972–1976
65,720
1977–1978
66,052
1979–1982
71,464
1983–1984
72,204
1985
71,640
1986
69,417
1987
66,592
1988–1991
65,356
1992–1993
65,178
1994
64,241
1995–1996
64,899
1997–2003
65,352

Stadium features

VeteransStadium1986
Veterans Stadium on Phillies Opening Night, 1986.

The stadium was a complicated structure with its seating layered in seven separate levels. The lowest, or "100 Level", extended only part way around the structure, between roughly the 25-yard lines for football games and near the two dugouts for baseball. The "200 Level" comprised field-level boxes, and the "300 Level" housed what were labeled "Terrace Boxes". These three levels collectively made up the "Lower Stands". The "400 Level" was reserved for the press and dignitaries; the upper level began with "500 Level" (or "loge boxes"), the "600 Level" (upper reserved, or individual seats), and finally, the "700 Level" (general admission for baseball). Originally, the seats were in shades of brown, terra cotta, orange and yellow, to look like an autumn day, but in 1995 and 1996, blue seats replaced the fall-hued ones.

At one time, the stadium could seat over 71,000 people for football, but restructuring in the late 1980s—including removal of several rows of the 700 Level around most of the stadium to accommodate construction of the Penthouse Suites—brought capacity down to around 66,000.

The stadium was harshly criticized by baseball purists. Even by multi-purpose-stadium standards, the upper deck was exceptionally high, and many of the seats in that area were so far from the field that it was difficult to see the game without binoculars. Like most of its contemporaries, foul territory was quite roomy. Approximately 70% of the seats were in foul territory, adding to the stadium's cavernous feel. There was no dirt in the infield except for sliding pits around the bases. In the autumn, the football markings were clearly visible in the spacious outfield area. Although the stadium's size enabled the Phillies to shatter previous attendance records, during the years the Phillies were not doing as well, even crowds of 35,000 looked sparse.

The stadium had been known for providing both the Eagles and the Phillies with great home-field advantage. In particular, the acoustics greatly enhanced the crowd noise on the field, making it nearly impossible for opposing teams to hear one another.

700 Level

The "700 Level" was well known for being home to the rowdiest fans at Philadelphia Eagles games, and to a lesser extent, Philadelphia Phillies games. In his book If Football's a Religion, Why Don't We Have a Prayer?,[17] Jereé Longman described the 700 Level as having a reputation for "hostile taunting, fighting, public urination and general strangeness." Due to an improvement in facilities, there is no equivalent in either Lincoln Financial Field or Citizens Bank Park. The name has also been the inspiration for websites relating to Philadelphia sports, as well as a weekly "Letters to the Editor" section in the Sunday Sports pages of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Playing surface

VeteransStadium1981
Veterans Stadium during the 1980 NFC Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys, January 11, 1981.

The field's surface, originally composed of AstroTurf, contained many gaps and uneven patches. In several places, seams were clearly visible, giving it the nickname "Field of Seams". It perennially drew the ranking of the "NFL's worst field" in player surveys conducted by the NFL Players Association, and visiting players often fell prey to the treacherous conditions resulting in numerous injuries.[18] The NFLPA reportedly threatened to sue the city for the poor conditions, and many sports agents told the Eagles not to even consider signing or drafting their clients. The Eagles, for their part, complained to the city on numerous occasions about the conditions at the stadium. Baseball players also complained about the surface. It was much harder than other AstroTurf surfaces, and the shock of running on it often caused back pain.

Two of the most-publicized injuries blamed on the playing surface occurred exactly six years apart. On October 10, 1993, Chicago Bears receiver Wendell Davis had both of his cleats get caught in a seam while he planted to jump for an underthrown bomb from QB Jim Harbaugh. He tore both of his patella tendons, ending his career.[19] On October 10, 1999, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin suffered a neck injury that led to his premature retirement. (The previously winless Eagles rallied from a 10–0 deficit and won 13–10.)

Long before Davis' and Irvin's injuries, Cleveland Browns standout defensive tackle Jerry Sherk contracted a near-fatal staph infection from the Veterans Stadium turf during a 1979 game. The infection forced him to miss 22 of the Browns' next 23 games and ended a run of nine and a half seasons in the Browns' starting lineup. Sherk never started again and retired in 1981.

In 2001, the original AstroTurf was eventually replaced by a new surface, NexTurf. It was far softer, and reportedly much easier on the knees.[20] However, the city crew that installed the new turf reportedly did not install it properly, resulting in seams being visible in several places.

The first football game on the new turf was scheduled to take place on August 13, 2001, when the Eagles were to play the Baltimore Ravens in a preseason game. However, Ravens coach Brian Billick refused to let the Ravens take the field for warm-ups when he discovered a trench around an area where third base was covered up by a NexTurf cutout. City crews unsuccessfully tried to fix the problem, forcing the game to be canceled. Later, players from both teams reported that they sank into the turf in locations near the infield cutouts. Team president Joe Banner was irate after the game, calling the stadium's conditions "absolutely unacceptable" and "an embarrassment to the city of Philadelphia."[21] City officials, however, promised that the stadium would be suitable for play when the regular season started.

The problem was caused by heavy rain over the weekend prior to the game, which made the dirt in the sliding pits and pitcher's mound so soft that the cutouts covering them in the football configuration became mushy and uneven. Even when new dirt was shoveled on top, it quickly became just as saturated as the old dirt. The problem was solved by using asphalt hot mix, which allowed for a solid, level playing surface, but required a jackhammer for removal whenever the stadium was converted from football back to baseball (between August and October of each year).

Fans

2001 Virginia Tech Temple wide shot
Virginia Tech and Temple meet at The Vet in 2001.

Fans who attended games in the stadium for a football game gained a reputation of being among the most vociferous in sports, especially those in the notorious 700 Level, the highest seating level in the stadium prior to the construction of luxury skyboxes behind that seating area. The stadium became famous for the rowdiness of Eagles fans.

One of the more well-known examples of the fans' behavior was during the 1989 season at a follow-up game to what many called the "Bounty Bowl". On Thanksgiving day, November 23, 1989, the Eagles had defeated the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium, 27-0.[22] In that game, Cowboys placekicker Luis Zendejas suffered a concussion during a rough block by linebacker Jessie Small after a kickoff. After the game, Cowboys rookie head coach Jimmy Johnson commented that Eagles coach Buddy Ryan instituted a bounty on Zendejas and Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman. Two weeks later, on December 10, they played the rematch dubbed "Bounty Bowl II" at the stadium which the Eagles won 20-10.[23] The stadium seats were covered with snow in the stands. The volatile mix of beer, the "bounty" and the intense hatred for "America's Team" (who were 1–15 that season) led to fans throwing snowballs at Dallas players and coaches.[24] Beer sales were banned after that incident for two games. A similar incident in 1995 at Giants Stadium during a nationally telecast San Diego ChargersNew York Giants game[25] led the NFL to rule that seating areas must be cleared of snow within a certain time period before kickoff.

The Eagles fans' behavior during a Monday Night Football loss[26] to the San Francisco 49ers in 1997 and a 34-0 loss to Dallas a year later[27] was such that the City of Philadelphia assigned a Municipal Court Judge, Seamus McCaffery, to the stadium on game days to deal with fans removed from the stands in what was referred to as "Eagles Court". Judge McCaffery would hold court in the stadium until the stadium's closure in 2003; the Eagles' replacement stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, does not have a court, but a holding cell instead.[28][10] Two years later, fans threw D-Cell batteries at St. Louis Cardinals outfielder J. D. Drew after he spurned the Phillies' offer to play with them, and wound up going back into the draft and picked by the Cardinals.[29]

Notable games and incidents

Veterans Stadium before and during one of U2's Zoo TV Tour shows in 1992

Zoo TV Tour 1992-09-03 Veterans Stadium Preshow
Zoo TV Tour 1992-09-03 Veterans Stadium pic f
  • On June 25, 1971, Willie Stargell hit the longest home run in stadium history in a 14–4 Pirates win.[30] The spot where the ball landed was marked with a yellow star with a black "S" inside a white circle until Stargell's 2001 death, when the white circle was painted black.[31][32] The star remained until the stadium's 2004 demolition.
  • One of the most notable events in the stadium's history was Game 6 of the 1980 World Series on October 21. In that game, the Phillies clinched their first world championship with a 4–1 victory over the Kansas City Royals in front of 65,838 fans. Tug McGraw's series-ending strikeout of the Royals' Willie Wilson was instrumental in their win.
  • A very notable football game played at the stadium took place less than three months after the Phillies' title: the Eagles' 20–7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980 NFC Championship Game, played on January 11, 1981, in front of 70,696 fans.[33] As a psychological ploy, the Eagles chose to wear their white jerseys for their home game in order to force the Cowboys into their "unlucky" blue jerseys. At the end of the game, Philadelphia police circled the field with horses and dogs as they had done for the Phillies World Series victory; despite the police presence, Eagles fans successfully rushed the field.[34]
  • Veterans Stadium was host to the latest-finishing game in baseball history, a twi-night double-header between the Phillies and the Padres that started on July 2, 1993, at 5:05 PM and ended at 4:40 AM the following morning. The two games were interrupted multiple times by rain showers. The Padres won the first game,[35] and led in the second, but lost in a come-from-behind victory for the Phillies in the tenth inning on an RBI single by Phillies closing pitcher Mitch Williams.[35] The second game ended with an estimated 6,000 fans at the ballpark.[16]
  • The Phillies clinched the NLCS at the stadium twice: the first in 1983 over area-born Tommy Lasorda and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the second in the 1993 NLCS over future divisional rivals the Atlanta Braves. The 1993 season was the last LCS under the two-division League format.
1994 Army–Navy Game
The 1994 Army–Navy Game at Veterans Stadium
  • The Phillies pitched two no-hit games at the stadium, the only nine-inning no-hitters in stadium history. Both were against the San Francisco Giants. Terry Mulholland pitched the first[36] on August 15, 1990, in a 6–0[37] Phillies win.[38] Kevin Millwood pitched the second on April 27, 2003, and beat the Giants 1–0,[39] upstaging the Phillie Phanatic's birthday promotion that afternoon. The Montréal Expos' Pascual Pérez pitched a five-inning[40] no-hitter shortened by rain on September 24, 1988. MLB changed its rules in 1991 to require that fully recognized no-hitters – past, present and future – be complete games of at least nine innings.[41]
  • Another game that is well-remembered by Eagles fans was known as the "Body Bag Game", which took place on November 12, 1990, when the Washington Redskins visited the stadium for a Monday Night Football game. The Eagles' head coach at that time, Buddy Ryan, was quoted as saying that the Redskins' offense would "have to be carted off in body bags." The Eagles' number-one defense scored two touchdowns in a 28–14 win[42] and knocked nine Redskin players out of the game, including both of their quarterbacks.[43] The Redskins were forced to finish the game using running back/returner Brian Mitchell (who would become an Eagles player over a decade later) at quarterback.[44]
  • During the 1998 Army–Navy Game, a serious accident occurred when a support rail collapsed and eight West Point cadets were injured. That led to the call for new stadiums for football and baseball for the main stadium tenants.[45]

Other events at Veterans Stadium

Amateur baseball

The Liberty Bell Classic, Philadelphia Division I college baseball tournament, was played at the stadium from its inception in 1992 through 2003. The original eight schools were:

In the first championship game in 1992, Delaware defeated Villanova 6-2.[46]

The stadium hosted the 1998 Atlantic 10 Conference Baseball Tournament, won by Fordham.[47]

Minor League baseball

In November 1987, the new owners of the Phillies AAA franchise, the Maine Guides, considered playing the 1988 season at the Vet because Lackawanna County Stadium would not be ready until the 1989 season. The team would have had to play 12:35pm day games when the Phillies had night games scheduled at the Vet.[48] Ownership elected to remain in Old Orchard Beach for 1988, renamed the club the 'Maine Phillies', and moved to Moosic, Pennsylvania in 1989 as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons.

The Eastern League Trenton Thunder played two home games at the stadium in April 1994. The Thunder beat the Canton–Akron Indians, 10-9, in front of 483 fans on April 20, 1994, and won 9-3 on April 21. Future Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy was in the booth for the Thunder during these two games.[49]

Soccer

The stadium was the home field for the Philadelphia Atoms and the Philadelphia Fury, both North American Soccer League teams. The Fury drew 18,191 fans for their April 1, 1978, opener at the stadium which they lost 3-0 to the Washington Diplomats. The Fury averaged 8,279 per-match in 1978 NASL, 5,624 per-match in 1979 NASL, and 4,778 in the 1980 NASL seasons. The club was moved to Montreal in 1981 NASL season.[50]

The stadium hosted an exhibition match on August 2, 1991, between the U.S. National Team and English professional soccer club Sheffield Wednesday F.C.. John Harkes played for Wednesday, the first American to play in the English Premier League. 44,261 fans saw the U.S. score two second-half goals to defeat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0.[51]

Philadelphia established a bid committee to host matches for the 1994 World Cup which was to be played in the United States. Phillies president Bill Giles was on the Philadelphia bid committee and hoped to use Veterans Stadium for games. In addition to the challenge of installing a natural grass field for the games, FIFA would have required the Phillies to vacate the stadium for a month to allow for sufficient preparation time prior to the matches. Giles could only offer 17-days.[52] The nine venues eventually chosen to host matches were all stadiums that did not host baseball games.

Date Winning Team Result Losing Team Tournament Spectators
August 2, 1991  United States 2-0 England Sheffield Wednesday International friendly 44,261

High School football

Veterans Stadium hosted Philadelphia's City Title high-school football championship game from 1973 to 1977 and in 1979. The series was suspended in 1980.[53] With the entry of the Philadelphia Catholic League into what is now PIAA District XII (which was formed when the Public League joined the PIAA in 2002), the "City Title Game" was restored in 2008.

Professional wrestling

The only professional wrestling event held in Veterans Stadium was National Wrestling Alliance/Jim Crockett Promotions The Great American Bash on July 1, 1986, with an attendance of 10,900. The event was the start of a 14-city summer tour.

Concerts

The stadium has hosted many stadium concerts, by famous artists of many different genres.

Other events

The venue also played host to religious events including annual Jehovah's Witnesses conventions, which was open to the public each year it took place. It also played host to a Billy Graham crusade in 1992; the crusade was held on the same day that the Eagles' Jerome Brown was killed in a vehicular crash and Reggie White, who was invited to speak at the event, broke the news to the gathered crowd.

Photo gallery

Vet Homeplatemarker

Home plate at Veterans Stadium, home to the Philadelphia Phillies for thirty-three seasons, is remembered with this granite and bronze marker in the parking lot near Citizens Bank Park. (2006)

Veterans Stadium goalpost marker

Veterans Stadium's goalpost, used by the Philadelphia Eagles for thirty-two seasons, is marked in the same parking lot. (2011)

Veterans Stadium pitching mound marker

Veterans Stadium's pitching mound is marked. (2011)

Vet Memorial, Veterans Stadium

A brief history of how the stadium was named and a tribute to veterans of all wars is on display outside where the stadium stood. (2006)

Vethistoricalsign

The historic marker shows the stadium's major moments. (2007)

Thevetdedication

Dedication plaque that once was attached to The Vet. (2007)

Further reading

  • Birker, Paul Arthur (2005). Veterans Stadium; Field of Memories. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. ISBN 1-59213-428-9.
  • Westcott, Rich (2005). Veterans Stadium: Dismantled. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 1-4134-5915-3.

References

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  2. ^ "Index". Ballparks.com. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  3. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers Search" (Searchable database). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  4. ^ Bernstein, Ralph (March 1, 1959). "Philadelphia On Verge of Losing Phils". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. p. 2C.
  5. ^ "Stadium Facts". Lincoln Financial Field. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  6. ^ "Phillies Card 28 Spring Exhibitions". St. Petersburg Times. December 17, 1969. p. 2-C. Retrieved May 1, 2009.
  7. ^ "Curtain Up On a Mod New Act". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. April 17, 1971. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
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  10. ^ a b Anderson, Dave (October 29, 2002). "Sports of The Times; To Eagles, Shockey Is Public Enemy No. 1". The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2009.
  11. ^ "Bucs Stop McNabb to Earn First Super Bowl Berth". ESPN. Associated Press. January 19, 2003. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
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  13. ^ Roberts, Kevin (December 26, 2003). "Former Phillies GM Owens Dies at 79". USA Today. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
  14. ^ "Former Relief Pitcher Tug McGraw Dead at 59". ESPN. January 6, 2004. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
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  16. ^ a b Westcott, Rich; Daulton, Darren (2005). Veteran's Stadium: Field of Memories. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. pp. 78, 204. ISBN 1-59213-428-9.
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  28. ^ https://billypenn.com/2015/09/11/peeing-in-sinks-fights-in-the-stands-a-flare-gun-the-awful-antics-that-birthed-eagles-court-at-the-vet-and-why-it-went-away/
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External links

1976 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1976 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 47th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 13, 1976, at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home of the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League. The game resulted in a 7–1 victory for the NL.

This was the third time that the All-Star Game had been played in Philadelphia, though the first to be played in Veteran's Stadium. Both the 1943 and 1952 games were played in Philadelphia's Shibe Park with the then Philadelphia Athletics hosting in 1943 and the Phillies hosting in 1952. The All-Star Game would return to Veterans Stadium in 1996.

The honorary captains were Robin Roberts (for the NL) and Bob Lemon (for the AL).Starting with this All-Star Game, both "O Canada" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" would be sung as part of the annual pregame ceremonies.

1983 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1983 Philadelphia Phillies season included the Phillies winning the National League East Division title with a record of 90–72, by a margin of six games over the Pittsburgh Pirates. They defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, three games to one in the National League Championship Series, before losing the World Series to the Baltimore Orioles, four games to one. The Phillies celebrated their centennial in 1983, were managed by Pat Corrales (43–42) and Paul Owens (47–30), and played their home games at Veterans Stadium.

1983 World Series

The 1983 World Series matched the American League champion Baltimore Orioles against the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies, with the Orioles winning four games to one. "The I-95 Series", like the World Series two years later, also took its nickname from the interstate that the teams and fans traveled on, Interstate 95 in this case. This was the last World Series that Bowie Kuhn presided over as commissioner.

This is Baltimore's most recent World Series title, and also their most recent American League pennant.

This was the first World Series since 1956 in which the teams did not use air travel. Baltimore and Philadelphia are approximately 100 miles apart.

1989 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1989 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 57th season in the National Football League.

This season marked second consecutive appearance in the postseason, this time as a wild-card team.

However, tribulation struck the Eagles late in the season with the death of quarterbacks coach Doug Scovil from a heart attack. For the remainder of the season, the Eagles wore a black stripe made of electrical tape over the wings on their helmet in tribute.

It was Hall of Famer Cris Carter's final season in Philadelphia as his on-and-off the field troubles led to his release the following preseason. He would then sign with the Minnesota Vikings.

1990 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1990 Philadelphia Eagles season was the team's 58th in the National Football League.

The team made the postseason yet again with a 10–6 overall record, despite beginning the season with disappointing early-season records of 1–3 and 2–4.

The Eagles ran for 2,556 rushing yards in 1990, which is the most of any team in a single season in the 1990s.Other season highlights were a 28–14 win at Veterans Stadium over the Washington Redskins on November 12, known as the Body Bag Game, since the defense managed to knock both Redskins quarterbacks from the contest plus several other key players. At Buffalo in a 30–23 loss on December 2, Randall Cunningham made one of the signature plays of his career, eluding Bills Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith in the end zone before launching the ball into the middle of the field to wide receiver Fred Barnett, who completed the 95-yard touchdown play.

One week prior, the Eagles avenged an opening-night loss at the Meadowlands, whipping the 10–0 Giants by a 31–13 score.

1993 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1993 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 61st in the National Football League (NFL). The team failed to improve upon their previous output of 11–5, winning only eight games and failed to qualify for the playoffs for only the second time in six seasons. Ten of their sixteen games were decided by a touchdown or less. The team was without future hall of fame defensive end Reggie White, who had signed via free agency with the Green Bay Packers.

The downturn was directly related to the twin losses of QB Randall Cunningham (broken leg) and WR Fred Barnett (ACL tear) to season-ending injuries in a 35–30 win against the New York Jets on October 3. Though the Eagles won their first four, following that game, lost six straight to fall out of playoff contention. Bubby Brister was only able to do so much in a starting role, but the club rallied to win their final three games, including their first road win in San Francisco in 10 years.

One notable feat by an opponent came on Halloween in Philadelphia, when Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith sloshed his way to 237 yards and one touchdown at a rainy Veterans Stadium in a 23–10 victory.

1996 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1996 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 67th playing of the midsummer 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 9, 1996, at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League. This marked the fifteenth and final all star game appearance of Ozzie Smith, who retired after the 1996 season. Smith entered the game in the top of the sixth inning. His first at-bat was greeted by chants of "Oz-zie, Oz-zie" from the Philadelphia crowd. Iron Man Cal Ripken, Jr., who was in the midst of his record-breaking run of consecutive games played, broke his nose during the pre-game AL team picture. However, he was ready to go at game time and started at SS.

During the pregame ceremonies, Kelsey Grammer of Frasier sang the American National Anthem and Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan sang the Canadian National Anthem. U.S. Congressman Jim Bunning (who was elected to the baseball hall-of-fame in 1996) joined other Phillies' hall of fame alumni Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts in tossing the ceremonial first pitches.

Joe Carter, the Toronto Blue Jays representative to the All-Star Game, received boos from the crowd for his home run that ended the 1993 World Series.The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 6–0. The National League would not win another All-Star Game until 2010.

Then-Chairman of the Executive Committee Bud Selig presented the All-Star Game MVP Award to Mike Piazza. Bobby Brown had presented the MVP Award in 1993, while National League President Len Coleman had presented the award in 1994 and 1995. After presenting the MVP Award at the 1998 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Selig was officially named Commissioner of Baseball.

This is the only All-Star Game in which not a single pitcher walked a batter; appropriately, Braves closer Mark Wohlers was the final pitcher of the game.

Veterans Stadium also held the "distinction" of being the most recent host stadium to be closed down, a distinction it lost after Yankee Stadium closed at the conclusion of the 2008 season. This is also, as of the end of the 2017 MLB season, the last MLB All-Star Game to be played on artificial turf (there are now only two MLB stadiums with artificial turf, but both are of the next-generation variety).

2001 Temple Owls football team

The 2001 Temple Owls football team represented Temple University in the college 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. Temple competed as a member of the Big East Conference. The team was coached by Bobby Wallace and played their home games at Veterans Stadium and Franklin Field.

Body Bag Game

The Body Bag Game was a Monday Night Football game that was played on November 12, 1990, between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins at Veterans Stadium. The Eagles defeated the Redskins, 28–14. Its nickname comes from the fact that nine Washington Redskins players left the game with injuries, and an Eagles player reacted to one of those injured Redskins by yelling, "Do you guys need any more body bags?"

Dan Baker (PA announcer)

Dan Baker (born September 22, 1946) is an American public address announcer best known for many years as the voice of Veterans Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

Born in Philadelphia, Baker grew up in Mount Ephraim, New Jersey and graduated from Audubon High School. He earned his undergraduate degree at Glassboro State College (since renamed as Rowan University) and went on to earn a master's degree at Temple University.Baker has been the public address announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies since 1972 and was the Philadelphia Eagles PA announcer from 1985 to 2014. He has served as a PA voice for five World Series (1980, 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009), two Major League Baseball All Star Games (1976 and 1996), and three NFC Championship Games (2002, 2003, and 2004).

Though the Phillies and Eagles left Veterans Stadium for new venues (the Eagles to Lincoln Financial Field in 2003 and the Phillies to Citizens Bank Park in 2004), Baker remained the PA announcer for both teams. He also serves as PA announcer for the Army–Navy Game when it is played in Philadelphia as well as Drexel University Dragons men's basketball.

After the 2009 retirement of the New York Yankees' Bob Sheppard, who was also PA announcer for the Eagles' biggest rival, New York Giants, Baker became the longest-tenured PA announcer in Major League Baseball.Between Baker and former Chicago Cubs' public address announcer Pat Pieper, the 2017 MLB season will mark 101 consecutive seasons that one of them has been announcing games. Pieper from 1916–1974 and Baker from 1972–present. The last game that was played without Pieper or Baker announcing games was the 1915 World Series on October 13, 1915.Baker was the radio announcer for Drexel University Dragons men's basketball on WNTP 990 AM from 1997–2012, after which he retired and became the team's public address announcer. Before that, he broadcast Philadelphia BIG 5 Basketball games for 21 years while additionally serving as its executive director from 1981–96. Baker was named to the Big 5 Hall of Fame in 1997 and was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Baker co-hosts a radio show on WBCB (AM) 1490 called "Bull Session" with former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Greg Luzinski, for whom the show is named. The show airs at 6:00 pm on Monday nights, and each week they bring in a special guest, usually a current or retired player.Baker reprises his role as the Philadelphia Phillies PA announcer for select Phillies away games at multiple venues that comprise a chain of Philadelphia area sports bars. The events are billed as "Summer Nights with Dan Baker". At these appearances, Baker announces the game over the sports bar's PA system in exactly the same fashion as he would if he was announcing an actual Phillies home game.

On May 7, 2014, the Eagles announced that Baker would no longer serve as their public address announcer, citing that they decided to make a change in the role. Baker will continue to be the public address announcer for the Phillies.

On September 16, 2015, XFINITY Live! announced that Baker would be the in-house public address announcer for Philadelphia Eagles games. Baker's duties are similar to those he had as the public address announcer for the Eagles, which include energizing the crowd with his signature calls.

Hot Pants Patrol

The Hot Pants Patrol was a group used by the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team in the 1970s, designed to attract greater attendance, particularly by men, to home games at Veterans Stadium. It consisted of a number of attractive young "fillies" or "usherettes" who were assigned to various sections throughout the stadium. Their uniform consisted of red jumpsuit incorporating hot pants (hence the name) emblazoned with the Phillies logo and white trim, albeit slightly longer pants than what normally was worn along with white go-go boots.

The Hot Pant Patrol debuted on April 10, 1971, the opening game at Veterans Stadium. There were 140 Fillies at the first game who were recruited from 432 applicants and advised by letter to wear "your shortest skirt and tightest blouse" to interviews. The 35 Fillies designated best looking were called, collectively, the Hot Pants Patrol and wore red hot pants.The Fillies last season was 1982 by which time the Phillie Phanatic mascot had established itself as the center of Veterans Stadium in-game entertainment.

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 Philadelphia Phillies turn back the clock games

The Chicago White Sox hosted the first Turn Back the Clock game in Major League Baseball on July 11, 1990. The White Sox wore their 1917 home uniforms and turned off the electronic scoreboards. The Phillies held their first Turn Back the Clock game on June 16, 1991. The Phillies and Reds wore double-knit versions of their 1950 wool-flannel uniforms.

Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars

The Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars were a professional American football team which played in the United States Football League (USFL) in the mid-1980s. Owned by real-estate magnate Myles Tanenbaum, they were the short-lived league's dominant team, playing in all three championship games and winning the latter two. They played their first two seasons in Philadelphia as the Philadelphia Stars before relocating to Baltimore, where the played as the Baltimore Stars for the USFL's final season. Coached by Jim Mora, the Stars won a league-best 41 regular season games and 7 playoff games.

Philadelphia Atoms

The Philadelphia Atoms were an American soccer team based out of Philadelphia that played in the North American Soccer League (NASL). They played from 1973 to 1976, at Veterans Stadium (1973–75) and Franklin Field (1976). The club's colors were blue and white. The club was succeeded by the Philadelphia Fury in 1978.

Philadelphia Fury (1978–80)

The Philadelphia Fury was a soccer team based in Philadelphia that played in the North American Soccer League from 1978 to 1980. Among the club's investors were rock musicians Rick Wakeman, Peter Frampton and Paul Simon. The team played at Veterans Stadium.

Vet

Vet, VET or the Vet may refer to:

Veterinary physician, a professional who treats disease, disorder and injury in animals

Veterinary medicine, the branch of science that deals with animals

Veteran, a person with long experience in a particular area, most often in military service during wartime

Veterans Stadium, informally "The Vet", a former sports stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Veterans Stadium (New Britain, Connecticut)

Vet River, South Africa

Finnish Board of Film Classification (Finnish: Valtion elokuvatarkastamo), an institution of the Finnish Ministry of Education

Venezuelan Standard Time, UTC-04:00 timezone

Vocational education and training, prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities

Sebastian Vettel, a German F1 driver

Veterans Memorial Stadium (Long Beach)

Veterans Memorial Stadium (also known as Veterans Stadium, Vets Stadium or simply The Vet) is an 11,600-seat stadium located south of the Liberal Arts Campus of Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California. It is the home stadium to a number of local area high school football teams, as well as Long Beach City College's football team. It was also home to Long Beach State's football team until the program disbanded in 1991.The stadium is also popular as a movie set for a number of Hollywood motion pictures. It also hosted the 1985 and 1988 Motorcycle Speedway World Team Cup Finals.

Veterans Stadium (New Britain, Connecticut)

Veterans Stadium (full name Veterans Memorial Stadium) is a multi-purpose stadium in New Britain, Connecticut. Opened in 1982, it is dedicated to the soldiers of the city who died in various U.S. wars, particularly Vietnam. The stadium now Houses CT United FC of the American Soccer League.

The stadium is used mostly by New Britain High School, and some other area schools, for football and soccer games. It also hosts the Connecticut Crushers of the National Women's Football Association. The stadium was also home to the Connecticut Wolves team of the United Soccer Leagues before that team folded in 2002.

The stadium is an 8-lane oval track around a regulation-size football field. The track was dedicated to coach Irving S. Black in April 1992. Seating is all in metal bleachers, with 7 sections of 27 rows each on either side of the field. The estimated capacity is 8,448. In the summer of 2012, the middle seating on both sides was changed to better match the colors of New Britain High School, which are maroon and gold.

The stadium is owned by the City of New Britain, and is part of Willow Brook Park. Also located in the complex are two baseball fields, New Britain Stadium and Beehive Field.

In the 1970s and 1980s, it hosted four United States men's national soccer team matches. It most famously hosted the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals game between the Carolina Railhawks and the New England Revolution on September 4, 2007 in which New England won 2-1 to advance to the finals, where they eventually defeated FC Dallas for the Dewar Cup. New England would return to Veterans Stadium on July 1, 2008 to defeat the Richmond Kickers 3-0 in the 3rd round of the 2008 U.S. Open Cup. New England would return again on July 8, 2008 to play Crystal Palace Baltimore in the quarterfinal round. After 90 minutes of play and a half-hour of overtime, with the score 1-1, New England midfielder Mauricio Castro scored the Rev's 5th penalty kick out of five, winning the game on penalty kick on a score of 5-3. The New England Revolution are now 3-1-0 at Veterans Stadium after their 2-1 Open Cup loss to Harrisburg City Islanders on June 30, 2009 .

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Franklin Field
Home of the Philadelphia Eagles
1971–2003
Succeeded by
Lincoln Financial Field
Preceded by
Connie Mack Stadium
Home of the Philadelphia Phillies
1971–2003
Succeeded by
Citizens Bank Park
Preceded by
Temple Stadium
Home of the Temple Owls
1978–2002
Succeeded by
Lincoln Financial Field
Preceded by
Milwaukee County Stadium
The Ballpark in Arlington
Host of the All-Star Game
1976
1996
Succeeded by
Yankee Stadium
Jacobs Field
Preceded by
Tampa Stadium
Edward Jones Dome
Host of NFC Championship Game
1981
2003
Succeeded by
Candlestick Park
Lincoln Financial Field
Franchise
Stadiums
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Division championships (13)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (4)
Retired numbers
Media
Current league affiliations
Seasons (86)
Franchise
Ballparks
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Important figures
Retired numbers
Key personnel
World Series
championships
(2)
NL pennants (7)
Divisionchampionships (11)
Minor league
affiliates
Broadcasting
Venues
Bowls & rivalries
Culture & lore
People
Seasons
Defunct stadiums of the National Football League
Early era:
19201940
Merger era:
19411970
Current era:
1971–present
Stadiums
used by
NFL teams
temporarily

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