Apr-20: The Great Baseball Temples Debut

Today marks the anniversary of the opening of three great American ballparks – Fenway Park, Tiger Stadium and Wrigley Field.  Of the three only Fenway and Wrigley remain and they are the only two pre-1960 Major League Baseball parks still in use.

1912

Opening Day for Fenway Park and Tiger Stadium

Boston’s Fenway Park opened on this day in 1912 with a 7-6 win for the Boston Red Sox over their hated rival – the New York Yankees.  It remains the oldest baseball park in use in Major League Baseball and is widely revered as the greatest temple to baseball.  It is also the smallest ballpark, with a capacity of only 37,731 (but which regularly sells out).

In addition to the Red Sox, Fenway has been home to the Boston Braves (1914-15), NFL teams including the Boston Redskins (1933-36), Boston Yanks (1944-48) and Boston Patriots (1963-68).

It has been added to the National Register of Historic Places

Detroit’s Tiger Stadium (originally Briggs Stadium) opened on this day as well with a 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians.  The stadium was home to the Tigers from 1912-99 and the Detroit Lions from 1938-74.  While it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was demolished in 2009.

1916

Cubs Debut at Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field (originally known as Weegham Park) opened in 1914 for the Chicago Whales of the defunct Federal League.  After the Whales folder at the end of the 1915 season, the Chicago Cubs moved in defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in their opening game.

The stadium is famous for its ivy-covered brick outfield wall, its iconic red marquee over the main entrance, the hand-turned scoreboard and the fact that until 1988 all games were played during the day.

The stadium also was home to the Chicago Bears from 1921-70.

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