Braves Field and Boston University

April 26th, 2010
by Byron Bennett

Braves Field was the second home of the National League Boston Braves.  Previously having played at the various incarnations of stadia at Boston’s South End Grounds, the team moved to Braves Field in 1915, playing there through the 1952 season.

Braves Field's Portal to the Past

Braves Field is located just a mile west of Fenway Park on Commonwealth Avenue.  The ballpark, or what is left of it, resides on the campus of Boston University.  After the Braves left Boston for Milwaukee in 1953, the university took over the ballpark, demolished a portion of the field and grandstand to construct a gymnasium, and converted what was left of the grandstand and most of the outfield to a modest-sized football stadium.  When Boston University disbanded its football program, the stadium, renamed Nickerson Field, was converted for use primarily as a soccer venue.

Nickerson Field

Center Field Looking Toward Former Right Field Bleachers

The distinctive, tan-colored, stucco and Mission-Revival-style building that once housed the Brave’s administrative offices and is now the university’s police station anchors the site on Harry Agganis Way, one block north of Commonwealth Avenue.  Just behind building is the back side of the right-field bleachers, also preserved by the university.

Boston Braves Former Administrative Offices

A concrete plaza constructed behind the police station includes a plaque commemorating Braves Field.

Braves Field Plaza Behind Right Field Bleachers

The plaque tells the story of the longest game in major league history, played at that field on May 1, 1920.  A 26-inning affair, the Braves battled the Brooklyn Dodgers to a 1-1 tie, with both pitchers throwing complete games.

Plaque Commorating Former Site of Braves Field

A gate between the police station and the right field bleachers allows access to the playing field, which is now covered with artificial turf.

Looking Down on Former Administrative Offices from Top of Right Field Bleachers

What remains of Braves Field is impressive.  The seating area of Nickerson Field is composed almost entirely of what once was Braves Field’s right-field bleachers.

Right Field Bleachers, Braves Field, 1916 World Series (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

The original concrete-and-stucco wall surrounding the perimeter of the bleachers, seen in the picture above, remains largely intact.

Original Concrete and Stucco Wall

Although most of the original seating had been replaced with aluminum benches, a section located in the middle of the seating area had four rows of red plastic stadium seats.

Nickerson Field Seating

The concourse and concession stands underneath the bleachers dates back to Braves Field.

Concession Area Under Right Field Bleachers

A walkway at the end of the concourse leads from the Braves’ former offices to what was once right centerfield.

Walkway From Offices, Under Stands, To Right Field

The officials at Boston University were forward thinking when they decided to turn former Braves Field into Nickerson Field and retain portions of the old ballpark for future generations of baseball fans to appreciate.  It is a fantastic portal to the past and only a mile or so down Commonwealth from Fenway.  If you’re in the area for a Red Sox game, it is well worth taking a detour to visit Braves Field.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Braves Field, Massachusetts ballparks | Comments (11)

  • Avatar David Cherson says:

    FYI, there was a transition name between Braves Field and Nickerson Field and it was called Boston University Field or simply BU Field. I believe that it wasn’t renamed Nickerson Field until the 1970’s.

  • Byron Bennett Byron Bennett says:

    David – Thanks for the clarification. I had a hard time finding much on the history of the field after the University took it over. DBS

  • Avatar Rob Noel says:

    I been doing a little research on the Boston Braves field and should of known to look here first. You did it again,great job and love the pictures. I also like the Baker Bowl pics. Thanks Dave you truly have am amazing website!!!!

  • Byron Bennett Byron Bennett says:

    Hello Rob

    Thanks for the kind words. Getting ready to post about the Black Sox’s ballparks that were once located just south of Camden Yards. These are truly lost ballparks.

  • […] portion of Jarry Park Stadium, like Braves Field in Boston, exists today as a reconfigured sports venue. Jarry Park Postcard Showing Home Plate Grandstand and […]

  • […] a major renovation, including addition of a second deck and expanded seating. The scoreboard from Braves Field in Boston (sold after the Braves departed for Milwaukee in 1953) was moved to Kansas City and […]

  • […] Braves franchise had played the previous 82 seasons in Boston, most recently (1915-1952) at Braves Field, located less than two miles west of Fenway Park. Indeed, the Braves are the oldest continuously […]

  • […] home of the National League Braves and the first in Atlanta. The Braves two previous homes were Braves Field in Boston and County Stadium in Milwaukee. Atlanta/Fulton County Stadium, Once Home of the Braves (Dexter […]

  • […] Cooper Stadium is now a lost ballpark, like Braves Field in Boston a portion of it remains, repurposed, allowing future generations the opportunity to experience at […]

  • […] the third oldest professional ballpark still in continuous use, built in 1915, and the remnants of Braves Field, which opened in 1915. Athough Forbes Field was constructed in 1909, the same year as Swayne […]

  • […] been to Braves Field? For you can still go since part of it still remains at Boston University. B.U. is just a short walk from Kenmore Square and the field is now called […]

  • Leave a Reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.