Posts Tagged ‘Baker Bowl’

Shibe Park and the Church of Baseball

April 20th, 2010

Shibe Park (later known as Connie Mack Stadium) was home to both the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Athletics and was located three miles north of Center City Philadephia and only five blocks west of the Baker Bowl.

Entrance to Shibe Park at Lehigh and 21st Street (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

Although the ballpark was demolished decades ago, a state historical marker now marks the spot.

Pennsylvania State Historical Marker

The Deliverance Evangelistic Church now sits on the former site.

Deliverance Evangelistic Church

Although the ballpark itself no longer remains, buildings in the area help provide prospective for where the ballpark once stood. Surrounding the mega-church are many of the same row houses that once caused Connie Mack to build a spite fence in right field along North 20th Street to keep fans sitting on rooftops across the street from watching the games for free.

Row Houses Minus Connie Mack’s Spite Fence

Those same row houses can be seen in this photograph of the 1914 World Series.  Connie Mack’s spite fence atop the right field wall arrived in 1935.

Crowds Watching 1914 World Series from Houses Along 20th Street (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

Shibe Park , Game Two of 1910 World Series,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Divsion)

Shibe Park , Game Two of 1910 World Series, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Divsion)

As with the Baker Bowl, a trip to the corner of Lehigh and 21st Street is well worth the stop for any baseball fan who appreciates the history of the game.  Looking at the houses along 20th Street, one can still imagine their rooftops packed with fans watching the proceedings of the 1914 World Series.

Game Action 1920(?), Connie Mack Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (digital image deadballbaseball.com, copyright David B. Stinson)

Game Action 1920(?), Connie Mack Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (digital image deadballbaseball.com, copyright David B. Stinson)

A statue of former Philadelphia A’s owner and manager Connie Mack stands adjacent to the parking lot outside Citizens Bank Park.  The statute originally was located in a park across the street from Connie Mack Stadium on Lehigh Avenue and was placed there as a tribute to Mr. Mack soon after his death in 1956.   When the Phillies moved to Veterans Stadium, the statute moved with them, where it sat outside the Vet until the stadium’s demolition in 2004.

Statue of “Mr. Baseball” Connie Mack

Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium closed during the 1970 season.  Fans leaving the final game grab souvenirs of the old ballpark.  The ballpark was demolished in 1974.

Seat Slats Removed by Fan After Final Game

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Baker Bowl

April 18th, 2010

The Philadelphia Phillies called the Baker Bowl their home from 1887 to 1938.

The Baker Bowl (postcard company unknown)

Demolished a decade later, nothing now remains of the ballpark, although a state historical marker notes its former location.

Pennsylvania State Historical Marker

Some of the buildings surrounding the site from that era do help provide perspective of how the ballpark once fit into the neighborhood. The warehouse (former Brooks Brothers warehouse?) that looms over the outfield in the postcard above remains.

The Former Brooks Brothers Warehouse

The warehouse also is visible in this vintage 1932 photograph of  former New York Giant third baseman Gil English.

Gil English at the Baker Bowl (photographer unknown)

The warehouse also is visible along Lehigh Avenue.

Lehigh Avenue at 15th Street Looking East

The Moore & White Company (which made machinery such as paper machinery) was located at northeast corner of 15th Street and Lehigh Avenue, just beyond the left field bleachers (as seen in the photograph below). That building is no longer at the site.

Phillies vs Dodgers (?) 1920s, Baker Bowl, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Former Home of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Phillies vs Dodgers (?) 1920s, Baker Bowl, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Former Home of the Philadelphia Phillies (Digital Image deadballbaseball.com, copyright David B. Stinson)

Also remaining at the site from the time of the Baker Bowl is a two-story brick building (now painted white) topped with billboards that is visible in  pictures of the stadium just beyond right-center field.

Two Story Building just north of North Broad Street train station

The Baker Bowl site now is occupied by a gas station and parking lot that sit in left and center field respectively.

You Can Buy Gas Where the Gashouse Gang Once Battled the Phillies

A two story International-style industrial building sits in the former location of the infield and right field.

Former Right Field Corner at Broad Street and Huntingdon Street Looking North on Broad Street

The buildings on the south side of Huntingdon remain from the time of the Baker Bowl as well.

Looking West down Huntingdon

Is the former site of the Baker Bowl worth a visit, even though nothing remains of the former ballpark?  If you are a fan of the Phillies and appreciate  the history of the game, it is worth a stop, especially since the distinctive v-shaped warehouse that once loomed over center field remains in place.   Another former ballpark worth visiting is the Phillies’ second home – Shibe Park – which was located just a few blocks west of the Baker Bowl at the corner of Lehigh Avenue and North 29th Street.  More on that lost ballpark later.

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