Posts Tagged ‘Crosley Field’

Crosley Field and the Corner of Findlay and Western

May 9th, 2010

The corner of Findlay Street and Western Avenue hosted professional baseball from 1884 until June 1970.  Home of the Cincinnati Reds, the earliest ballpark incarnation at that corner, League Park, lasted until 1900, when the grandstand was destroyed by fire.  Portions of League Park undamaged by the fire, mainly seating in right field (the former League Park grandstand before the field was repositioned), were incorporated into a second ballpark, known as the Palace of the Fans, which lasted until 1911.   The following three photographs show the demolition of the Palace of the Fans in preparation for construction of a new ballpark.

Wrecking the Palace of the Fans (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

In this second photograph, the building in the background is the Oliver Schlemmer Co. Plumbing, Heating & Power Work building.  The concrete pillars in the foreground are what is left of the old League Park grandstand, which was also used as Palace of the Fan’s right field pavilion.

Palace of the Fans Grandstand Comes Down (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

If only you could go back in time and grab some pieces of the old ballpark before they were discarded.

Palace of the Fans Demolition (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

The third ballpark constructed at the corner of Findlay and Western was Redland Field, later known as Crosley Field, in honor of the Reds’ owner Powel Crosley, Jr.

Crosley Field "Home of the Cincinnati Reds" (J. Louis Motz News Co.)

The right field bleachers and grandstand of Crosley Field were located at the corner of Findlay and Western.

Crosley Field First Base Grandstand and right field bleachers (Fasfoto, Inc.)

Western Avenue ran parallel to left and center field while Findlay Street ran along the first base line.  Only a few of the buildings shown in this aerial view of Crosley Field remain now at the former site.

Aerial View of Crosley Field (Bell Block News & Novelty Co.)

The buildings fronting Western Avenue are now long gone, having been demolished for construction of I-75.  The same is true for much of the buildings surrounding the grandstand.  They were demolished to make room for parking at Crosley Field.  One notable exception, however, is the building shown at the bottom left corner of the postcard.

Building Located Just Behind Third Base/Left Field Grandstand

The building, with its distinctive tall, brick smoke stack, is located just behind what was the third base/left field grandstand and remains from the time of Crosely Field.

Front of Building Facing York Street

A brick wall that ran from the front of the building east along York Street toward the corner of the left field grandstand remains as well.

Brick Wall that Attached to Grandstand

Dalton Avenue now intersects the site, running from left/center field, through right field, to the former first base grandstand.  Several buildings constructed on the site pay homage to Crosley Field.  Phillips Supply Company, located on Findlay Street, has an address of One Crosley Field Lane.

Phillips Supply Company- One Crosley Field Lane

In front of the building used to be six red-painted wooden seats which have since been replaced by plastic seats from Riverfront Stadium.

Crosley Field Seats in Front of Phillips Supply

Also on the former site is Hills Floral Products, located at 1130 Findlay, near where that street intersects with Western.

Hills Floral Supply Co. with Crosley Field Plaque

In front of the building, where the right field grandstand once stood, is a plaque honoring Crosley Field.  Inside the front lobby of the building are pictures and artifacts discussing Crosley’s history at the site.

Crosley Field Plaque

If you take the time to visit the Crosley Field site, be sure to stop at the playground located where the left field grandstand once stood.  They may not play professional baseball there anymore, but at least you can sit on a park bench (or ride a swing) in the same location where fans of the Cincinnati Reds once sat to watch the game of baseball being played.

Park Benches Where Grandstand Once Stood

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The Cinergy of Riverfront Stadium

May 8th, 2010

Riverfront Stadium was home to the Cincinnati Reds from June 1970, through the end of the 2002 season.

Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati Ohio (Fas Foto, Inc.)

The stadium literally fronted the Ohio River, hence the name.

Riverfront Stadium Along the Ohio River as Seen from Kentucky (R.C. Holmes)

Riverfront Stadium was renamed Cinergy Field in 1996, thus replacing a terrific, classic stadium name with a terrifically awful stadium name.

Cinergy Field Sporting a Vinyl Banner

The Electric Glow of Cinergy Field

While Cinergy Field may have been a “cookie-cutter,” multi-use stadium, it still housed major league baseball, making it a special place.  The ground was still hallowed, even if it was neon-green.

The Green Plastic Grass of Cinergy Field

The stadium, although generic, still could seem majestic as the lights came up and the sun went down.

Cinergy Field With Scripps Building Looming Over Stadium

In 2001, a large portion of the stadium structure and seating bowl behind center field was removed to allow construction of what would become Great American Ballpark.

The Left Field Corner Before Making Room for Progress

The Center Field Wall and Stadium Structure Behind it Was the First to Go

As can be seen in the following photographs, the new ballpark rising behind center field dominated the landscape.

Left Field Corner with Stadium and Seating Removed

The same was true for right center field.

Great American Ballpark Under Construction Behind Cinergy Field

Construction of the new ballpark required that the outfield fence be moved in several feet.

Cinergy Field's Version of the Big Green Monster

Outside the ballpark, the old stadium seemed almost to merge with the new one under construction.

The Old and the New

Other aspects of the ballpark, however, remained as they had been for 30-plus years.

Well-Worn Seats

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The Blue, Green, and Red Seats of Cinergy Field

The Last Rainout

Ironically, Great American Ballpark, built next to and atop Cinergy Field’s former site, pays tribute not to that stadium, but to Crosley Field.  “Crosley Terrace,” in front of the entrance to the new ballpark, includes statutes of former players.

Crosley Terrace at Great American Ballpark

The plaza also includes a recreation of Crosley Field’s famous left field berm (that later was extended to include center and right field as well), which ran over top city sewer lines that straddled the left field wall.

Crosley Field Berm Looking Toward What Was Deep Center Field

The Red’s Hall of Fame and Museum sits in the location of the former outfield.

Reds Hall of Fame and Museum Located on Hallowed Ground

Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field is now just another lost ballpark.  But for those who attended games there, it certainly is not forgotten, even if there is no plaque marking its former location .

Gone But Not Forgotten

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