Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood Stars’

San Diego’s Lane Field – The Ballpark By The Bay

March 10th, 2015

Lane Field was located near the northern end of the San Diego Bay, in San Diego, California, at the northeast corner of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway California just across from the West Broadway Pier.

Entrance to Lane Field, Northeast Corner of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

San Diego Harbor Office Building and Athletic Field at Northeast Corner of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California, Soon to Become Lane Field (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The ballpark was constructed on land originally used by the City of San Diego and United States Navy as an athletic field beginning in the mid 1920s. In addition to the athletic field, the venue included a race track and uncovered bleachers.

City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

In 1936, Bill Lane, the owner of the Hollywood Stars, moved his Pacific Coast League franchise to San Diego and renamed them the Padres.

Key to Blueprints Showing Original and Proposed Improved Ball Park (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Key to Blueprints Showing Original and Proposed Improved Ball Park (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

That same year, in the course of just a few months, the Works Project Administration reconfigured the athletic field at North Harbor Drive and West  Broadway into a baseball park.

Detail of City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Detail of City of San Diego, Harbor Department, Blue Prints Showing Original and Proposed Ball Park, Lane Field, San Diego, Califorina (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The ballpark was named Lane Field in honor of the Padres’ owner and hosted minor league baseball at that site for the next two decades.

Entrance to Lane Field at Northwest Corner of West Broadway and Pacific Highway (UT Photo  -utsandiego.com/news/2012/mar/07/lane-field-park-honor-padres-minor-league-history)

Entrance to Lane Field at Northwest Corner of West Broadway and Pacific Highway (UT Photo – utsandiego.com)

Ted Williams, who grew up in the North Park section of San Diego, played for the Padres during their first season in San Diego.

Ted Williams as a San Diego Padre, Lane Field, San Diego, California (Ted Williams Collection, My Turn At Bat)

Ted Williams as a San Diego Padre, Lane Field, San Diego, California (Ted Williams Collection, My Turn At Bat)

The Padres departed Lane Field after the 1957 season and by the 1960s the ballpark had been raised and turned into a parking lot for people departing from cruise ships in San Diego Bay.

Former Site of Lane Field, Intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California

Former Site of Lane Field, Intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Left Field Corner from Home Plate, San Diego, California

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Left Field Corner from Home Plate, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Home Plate from Right Field Corner, San Diego, California

Former Site of Lane Field Looking Toward Home Plate from Left Field Corner, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

The United States Navy building at 937 North Harbor Drive, located just across the street from the the former site of home plate, parallel to first base foul line, dates back to the time of Lane Field and can be seen in many of the aerial photographs of the ballpark.

United States Navy Building (in Background) at 937 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California

United States Navy Building (in Background) at 937 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Since the mid 2000s, the Unified Port of San Diego has planned to redevelop the former site of Lane Field.

Sign Announcing Development of Lane Field Site, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Sign Announcing Development of Lane Field Site, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Those plans finally came to fruition with construction of a new commercial development known also as “Lane Field,” located at 900 West Broadway.

Former Site of Lane FIeld, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane FIeld, San Diego, California, Circa 2006

Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California, 2015

Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California, 2015 (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The redevelopment of the site includes a tribute to Lane Field in the form a park with the outline of a small infield, which includes important dates in Lane Field’s history set into granite.

Historical Marker at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Historical Marker at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The site also includes a historical plaque placed at the site in 2003 by the Society for American Baseball Research.

Historical Marker, Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Historical Marker, Former Site of Lane Field, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

The former site of home plate is marked with a granite monument topped with a baseball quote by Ted Williams, stating, “There’s only one way to become a hitter. Go up to the plate and get mad. Get mad at yourself and mad at the pitcher.”

Tribute to San Diego Native Ted Williams at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Tribute to San Diego Native Ted Williams at Former Site of Lane Field Home Plate and Infield, San Diego, California (photo courtesy of Jason Papka)

Lane Field’s former site is located eight miles southwest of the National League San Diego Padres former ballpark, Qualcomm Stadium, and only a mile and a half northeast of the Padres current home, Petco Park.

Petco Park - Current Home of the San Diego Padres

Petco Park – Current Home of the San Diego Padres

Although Lane Field is now a lost ballpark, with the addition of the new park honoring Lane Field, the short drive from the Padres current home to the intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Boulevard is certainly worth the trip.

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Posted in California ballparks, Lane Field | Comments (0)

San Francisco’s Seals Stadium and the Double Play Bar

December 31st, 2012

Seals Stadium was home to the major league San Francisco Giants for two years from 1958 to 1959. From 1931 until 1957 it was the home of the Pacific Coast League San Francisco Seals and from 1931 until 1938 it was the home of the Pacific Coast League San Francisco Missions (who moved to Los Angeles and became the Hollywood Starts in 1939).

Seals Stadium (Courtesy of Flickr Photo Share – Photoscream)

The entrance to Seals Stadium (as well as the right field corner) was located at 16th and Byrant Streets in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Former Site of Entrance to Seals Stadium at the Corner of 16th and Byrant Streets

A plaque commemorating Seal Stadium is located at the corner of 16th and Bryant Streets.

Plaque Commemorating Seals Stadium Located at 16th and Byrant Streets, San Francisco CA (photo courtesy of Terrell Baldwin)

The site is now Potrero Shopping Center, named after Potrero Avenue which runs parallel to what was once left field. Potrero is Spanish for pasture, something the shopping center is not.

Potrero Center, Former Site of Seals Stadium

The shopping center’s parking garage sits in the former location of right and center field.

Former site of Seals Stadium Center Field Looking Toward the Infield

Across 16th Street from the shopping center is Franklin Soccer Field, which remains from the time of Seals Stadium.

Former Location of Center Field Wall Looking East Down 16th Street

The location of home plate is somewhere within the shopping center, perhaps in the Office Depot or the adjoining Safeway.

Former Site of Seal Stadium Left Field Looking Toward Right Field/First Base Line

Although Seals Stadium is now a long lost ballpark, thankfully a taste of baseball and the stadium remains at the site. Across the street from the former ballpark at the corner of 16th and Bryant is the Double Play Bar (the building can be seen in the  top right corner of the vintage photograph of Seal Stadium above).

Double Play Bar Located Across the Street from Former Site of Seals Stadium

The bar pays homage to the memory of Seals Stadium with displays of original signage from the stadium, as well as vintage baseball equipment.

Front Bar at the Double Play Bar

Many of the front bar walls are adorned with pictures of the ballpark, giving visitors the sensation of having just come from a game at Seals Stadium.

Sampling of the Decorations that Line the Walls of the Double Play Bar

Even the bar menu pays homage to old Seals Stadium.

Double Play Bar Menu

The back portion of the Double Play Bar includes a restaurant seating area with a mural depicting the old stadium grandstand, field, and outfield walls.

Double Play Bar’s Recreated Seals Stadium

The signage on the wall replicates Seals Stadium’s outfield wall.

Double Play Bar Outfield Wall Mural

A game between the Seals and the Oakland Oaks is captured on the mural’s recreation of Seals Stadium’s old scoreboard.

Double Play Bar Mural Depicting Seal Stadium Scoreboard

Seals Stadium was demolished in 1959, soon after the San Francisco Giants moved into their new home at Candlestick Park. Although the stadium is now just another lost ballpark, Double Play Bar remains in its spot across the street from the ballpark’s former site. The bar is well worth a stop should you find yourself in San Francisco in search of some baseball history. And, if you happen to find the former site of home plate (inside the Office Depot?) please drop me a line and let me know. A picture also would be great.

For more information about the Double Play bar, please see A San Francisco Deadball Moment.

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Posted in California ballparks, Seals Stadium | Comments (4)