Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Padres’

Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium

March 17th, 2015

Aloha Stadium is located  at 99-500 Salt Lake Boulevard in Halawa, Hawaii (a suburb of Honolulu), just north of the Honolulu International Airport and northeast of Pearl Harbor.

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Aloha Stadium opened in 1976 as a multi-purpose stadium, replacing Honolulu Stadium as the island’s main outdoor sports arena. Honolulu Stadium was located 10 miles southeast of Aloha Stadium and was demolished in 1976. Then Governor John Burns spearheaded the drive to construct Aloha Stadium and replace outdated Honolulu Stadium.

Bust and Plaque in Honor of Hawaii John A. Burns , Governor of Hawaii from 1962- to 1974, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Bust and Plaque in Honor of Hawaii John A. Burns , Governor of Hawaii from 1962- to 1974, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Aloha Stadium was designed so that the seating area could be moved to accommodate various configurations.Four 7,000 seat grandstand sections moved with the use of pressurized air to create a diamond configuration for baseball.

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, Postcard (Tour 1545, photo by Gustavo Ramirez)

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, Postcard (Tour 1545, photo by Gustavo Ramirez)

Because of problems with the system that moves the grandstand seating, in 2006, Aloha Stadium’s seating was permanently locked in a rectangular configuration for football.

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, with Grandstand Seating Aligned for Football

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, with Grandstand Seating Aligned for Football

The Stadium Authority added sky walks between the four different grandstand sections.

Sky Walks Link The Grandstand Sections at Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Sky Walks Link The Grandstand Sections at Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

When Aloha Stadium opened in 1976, it was home to the Pacific Coast League Hawaii Islanders.

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

During the Islanders’ stay at Aloha Stadium, the team was affiliated with the San Diego Padres from 1976 to 1982, the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1983 to 1986, and the Chicago White Sox in 1987.

Gate %, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Gate 5, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

In 1986 and 1987, the Islanders also played some of their home games at Rainbow Stadium (currently Les Murakami Stadium), the home of the University of Hawaii baseball team.

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

After the 1987 season, the Islanders franchise was relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Professional baseball has made brief returns to Aloha Stadium, first with the arrival of the Major League Baseball affiliated minor league Hawaii Winter Baseball League, which played at Aloha Stadium from 1993 to 1997. On April 19 and 20, 1997, the San Diego Padres hosted the St. Louis Cardinals for a three game regular season series at Aloha Stadium, thus making the stadium a Major League ballpark, if only for three games. The Padres also played additional exhibition games at Aloha Stadium up until 2001.

Ticket Windows, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Ticket Windows, Main Gate, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

With the grandstand seating now permanently locked in a football configuration, it is highly unlikely professional baseball ever will return to Aloha Stadium.

Shade Trees Line the Perimeter of Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Shade Trees and Other Native Vegetation Line the Perimeter of Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Home plate was located in the center of what is now the stadium’s southern most end zone.

Looking Toward End Zone Located at the Southern End (and Former Location of Home Plate) Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Looking Toward End Zone Located at the Southern End (and Former Location of Home Plate) Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Aloha current tenants include the University of Hawaii Warriors football team, who have played at the stadium since its opening in 1975. It also hosts annually the NCAA Hawaii Bowl and the National Football League Pro Bowl.

Section U (Near the Northern Most End Zone), Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Section U (Near the Northern Most End Zone), Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

The parking lot that surrounds Aloha Stadium hosts a giant Swap Meet every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Ironically, none of the vendors at the swap meet had any baseball or Aloha Stadium related merchandise on the day I visited.

Swap Meet, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Swap Meet, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

With talk underway to upgrade the Aloha Stadium, the venue is not currently in any danger of becoming yet another lost ballpark. However, it’s days of hosting baseball games are behind it.

Entrance Gate From Second Level Concourse, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Entrance Gate From Second Level Concourse, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Still, if you are in the habit of collecting ballparks – or former professional baseball parks – Aloha Stadium should be added to your list as a former Major League Park (if only for three days). It is a short drive from Pearl Harbor, if you are in the area, and if you are there on a Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday, you can walk around the perimeter of the stadium through the rows of vendors at the swap meet.

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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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San Diego Stadium – Qualcomm And Jack Murphy

December 5th, 2013

Qualcomm Stadium is a multipurpose ballpark located at 9449 Friars Road, seven miles north east of downtown San Diego, California. From 1969 to 2003, it was the home field of the National League San Diego Padres.

Qualcomm Stadium San Diego

For one season – in 1968 – it was the home to the Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres. Previously, the minor league Padres had played their home games at Lane Field from 1936 to 1957, and Westgate Park from 1958 to 1967.

San Diego Stadium (Postcard Marine Photos & Publishing)

The American Football League San Diego Chargers (the Chargers joined the National Football League in 1970) began play at San Diego Stadium in 1967.

San Diego Stadium (Postcard Curteichcolor, Western Publ. & Nov. Co.)

The San Diego State University Aztecs likewise have played their home football games at the stadium since 1967.  Half of the lower bowl seats are movable to accommodate the stadium’s baseball configuration.

Concrete - Qualcomm's Main Ingredient

The stadium name has changed three times over the years. First named San Diego Stadium, the ballpark was renamed Jack Murphy Stadium in 1981, after the local sportswriter who in 1961 helped convince Los Angeles Chargers owner Barron Hilton to move his team two hours south to San Diego.

Qualcomm Stadium Row of Busts - Famous San Diego Sports Personalities

In 1984, Jack Murphy Stadium was renovated, adding an additional 8,000 seats and 50 luxury suites. In anticipation of the bringing Super Bowl XXXII to San Diego, the ballpark again was renovated in 1997, adding 10,500 seats and another 34 luxury suites, making the total seating capacity 71,500.

One of the Circular Entrance Ways to Qualcomm Stadium

Architecturally, Qualcomm Stadium was constructed in the Brutalist style. This fortress-like appearance was popular from the 1950’s and into the 1970’s.

Detail of Qualcomm Stadium's Brutalist Style Architecture

In 1997, the ballpark was renamed Qualcomm Stadium at Jack Murphy Field after the San Diego telecommunications company ponied up $18 million in name rights which run through 2017.

Qualcomm Stadium Scoreboard

The Padres brought two World Series to Qualcomm Stadium, in 1984 and 1998, but no world championships.

Padres Ticket Office - Qualcomm Stadium

Although Qualcomm Stadium is surrounded by a massive parking lot, the upper reaches of the stadium,  looking east, offer a nice view of Cowles Mountain and Mission Trails Park.

Qualcomm Stadium With Cowles Mountain and Mission Trails Park Visible in Background

In 2000, the City of San Diego broke ground on a new stadium for the Padres.

Qualcomm Stadium - View of Home Plate from Third Base Side

As is typical for ballparks facing extinction, the Padres posted a countdown banner in the outfield, reminding all patrons that the end was near.

Qualcomm Stadium Right Field Countdown Banner

In 2004, the Padres moved seven miles south of Qualcomm Stadium to their new home, Petco Park, who’s name was an upgrade from their Qualcomm Stadium, but not by much. There is no question, however, that the Padres current home is a vast improvement over Qualcomm Stadium, both in architecture and in amenities.

Petco Park - Current Home of the San Diego Padres

Qualcomm currently is the fifth oldest ballpark in the NFL (behind Soldier Field, Lambeau Field, Candlestick Park, and Oakland County Stadium). The Chargers owners threaten yearly to move the team to another city if San Diego refuses to build the team a new stadium. Either way, it appears only a matter of time before Qualcomm joins the ranks of lost ballparks. If you are thinking of visiting Qualcomm Stadium before it goes, be sure also to pay a visit to another historical baseball site located nearby at 4121 Utah Street, the boyhood home of Ted Williams. It located just 4 miles south of Qualcomm Stadium off the 805.

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Albert Spalding and Point Loma Nazarene University

January 25th, 2013

Baseball pioneer and Hall of Famer Albert Spalding played for two early major league teams in the 1870s, the Boston Red Stockings (who later became the Braves) and the Chicago White Stockings (later known as the White Sox). Towards the end of his playing days he helped form the National League and, with an eye toward life after baseball, started a sporting goods store with his brother in Chicago in 1877.

Albert Spalding (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

When he was 51 years old he moved to San Diego, California, and built a home near the cliffs of Point Loma.

Former Residence of Baseball Pioneer Albert Spalding

His home was located in a community known as Lomaland, a Theosophical commune started in 1900 by Katherine Tingley.

Front Entrance to Former Home Of Albert Spalding

Constructed in 1901, Spalding’s home was a one level Victorian style home. The home was painted white as were all the other buildings that made up Lomaland.

Front Porch, Albert Spalding Home, Point Loma, California

Spalding lived in the house until his death in 1915 at the age of 65.

Wood Trim In Spalding House Created By Sculptor Reginald Machel

The Theosophical community departed Lomaland in 1942 and the land and buildings were subsequently purchased for use by Balboa University.

Scoreboard at Carroll B. Land Baseball Field, Point Loma Nazarene University

Spalding’s home and the remaining buildings that made up Lomaland are now part of Point Loma Nazarene University. Spalding’s former residence, known as Mieras Hall, houses the office of the university president and the office of academic affairs.

View of Ball Field at Point Loma Nazarene University

Just to the south of Spalding’s former home is the Carroll B. Land Baseball Field.

Batting Practice At Point Loma Nazarene University

The baseball field, with its modest seating area, has to be one of the most beautiful in the United States.

The Pacific Ocean Lies Just West of the Outfield Wall At Carroll B. Land Field

Set on the cliffs of Point Loma, the Pacific Ocean is located just to the west, beyond the outfield wall.

Good Work If You Can Get It - Manning Right Field at Point Loma Nazarene University

The Albert Spalding Home and Point Loma Nazarene University are located seven miles west of Petco Park, Home of the San Diego Padres, just across San Diego Bay. Like the Boyhood Home of Ted Williams, the Spalding Home is worth a visit because of its connection to a baseball Hall of Famer. Carroll B. Land Baseball Field at Point Loma Nazarene University is worth a stop as well, if for no other reason than to experience the beauty of the ball field set on the cliffs of Point Loma, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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Ted Williams – His Boyhood Home When “The Kid” Was Just A Kid

January 18th, 2013

Ted Williams, the Splendid Splinter, grew up in the North Park section of San Diego, California.

Ted Williams’s Boyhood Home at 4121 Utah Street

His boyhood home is located at 4121 Utah Street.

Front Door Entrance to Boyhood Home of Ted Williams

His home on Utah Street is located in the North Park section of San Diego, just northeast of Balboa Park.

North Park Section of San Diego, California, Location of Ted Williams Boyhood Home

North Park Section of San Diego, California, Location of Ted Williams Boyhood Home

The home is a modest, one story bungalow.

Side View of Ted Williams’s Boyhood Home

Williams lived there with his family from 1924 until left San Diego to play for the Boston Red Sox in 1939.

Detached Garage Behind Boyhood Home of Ted Williams

One half block south down Utah Street and one block west on Polk Avenue is North Park Community Park, where Williams played as a child. The park includes a baseball field named in Williams’s honor.

Sign Commemorating Ted Williams and the Ball Field Where He Played as a Child

The Kid played youth baseball on this same field when he was just a kid.

Ted Williams Field, San Diego, California

Both Williams’s house and the ball field look much like they did when Williams lived in the neighborhood.

First Base Side, Ted Williams Field

Williams played baseball for Herbert Hoover High School in San Diego and signed with the minor league San Diego Padres in 1936 when he was just 17 years old. He played two seasons for the Padres, in 1936 and 1937.

Third Base Side, Ted Williams Field

Twenty miles north of William’s boyhood home is the Ted Williams Freeway, California State Route 56, which runs east-west between I-5 and I-15.

Ted Williams Parkway, Route 56, San Diego, California

Ted Williams Parkway, Route 56, San Diego, California

Lane Field, home of the San Diego Padres, was located just five miles south of Williams’s house. Williams played for the Padres at Lane Field the year that it opened in 1936. It was his first season of professional ball. While the ballpark has been gone now for over 50 years, recently the city has constructed a monument to Lane Field, including a historic marker and a granite outline of the infield and the former site of home plate. On top of the home plate monument is a quote from Ted Williams” “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.”

Historical Marker, Lane Field, San Diego, California

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

If you are interested in baseball history, certainly Williams’s former home and youth baseball field are worth a stop. They are both just five and a half miles north of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and easily accessible by taking the Cabrillo Freeway north to Washington Street east and then east on El Cajon Boulevard. Lane Field’s former site is located just a mile and a half northwest of Petco Park, straight up North Harbor Drive.

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