Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Rooftop Seating Throughout History

With the Cubs/Mets LCS in full swing and the series coming to Wrigley Field, let's take a look at rooftop seating throughout history.

Boston's South End Grounds, built in 1894. On everyone's list of one of the most picturesque ballparks of all time. A somewhat slipshod fence was built to prevent the properties on the first base side outside the park from getting a good view into the park.

With the help of Tom Shieber of the Baseball Hall of Fame and their virtual reality tour of the ballpark, I created this image of South End Grounds with the rooftop seating clearly shown on the left.

West Side Park or West Side Grounds, home of the Chicago Cubs 1893 - 1915.
They even had their own inside the park version of rooftop seating, when they expanded the bleacher seating that was built in front of their centerfield clubhouse to include a section on top of the roof.
Here's my image showing locations of the rooftop seating.
Bennett Park, home of the Detroit Tigers from 1901 = 1911. The owner of the Tigers disliked these so much that he came up with a novel solution.

This is from Marc Okkonen's excellent "Baseball Memories 1900 - 1909". 
I can't recommend this book enough.

And here's my rendering, based on Marc's drawing in his book (with his permission).

Shibe Park, Philadelphia. Home of the A's. That is one solid street length set of non revenue enhancing bleachers! Ownership despised these freeloaders and set out to build a spite fence to thwart them. These photos are screen captures of a Modern Marvels video posted by SultanOfWhat on Baseball-Fever.com

 Take that!

Which brings us to today. With the construction of the large video boards and signage, Cubs ownership is being forced to buy the properties across the street whose view is blocked, after previously squeezing them for a cut of their revenue several years ago.

PetCo Park in San Diego created a built in version of rooftop seating with the inclusion of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building into the footprint of the park. What's not to like about this?

And now, with the Ballpark Village construction complete, St. Louis has gotten into the mix with this "officially a part of the ballpark" addition.

As always, check out my ballpark prints and posters at ThereUsedToBeABallpark.com

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Palace of the Fans

Here's recently completed art for the larger 13x19 print of The Palace of the Fans in Cincinnati. What a fun park. Built on the site of Crosley Field, the shape of the right field stands clearly shows how they used to be the main grandstand. More details to follow. New individual 13x19 prints are available at ThereUsedToBeABallpark.com

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hilltop Park

Hilltop Park, home of the New York AL team that was sometimes called the Highlanders, was situated on high ground in Manhattan, as opposed to the low ground below Coogan's Bluff, where the NY Giants played. There were two interesting things I noticed right off the bat (groan) about this park. One was the serpentine ramp leading up to the top of the stands. Very cool! Second was the entrance building that we've all seen in photos. I was really looking forward to rendering those huge letters announcing 'American League Park'… Alas, the building was quite small compared to the rest of the park, so it really wasn't all that much fun to depict. Enjoy!
Hilltop Park at ThereUsedToBeABallpark.com

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Announcing a New Line of Posters

There Used to be a Ballpark and Ballparks of Baseball. New 11 x 14 posters, each devoted to one ballpark. This way I'm not limited to the four ballparks per poster rule of my previous offerings. I've got  some renderings of some pretty obscure dead ball parks that ballpark nuts will surely appreciate!!

There's more than 56 ballparks available as of right now, and I'll be working on some more dead ball parks coming up too. Take a look!!!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

West Side Grounds

Here's a great photo of the main entrance of the West Side Grounds. I'd love to see a better pic of the statues on the roof. The flags are celebrating their 1908 championship.

And here's a look at the unique dugouts they had there. The stands at one time stopped at the line of the dugouts, and when they extended them, they put fabric triangles up to keep the fans from interacting heavily with the players.

This photo shows the bleachers that were constructed over the center field clubhouse. Take note of the differing rake of the grandstand. Once it reaches the roof of the building, it becomes shallower. The championship flag has just been raised on the flagpole. These three photos are from the Chicago Daily News collection at the Library of Congress website.

And finally, here's a HUGE file of a panorama from the LOC's panorama photo collection. It's even larger on their website (a 128mb tiff!) That championship flag is out there waving proudly.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Upcoming Jackie Robinson Movie

This movie looks simply fantastic. In this trailer alone I see faithful recreations of Ebbets Field, Sportsman's Park, Forbes Field and the Polo Grounds. There may be more in there. Looks like Hollywood put up the big bucks and really did it right. Can't wait to see it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


This is a fun shot from the Shorpy website.
April 26, 1923. Washington, D.C. "Automobiles at ballpark, opening game, Nationals-Athletics."
Next time you have to park at the ballpark think of this!
Make sure you click on the photo at the Shorpy site for the super sized version.
Shorpy is a terrific resource for old glass plate photos from the Library of Congress collection. They take publicly available large picture files and clean them up *dramatically*!