"On Aug 22 1959 (I was 11 years old) my older sister was watching me that day. For the nights entertainment she wanted to go to the drive-in to see High School Confidential and I wanted to go to the Reds game at Crosley. I won. That great night we watched Frank Robinson launch three home runs. Years later I found out it was the only time in his great career he hit three in one game. I've always wondered, is there anyone else out there who was there that night?" ~ Tom Prindle   You may answer here


Visit the "Big Red Machine" on Facebook       Awesome newsreel footage from the 1919 World Series

CROSLEY FIELD

1912 - 1970

Known as Redland Field Until 1934

Renamed For New Owner, Powel Crosley, Jr., in 1934

The BIRTH of this web site!

ENTER OLD MEMBER AREA

VISITOR COMMENTS AND FEEDBACK


RIP Sparky




ERIC'S COOL FINDS
AT THE FLEA MARKET
AND ESTATE SALE, ETC.
YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE IT!


This section is also a virtual museum of Billy Sullivan
memorabilia, and other cool baseball stuff,
all sent in by Eric Bowyer!



RANDY'S COOL STORY
AND CROSLEY CERTIFICATE








19th Century Bases and Baseballs for Sale - Also learn a little baseball history



RedSox World Champs 300x250



Billy Werber
1939 Reds

SEPTEMBER 22, 1939: Thirdbaseman Bill Werber #18 of the
Cincinnati Reds steals thirdbase as thirdbaseman Frank
Gustine #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates takes the late
throw from the catcher during the first game of a double-
header on September 22, 1939 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati,
Ohio. The Reds won both games, 6-0 and 10-9.

Last living teammate of Babe Ruth, celebrated
his 100th birthday on June 20, 2008!
Happy Birthday Bill
You are not forgotten!
[ Billy passed away January 22, 2009 ]


In Loving Memory of the "Old Lefthander"
Joe Nuxhall
1928 - 2007

"Get outa here, outa here, babe get outa here!
I tell ya, out, out, outa here!"

Joe's call of the final homer at Crosley Field


Jeff Suntala's Evolution of the Ballpark Posters

Mike Weaver's Crosley Field Model

Tommy Leach - 1915 Reds


Big Klu and Roy McMillan - 1956


Johnny Bench - 1970 Crosley Field


Ivey Wingo - Catcher
1919 World Champions


Roy Mitchell - Pitcher
1919 World Champions





Johnny Mize

Something happened in 1934 that almost ended Johnny Mize's career. Sometime during the season, Mize felt a painful snap in his groin when he was legging out a double. The injury limited him to 90 games, but he batted .339, drove in 66 runs and hit 17 homers. It was good enough for the Cincinnati Reds to buy him from the Cardinals in the spring of 1935 for $55,000 (a sum that qualified as a bona fide star investment in the midst of the Great Depression). But it was a conditional deal Ė Mize had to prove he was healthy enough to play. He couldnít. Spurs had developed on his pelvic bone, a result of the groin strain months earlier, and he couldnít swing a bat without wincing, couldnít properly field low throws, ran slower than usual. So the Reds sent him back to the Cardinals, whose club surgeon, Dr. Robert Hyland, said he was fit enough to play the 1935 season in Rochester. Mize didnít last three months. He was hitting .317 after 65 games, but the pain and immobility forced him out of action and he went on the voluntarily retired list, and thought his playing days were over.



Crosley Field Cubs game - 1938





August 16, 1969

Jen's Gone Posh
Give it a try!




 
Thank you Marti Couch, for your wonderful donation of these two photos!
(click to enlarge)

RedSox World Champs 468x60


           

Queen City Sports Cards



Laguiole Elite

Laguiole Elite offers gift ideas at wholesale prices from the French Laguiole and Le Thiers range of products.

Available to all retailers, businesses and corporations.

www.laguiole-elite.com



Appsme, make an app

Air-trekkers Jumping Stilts



Bookbuddie



BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK!
FOERTMEYER FICTION

Amazon.com Outlet Store
Great Deals!







Need a good house cleaning?
Give ULTRA MAID a try...
"You'll love coming home to a clean house!"
Tell them Crosley Field sent you...




Here is a very interesting history of the Reds written in 1904. This article goes into details I have never read before. The entire book is over 1050 pages. Only the portion containing this Reds history is included here.



Rich and Tom Acoustic Duo
Rich and Tom Acoustic Duo




ALT S REPEATS SEARCH



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Do you have a pet you love?
Immortalize your friend and companion
with a hand-painted portrait...


Got pictures of old Crosley?
Click Here to tell me about them!


Links
Sponsors
Member Area
Visitor Feedback
Crosley Screensaver

A Brief History for Reports and Such (.pdf)

PHOTO CREDIT LINK

TED KLUSZEWSKI 1957
Visit the Everything Ted Kluszewski page
CLICK HERE

Billy Sullivan - 1935

CLICK TO ZOOM

McKechnie, Vander Meer, and Lombardi
c. 1938-1941

(CLICK PIC TO ZOOM)


George Ashburn has created two computer wallpapers for Crosley fans.
Please feel free to view and save either wallpaper below, in either resolution:

Crosley Photo 800x600     Crosley Photo 1024x768

All Star Logos 800x600     All Star Logos 1024x768

1962 1920x1080     Field/Logos 1920x1080     Field 1920x1080







Wally Post - 1956





Redland Field - 1912


Paul Derringer


Billy Sullivan - 1935

Cincinnati Redlegs Ted Kluszewski (L) talking with Milwaukee Braves
manager Fred Haney (R) in a Labor Day doubleheader - September, 1956.

The Lineup 1956 - (L to R) Ed Bailey, Wally Post, Ted Kluszewski, Gus Bell, Frank Robinson

1913 Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown
Courtesy of his cousin, Scott Brown

1970 Crosley Field - What Just Happened?

1950's Crosley Field - View from the Pressbox

1956 Crosley Field

1940 at Crosley Field - Paul Derringer, Ernie Lombardi, and Bucky Walters

Fully Restored 1957 Crosley Field Bus

A Very Soggy 1939-1940 Crosley Field - Chris Gamble

Where Dalton once met Findlay - Chris Gamble

Game Four - 1939 World Series - Chris Gamble



April 4, 1930

February 9, 1912



If I have been asked once, I've been asked a hundred times, "What is that building perched upon the hill behind the Crosley Field flagpole, just to the right of the scoreboard?" Well, what it had been was the Fairview Public School. Today, it is the Stratford Concominiums.









On This Page

Other Branches Index

TOP

Crosley Chronology
Try to Remember
Crosley's Demise
Crosley Site Tour
Other Information
Crosley's Other Uses
Crosley Trivia
Crosley Negro Leagues
Lew Crosley Stories
Frequently Asked Questions
The New Crosley
Tales from Crosley
The Final Crosley Homer
History is Made
Commercial Links - Buy Cool Stuff!
Some Crosley People
Contributions & Permissions
Contact & Feedback
Excellent Baseball Links

TOP



Other Branches of Interest

UP to This Page Index

TOP

Tim Jeffries's Baseball

If you're a ball fan, you've got to see this! This is a self-contained presentation on baseball, showing shots of different major and minor league parks, and great shots of old Crosley Field! You can view it online or download it to your computer. It's a long presentation, but well worth the viewing. If you need to exit the show, just hit the ( "esc" ) escape key on your keyboard. When the presentation is finished it will return you here.

Ron Martin's Crosley Photo Identifications Click Here     NEW PHOTOS AND DESCRIPTIONS ADDED!

NEW - Check out this new pdf file about Crosley Field advertising - created by Ron Martin   CLICK HERE

My Favorite Reds Team
Visit Our Visitors Map
Dave Grob's Uniforms & Equipment
Chris Gamble's 1938-1939 Collection
Crosley's First Night Game
Meet Slim Sallee
Photos from the 40's
Finding Home Plate
Evolution of the Riverfront
Crosley Seating
1939 Reds
Tom Pierett Gallery
Gabe Paul
Paul Sommerkamp
Crosley Negro Leagues
Some Old Advertising
About this Site
Where was Crosley Field?
Babe Herman's Historic Home Run
Crosley Field Stats - 1961
Everything Ted Kluszewski
Crosley Field Trivia & Polls Page
Randy's Special Day - June 19, 1970
Eric's Fantastic Flea Market Find

TOP


This is the Official
"Where's Crosley Now?"
Web Site

First, show me where it is!
The Cincinnati Reds have played at a total of seven ballparks since their professional debut in 1869. Union Grounds was their first home, located about two blocks directly south of the future Crosley Field where the fountain is now in front of the Museum Center (Union Terminal). The Reds played here from 1867 to 1870, when the team disbanded.

Click plaque above for full-size photo                                                                                     Photos complements of Todd Fraley


In 1876, the Reds reformed and built the Avenue Grounds, about one mile north of Union Grounds. This park was eventually discovered to be just too far from downtown to be practical, and the stench from the nearby stockyards that often wafted in on the breeze, was quite unpleasant. So, in 1880, south again to the Bank Street Grounds, located about two blocks north of the future Crosley Field. This stay was short-lived, also.

Losing their lease at Bank Street, [ironically, to the new Union Association, Cincinnati Unions (referred to as the Onions)] the Red Stockings moved south two blocks to Findlay and Western, building League Park in 1884 on an old brick yard (originally named American Park** until 1890). They stayed at this location for 86 years, until 1970, playing in the three parks erected on this site [League Park (1884-1901), Palace of the Fans (1902-1911), and Redland/Crosley Field (1912-1970)].

**   The name "American Park" was chosen in 1884 because the Red Stockings were, at that time, in the American Association. In 1890, when the Red Stockings became the Reds once again, and also switched to the National League, the name of the park changed to League Park to reflect the change in leagues. Confused about the name and league changes? Click Here

Finally, in mid-season 1970, the Reds moved to Riverfront Stadium. This marked the first time the Reds had ever played anywhere other than the West Side of Cincinnati.

Great Photos of Crosley After the Move

In the year 2003 the Reds got a new ballpark at roughly the same location as Riverfront Stadium (Cinergy Field). The new park is The Great American Ball Park.

See Map

Although Crosley Field is gone, she lives on in the heart and collective memory of a now aging group of Cincinnati Reds fans. This web site is a tribute to a great ballpark which once played host to our Redlegs. Crosley is just a myth to anyone under thirty-five, and only those over forty-five can remember her golden era. May she be forever remembered, however you remember her. If you don't remember Crosley at all, please continue and see how baseball in the Queen City used to be played ... "Stomp Stomp..."

Crosley 1948 QuickTime Panorama

Crosley Field was home to the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Club for 58 years. In 1912 the Palace of the Fans was demolished and replaced with Redland Field which, in 1934, was renamed Crosley Field. Prior to The Palace there stood, at the same location, League Park. And so, the story of Findlay and Western begins... in 1884, when an old brick yard in Cincinnati's West End, was turned into a ballpark...

   
1862 advertisements for area brick yards, either one of which may have owned the yard just a block away between York and Findlay



"There it sat, in kind of a dilapidated neighborhood, like a jewel. It was sort of an oasis. You'd walk up through the portals to the seats. The sight of that bright-green grass would hit you, and you'd think you'd walked into another world."

Paul Sommerkamp
Crosley Public Address Announcer



"Crosley Field was the best. It was nice and thick and soft and cushiony, the best place I ever played in my life. When you walked out onto that field, you were in high cotton."

Jim Greengrass
Former Reds Slugger (1952-1955)


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Click Photo to Enlarge
In 1934, Powel Crosley, Jr. purchased the Cincinnati Reds and Redland Field. What most people don't realize is that Powel's younger brother, Lewis M. Crosley, ran Powel's businesses for him. He was the quiet Crosley, in the background, doing the day to day operations that helped make the Crosley ventures successful. Officially, Lewis was Vice President of the Reds Baseball Club.

This material comes from the collection of the family of Lewis M. Crosley. "Where's Crosley Now?" greatly appreciates this generous contribution of materials from his family. Thank you very much, Diana!





c.1963


1963


1941


c.1957


Bat Day at Crosley 1969




Have you ever wondered where a feature of Crosley might have ended up, some 40 years later? Not seats, or the scoreboard, but little features you'd never have expected to survive. Take the bleachers sign below; actually a part of the concrete facade of the bleachers gate:



Believe it or not, someone cut it out of the facade and saved it in their garage for some 30 years before reconditioning it and then building a display frame for it. Scroll down to see the resulting blast from the past:





Thanks, Tom, for the memory and for saving this awesome sign! Thanks to Mike Weaver, the builder of the Crosley Field Model (Featured here) for finding and providing the original bleacher sign photo!





Henry Thobe leading cheers at Crosley.

Henry was a bricklayer from Oxford, Ohio. The outfit you see in this photo was his regular attire for Reds games. He became such an institution at the ballpark that he was given full access to all areas of the park, leading his cheers in every part of Crosley Field. When he died just before Opening Day 1950, the headlines read, "Reds Lose Greatest Fan."



1961 Concession Stand at Crosley




Mathias "Matty" C. Schwab

When entering Crosley Field and looking out upon the field, the first thing that hit you was how beautiful and green the grass was. You also noticed the meticulous care in the grain of the cut, the razor sharp base paths and the straight as arrow chalk lines. It was a breath taking sight, but it didn't just happen. Matty Schwab created it.

Matty Schwab began his career as a groundskeeper in 1894, joining his father's crew at League Park. For those of you who don't know, League Park was also located at the corner of Findlay Street and Western Avenue. League Park was replaced by The Palace of the Fans and The Palace was replaced by Redland Field, which would later be renamed, Crosley Field. Matty remained throughout them all. By 1903 he was Park Superintendent at The Palace of the Fans, a job he remained in until his retirement in 1963 at age 83. When Matty retired, he had already trained his grandson, Mike Dolan, to replace him at Crosley. Matty's son, also named Matty, was already groundskeeper for the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. **

Matty was more than a groundskeeper. He was an innovator. He designed the first scoreboard at Redland Field in 1912, which remained until it was extensively remodeled in 1934. He also designed scoreboards for many other ballparks in the major leagues. Matty was the inventor of the baseball base, which straps to a spike placed in the ground. This design is still in use today. Matty also designed a drainage system under the field to drain away floodwaters. This he modified several times, trying to improve upon the original design.

Mr. Schwab passed away in 1970 at the age of 90, having spent nearly 70 of his years in Cincinnati ballparks. Crosley Field passed on in that year also. Perhaps she could not go on without him.


** During the 1950s, groundskeeper Matty Schwab (son of Crosley's Matty) and his family lived in an apartment, built for him by owner Horace Stoneham, under Section 3 of the left field stands. The apartment was the main bait in Mr. Stoneham's successful offer to grab Mr. Schwab away from the hated Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950.      © www.ballparks.com

Material from this section derived in part from Cincinnati's Crosley Field - The Illustrated History of a Classic Ballpark by Greg Rhodes & John Erardi - Road West Publishing Company 1995 © 1995 Greg Rhodes & John Erardi. All Rights Reserved.


Matty Schwab

1956






Paul Sommerkamp

    For many of us who grew up at Crosley Field and for many who visited Riverfront Stadium, the voice of Reds baseball, at the ballpark, was Paul Sommerkamp. In 1951, Mr. Sommerkamp took over the public address announcer position at Crosley Field. For the next nineteen years he was the voice of Crosley Field. For the next nineteen years, through rain, cold, an occasional snow, and even illness, Paul Sommerkamp did the announcing from his seat next to the visitor's dugout without ever missing a single game.

    In 1970, when the Reds moved to Riverfront stadium, Paul Sommerkamp went with them and continued as the public address announcer until 1985. For thirty-four years there was no other voice better known at the ballpark than that of Paul Sommerkamp.

   Think back to those days, if you ever attended a Reds home game between 1951 and 1985, and you will hear Mr. Sommerkamp as clearly as if it were yesterday:

"Batting fourth, Ted Kluszewski....... Kluszewski".

   Paul Sommerkamp developed the method of repeating the player's last name, after a momentary pause. I am told it was to give fans time to write the players names onto their scorecards. Whatever the reason, and that is a viable one, it was distinctly Paul Sommerkamp. Other public address announcers throughout baseball have copied his method over the years.

1957





Gabe Paul


1958
   Gabe Paul began his 60 year career in baseball with the Rochester Red Wings as a shoe shine boy in the visiting team's clubhouse. By age 11 he had been promoted to bat boy.

   In 1936, when Warren Giles became general manager of the Cincinnati Reds, he appointed Paul to the position of traveling secretary.

   When Giles left the Reds in 1951 to become the National League president, Paul was named the Reds' vice president and general manager. He held this position until 1960.


Tales from Crosley...


1960

One of my all time favorite players was, number 18, Ted Kluszewski. Ted was discovered by the Reds in 1945 and began his major league career with them in 1947. He was the starting first baseman for the Reds from 1948 until 1956. For anyone who grew up in the 1950's, Ted Kluszewski is legendary! I know as a child of 50's baseball, when I went to Crosley Field it was Ted Kluszewski that I was going to see. Whenever he came to the plate, there was an electricity that went through the stands which was understood to mean that this could be another moment to remember for life! The very stuff that legends are made of. Therefore, I will start this section with stories about him:




Klu was big and Klu was strong. He would not fight for he was afraid of hurting someone. He was that strong. One day a fight broke out on the field at Crosley between the Reds and the Cardinals. A player named Solly Hemus was running to the fight when, suddenly, he was hanging a foot above the ground.

                  "Where you going, Solly?" asked Ted, softly.
                  "Nowhere, Ted," said Solly, meekly.

Now, you might think that Solly was just a little guy, but actually he was an average size man at 5'9" and 175 pounds. Klu was no giant either, at 6'2" and 225 pounds. He was just plain strong!
Leo Durocher once made a list of baseball's strongest players. Kluszewski was not included on the list. When a sports writer asked why, Durocher replied, "Kluszewski? I'm talking about human beings."




National League umpire Larry Goetz decided that the first person to be killed by a batted baseball would be some innocent pedestrian on Western Avenue. His opinion was based on having seen Kluszewski hit a line drive off a building across Western Avenue from Crosley Field. To quote Goetz: "This big Kluszewski comes up for the Reds, and he powders one over the right-field fence, on a line against a building across the street from the park. It was then I changed my mind about the chances of a pitcher becoming the first person killed by a batted ball. I decided the first victim would be some guy walking along Western Avenue, minding his own business, who would be conked by one of Kluszewski's home runs."

[INDEX]





During spring training in 1946, the Reds right fielder, Mike McCormick, got an unpleasant taste of Klu's power. On a routine pop fly to short right, Klu and Mike collided, with Klu catching the ball and proceeding as though nothing had happened. He turned and looked behind him and noticed that all the Reds players had come out to the field and were gathered around a fallen Mike McCormick.

          "What happened?" asked Klu.
          "What happened?" replied a teammate. "You almost killed McCormick!"
          "I'm sorry, Mike," said Klu quietly. "I thought I just brushed you."
          "If what you did is 'brush' me," said McCormick,
          "I'd hate to meet you head-on."

Again, Mike was not some little fellow. He was 6'0" and 200 pounds.  Klu's power was super human, but he was a very gentle, soft-spoken man, who everybody liked. Ted was finally traded to Pittsburgh in 1958, played for awhile for the White Sox and the Angels, finishing his playing career in 1961 in Los Angeles. That, however, was not the end of Ted Kluszewski and Cincinnati. If you recall "The Big Red Machine" who won back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976, then you probably remember that fantastic team's hitting coach was none other than Ted Kluszewski, still sporting number 18 on his uniform as he did when he played for the Reds. His number 18 was finally retired by the Reds in 1998.

[INDEX]





THE FINAL CROSLEY HOMER

June 24, 1970 - Eighth Inning

It was fitting that the last game at Crosley should be such a classic game. The lead changed three times in seven innings. Giants, 1-0 - Reds, 2-1 - Giants, 4-3. The first two batters in the bottom of the eighth were Johnny Bench and Lee May. The pitcher was Juan Marichal.

Reds radio announcer Jim McIntyre (with help from his co-announcer, Joe Nuxhall) called the final Crosley Field homer:

"Johnny Bench's home run has just tied it at 4-4, and Mr. Marichal has now allowed the Reds nine hits, and we've got a brand-new ball game here in the eighth inning. Two and two to May. On deck, Bernie Carbo...Now the pitch. Swung on, a high drive, deep center field!" In the background, Nuxhall shouted, "Get outa here, outa here, babe get outa here! I tell ya, out, out, outa here!" McIntyre finished: "...its over the center-field fence! A home run for Lee May! And the Reds have taken the lead, 5-4."

With Tito Fuentes on deck, Wayne Granger got Bobby Bonds to hit an easy grounder back to the mound for the final Crosley Field out. The Reds had won, 5-4 and the final chapter had ended for Crosley Field.


1961

[INDEX]






1962

HISTORY IS MADE

June 11-15, 1938


    The 1938 Reds had a hard throwing young lefthander named Johnny Vander Meer. On the afternoon of June 11th Vandy stunned the Boston Braves by throwing a no-hitter against them at Crosley Field. He allowed only three walks but pitched to only 28 men and not one of them even reached second base. The last time a Reds pitcher had thrown a no hitter was in 1919 when Hod Eller had done it.

    No one realized that just four days later, at Ebbets Field, Vander Meer would do something never done before or since. It was June 15th and this was to be the first major league night game since the first one at Crosley Field, on May 24th, earlier that year. Amazingly, Vander Meer began mowing down the Dodger players. The Flatbush fans who had been heckling Vandy early in the game, slowly came around and got behind him. Vandy had walked five men but still had not given up a hit by the last of the ninth inning. Ebbets Field was going crazy. After getting the first batter out on a grounder to Frank McCormick, he walked the bases loaded. The Reds led the game 6-0, so the game was not on the line, but something great and unbelievable, was. Bill McKechnie, the Reds manager, advised Vandy to "just relax and throw naturally, John." Ernie Koy, a powerful right hander was next up. He took a rip at Vander Meer's first pitch and hit it hard, but right at Lew Riggs at third base. Riggs threw it home for a force out at the plate. Now it was Leo Durocher's turn. After going to 1 and 1 Durocher lofted one to short center where Harry Craft was waiting to make the final out. History had been made! The first ever (and to this date, ONLY) back-to-back no hitters in history! Forever after, Johnny Vander Meer would be known by the nickname, "Double No-Hit". He was also known as "The Dutch Master".

    The following Sunday Vandy faced the Braves in Boston and held them hitless into the fifth inning, when Debs Garms lined a single to center field. "I could have kissed him," said Vander Meer later. "The tension was eating me up."

    By 1952, an older Vandy, found himself pitching in the Texas League for Tulsa and for one magical night, all the tools were back in place and Vander Meer threw another no-hitter on July 15, beating Beaumont 12-0.

    Fourteen years and one month earlier to the night, Beaumont manager Harry Craft was the Cincinnati outfielder who caught the final out in Vander Meer's second no-hitter in 1938.

    In 1947, Reds pitcher, Ewell Blackwell pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Braves on June 18 and then held Brooklyn hitless through eight innings in his next start on June 22. Eddie Stanky ended Blackwell's bid with a broken-bat single with one out in the ninth. Note the parallels here.

[INDEX]


 
 

Fan Tales Section

    On a week night with a sparse crowd when the Pirates were in town, I was lounging in the first row of the bench seats in the moon deck about 30 or 40 feet from the foul line. There could not have been more than a couple of hundred people in the right field bleachers. One of the Reds' batters hit a line drive right at me. It was not going to make it over the fence though. I sat up to take notice of this ball homing in on me. It indeed was a line shot that bounced about 20 feet in front of the fence. My face was about 12 inches from the fence and had there been no fence that ball would have hit me square in the nose. Well, Mr. Roberto Clemente was playing right field and he was rushing over to make a play on it. So there I am knowing I am about to have the best view of this impending play. Just as that ball hit the chain link fence, he got there and grabbed it with his bare hand, actually pinning the ball before it had a chance to ricochet off the fence and in one whirling move he threw that ball on a line to 2nd base (truly a rope-like throw) to throw out the batter sliding into 2nd. It seemed as though Clemente actually threw that ball before he even had a chance to look at 2nd base. He truly whirled and threw at the same time. So Clemente trots back to his position, and just before he crouches down to get ready for the next pitch, he looks over at me (Meanwhile I'm still wondering if I really saw what just happened or was it just a dream) and he gives a little smile and winks--like he was aware of me being right there while he made this play in the blink of an eye.   Truly amazing!

Stephanie Amato

[INDEX]






1963

Letter from a Tigers Fan

Not about Crosley, but the same idea...

"...I miss a town where when you told people that you were going to the Corner they knew you meant Michigan and Trumbull. Now my stadium is coming down in the name of progress after 11 years of legal fighting to stop it.

I recently went to Detroit with my son to go to a last ball game in the old Tiger Stadium. I explained to him how all the great American Leaguers, had played here. "All of them?" he asked. "Yes, son.. As long as there has been an American League, there has been the Corner. Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, Di Maggio, Mantle, Gehringer, Kaline, all the way down to Alan Trammell and Sparky Anderson, they were all right out there." When you come in the place, you go through narrow, winding corridors up to your seat. I can still smell the odor of stale beer, warm pretzels and overcooked sausage in that place as you go up the aisles; if I close my eyes I can smell it now and its wonderful! You come out of the tunnel and, when you look at the clean, green grass that all the greats in history have played on, if you aren't a little awestruck, you ain't living! We had a wonderful day, despite the fact that the Tigers lost."

"A Tigers Fan"

[INDEX]





This is a short, but "interesting" story...

"...I forgot to mention that one time, back in '63 I peed in the Crosley mens restroom beside Pete Rose!!! For some reason, in about the fifth or sixth inning of the game, Rose came into the mens room in full uniform. He was playing second base that day (his rookie year). It must have been quicker than to go into the old clubhouse under the stands. I have often wondered about that moment.....

...By the way, I saw some interesting moments at Crosley...such as Gerry Arrigo's one hitter on a Saturday afternoon...the only hit was a leadoff single by somebody in the first inning. A one hitter by Jim Maloney, with Zoilo Versailles getting the only hit, in the 6th inning. Saw Pete Rose make three errors in one inning at third base in 1966, the first time he ever played third. He didn't play there any more 'til the "Machine " years. The manager was Don Hefner, whose managerial career in Cincinnati was shorter than that of Tony Perez. "

"Bruce Asbury, Fargo, N.D."

     

[INDEX]





1965

Material from this section derived in part from Cincinnati's Crosley Field - The Illustrated History of a Classic Ballpark by Greg Rhodes & John Erardi - Road West Publishing Company 1995 © 1995 Greg Rhodes & John Erardi. All Rights Reserved.

Material from this section derived in part from The Cincinnati Reds, A Pictorial History of Professional Baseball's Oldest Team by Ritter Collett - Jordan-Powers Corporation 1976 © 1976 The Jordan Powers Corporation.




The New Crosley...

The following is an excerpt from the book Diamonds by Michael Gershman.

"Field of Dreams"

    Crosley Field is the only major league ballpark to be brought back to life, and it happened twice, in two different states. The first time it was resurrected by Larry Luebbers, a ham salesman and real estate broker from Union, Kentucky. When parts of Crosley were auctioned off in 1970 by King Wrecking Company, Luebbers, a lifelong Reds fan, went to buy two seats as souvenirs, but, he said, "I got kind of carried away...before I knew it, I had the walls and the scoreboard too."
    Fortunately, Luebbers had a 206-acre back yard to hold his treasures. Before the wreckers arrived to dismantle Crosley, he took exact measurements of the 40-foot terrace, which made outfielders backpeddal uphill, and the left field (328) and right field (366) lines. He then spent $8,000 bulldozing his meadow, raising it 6 feet, and leveling it off. Over a two-year period, he had the 65-foot scoreboard repainted. He rebuilt the 60-foot flagpole after it cracked into three pieces. He sawed the ticket office in half so that it could be moved across an Ohio River bridge and nailed back together.
    Luebbers also liberated the old popcorn stand, the Reds locker room, the WCKY-WLW broadcast booth, a sign advertising "the new 1970 Dodge," the bat rack, and the pitching rubber. The bartender at a saloon called the Dugout, just across from Crosley II (Luebbers's name for the park), said, "Well, there's some that like to collect old cards. Larry, there, he just likes to collect old ball fields." Not only collect but use. Spectators sitting in the 400 seats he salvaged saw Union's Knothole League team play, and those interested in becoming patrons could have their names inscribed on specific seats for $25.
    That would have been it except that Crosley II mysteriously disappeared. In 1987, Luebbers took an extended trip before retiring to Arizona. He told the Cincinnati Enquirer, "The property was sold when I was out of town...when I came back, it was torn down."

1967

Larry Luebbers' Union, Kentucky Crosley Field
Scanned from: Cincinnati's Crosley Field - The Illustrated History of a Classic Ballpark by Greg Rhodes & John Erardi - Road West Publishing Company 1995 © 1995 Greg Rhodes & John Erardi. All Rights Reserved.
CLICK PHOTO FOR FULL SIZE IMAGE

Below are links to two old home movies of Larry Leubbers' old Union, Kentucky "Crosley Field"
sent in by Larry, a fan from Michigan... Thanks Larry!

Larry's Video 1

Larry's Video 2

    The mystery might never have come to light except that Marvin Thompson had a dream, much like the one Ray Kinsella has in the movie Field of Dreams. Thompson is the city manager of Blue Ash, the small town northeast of Cincinnati which had been a possible site for the Reds' new ballpark; while it lost out on the new one, it wound up getting the old one.
    In 1985, Blue Ash was planning a baseball and soccer complex, and Thompson remembered hearing of a proposed softball field that would have recreated two major league parks. Thompson got the idea of reconstructing Crosley, and Blue Ash quickly put together a committee that raised $100,000.
    Mark Rohr, an intern in Thompson's office, worked diligently to find out exactly what of Crosley remained. Inevitably, he looked up Luebbers and discovered that the only thing left was a ticket booth, which had been sold to the town by Luebber's mother. Rohr pressed on and eventually located more than 600 of the original seats with the distinctive wishbone "C." According to Sports Illustrated, he found 350 underneath the Butler County Fairgrounds in Hamilton, Ohio, another 100 at a softball complex in northern Kentucky, and 100 more at a skating rink in Loveland, Colorado. Most important, Matty Schwab's grandson donated the original architect's drawings; Blue Ash raised another $350,000 and began rebuilding Crosley in earnest.
    The Reds, who had nothing to do with Luebbers, got behind the Blue Ash project and created an Old Timers Game to dedicate it on July 11, 1988. Former Cincinnati pitcher Jim O'Toole was involved from the beginning. He says, "It was built as a reminder of the past. Any father from around here enjoys watching his kid play at this Crosley because he remembers his father taking him to the real Crosley as a kid."


New Crosley Location

See the New Park       See Another View of the New Park


Bibliography

Diamonds  (The Evolution of the Ballpark), by Michael Gershman, Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1993, p. 202.

[INDEX]


Crosley Chronology...

Begin Viewing at the Following Date

[ 1900 ] [ 1910 ] [1920 ] [1930 ] [FLOOD ] [1940 ] [1950 ] [1960 ] [1970 ] [INDEX ]

1869 -The first all-professional baseball club in the world, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. After moving from the foot of Richmond Street, where the Queesgate Playfield is now, due to poor access for the horse cars, they played at the Union Grounds (approximately where the fountain is in front of the Cincinnati Museum Center (Union Terminal). In this (c.pre-1934) photo of Cincinnati's West End, you will see, highlighted in RED, the location of the Reds Union Grounds. Highlighted in blue, you will see Redland Field (Crosley), prior to art deco scoreboard (1934), stadium lights (1935), pressbox (1938), and upper deck extensions (1939).

1882 -The 1882 Cincinnati Red Stockings are currently playing two blocks north of the future Crosley Field site, at the Bank Street Grounds. Note in the Photo:  The uniform jerseys the players are wearing are all of different colors and patterns. Worn throughout the league, jerseys and caps that separated players by position rather than team (e.g. first basemen wore striped scarlet and white caps/jerseys, shortstops wore maroon caps and jerseys, etc). The only way to tell the teams apart was to look at the color of the stockings, as these were unique. This was done to help the fans recognize the players, as at the time, numbers were not used on uniforms. Why? Because "only convicts wear numbers" was the current thinking of the day. All six teams playing in the American Association's inaugural season of 1882 wore the same uniform, but with different colored socks (Cleveland- Blue Stockings, Boston- Red Stockings, etc.) By 1883, the league did away with their "clown costumes" (as these duds were not-so-affectionately known) and allowed teams to use more traditional uniforms.

1884 - Having lost their lease at the "Bank Street Grounds" (NW corner of Western Row & Bank Street), "The brickyard" at Findlay Street and Western Avenue (two blocks south) is selected as the new location for the Reds' newest ballpark. This site is actually an old brickyard and the NW side of it is below street level (York Street side). Rather than level the whole site it is left alone, which results in the natural left field "terrace" (originally not in play with initial home plate placement) present throughout the life of this baseball location. League Park (originally named American Park until 1890) is laid out, and hastily built, primarily of wood. Home plate is placed in the SE corner of the park. After the first game, as the fans rush for the street, a portion of the flimsy stands collapse and numerous fans are injured. There are no deaths, however, as popularly believed. Prior to League Park the Reds had played their games at three other locations, all within two miles of Findlay and Western.

1888 -The 1888 Cincinnati Red Stockings are currently playing at League Park, their new location two blocks south of Bank Street Grounds, and the future home of Crosley Field.

1889 -Crosley Field hosts its first "Ladies Night".

1894 - New grandstands are built at League Park and home plate swings to SW corner of park to keep the sun out of the batter's eyes. One game had to be called prior to this because of the sun's brightness.

Matty Schwab joins his father's grounds crew at League Park. Matty would eventually become head superintendent of the park and not retire until 1963 at age 83!


1900's


1900 - Fire destroys League Park grandstands. Home plate swings back to the SE corner as the new League Park is rebuilt. This was done, I believe, to utilize some existing pavillion seating that was not destroyed.

[ 1869 ] [ 1910 ] [1920 ] [1930 ] [1940 ] [1950 ] [1960 ] [1970 ] [ Top ] [INDEX ]

1901 - Construction of "The Palace of the Fans" is begun. This is steel and concrete and quite ornate, unlike its predecessors, in every way! Built by Reds' owner John Brush, a department store magnate in Indianapolis, Indiana. The style was Beaux-Arts, very popular at the time and inspired by the Columbian Exposition, nine years earlier. Brush intended the park as a monument to his "making it in the big city".
Home plate is swung back to the SW corner of the park and remained there throughout the rest of baseball at Findlay & Western.

1902 - "The Palace of the Fans" opens for business!(photo is from 1905 showing old League Park grandstands kept in use in what is now right field) It provided no locker rooms for the players, and there were no dugouts! The players sat on benches in front of "Rooters Row" where beers were $1.00 a dozen! The players took a lot of grief at times from the inebriated fans there.
Four months after The Palace opens, Brush sells the Reds to Julius Fleischmann, Max Fleischmann, and political bosses George B. "Boss" Cox, and August "Garry" Herrmann. Brush was reluctant to sell, but Cox had threatened to build a city street through his new ballpark if he did not sell.
The Palace lacked one thing that doomed it; the lack of seating, specifically, higher priced, box seating. The Palace was not profitable and by 1907 it was deteriorating structurally, so by 1910, plans for a new ballpark were under way.

1909 - "The Palace of the Fans" sees "Night Baseball". George Cahill talked Garry Herrmann, president of the Reds, into trying an experiment. Prior to the 1909 season he brought five light towers to the Palace and set up for an experimental night baseball game. June 17th was the scheduled date and two Elks teams from Cincinnati, Ohio and Newport, Kentucky were chosen to play. Rain forced postponement until June 18th, but on that date the game was sucessfully played. The game was a great success, but despite this success, it would be another 26 years before the major leagues would play under the lights. See 1935

1909 - The 1909 Cincinnati Reds


1910's


1910 - Harry Hake begins designing Redland Field. It will be built at a cost of $225,000 at the intersection of Findlay Street and Western Avenue in Cincinnati's "West End". At this time the Reds are playing in this same location (Findlay & Western) in the ballpark known as "The Palace of the Fans" since it was built in 1902.

[ 1869 ] [ 1900 ] [1920 ] [1930 ] [1940 ] [1950 ] [1960 ] [1970 ] [ Top ] [INDEX ]

1912 - Redland Field opens on April 11th. (Reds over Cubs 10-6). Just three weeks before the grand opening, the Millcreek floods much of the field, and Matty Schwab and his ground crew work frantically to get the field cleaned up and sodded for opening day.
Although Crosley was later know as a home run friendly park, at this time the outfield dimensions were 360 down the lines and 420 to center. Seating capacity 20,000.

1913 - Redland Field is covered with water, but recovers, as the Ohio and its tributaries flood. The 1913 Cincinnati Reds.

     

1919 - World Series with the Chicago White Sox (Black Sox scandal) - Reds win.     In order to increase seating capacity for the 1919 World Series, the Reds did something they had never done before, and never did again in all the years that followed at Crosley. They blocked off York Street behind the left field wall and built temporary bleachers there. Here is a photo from 1919 showing this temporary grandstand.   In order that more people might attend the World Series if the Reds should win the pennant, a proposal was made to use the Cincinnati Speedway in Sharonville for the Cincinnati games. It was said it could be arranged to seat 100,000 fans. The proposal was turned down (see article below).   In the 1960's the Reds considered building permanent grandstands over York Street, but the city of Cincinnati would not permit the closing of York Street. Also from 1919 is this wonderful artifact of the 1919 World Series Reds. Here's the 1919 team photo.

       


1920's


1920 - The Holy Name Parade?


1931 Article

1921 - First home runs hit at Redland Field! The emense size of Redland, combined with the "dead ball era" prevented home runs prior to this. In 1921 a new, "livlier" ball was introduced. The first player to hit one out was John Beckwith of the Chicago Giants, a Negro League team. Eleven days later, Pat Duncan of the Reds, became the first Major Leaguer to accomplish this. Both homers were to left field. Later this year, Babe Ruth would power the first homers over center and also into the right field bleachers in an exhibition game at Redland.

[ 1869 ] [ 1900 ] [ 1910 ] [1930 ] [1940 ] [1950 ] [1960 ] [1970 ] [ Top ] [INDEX ]

1926 - Home plate was moved 20 feet forward and the playing field shifted a few degrees to the left. This created an imbalance for the rest of the park's history. The ground level seats were extended forward, creating more seating capacity. The new dimensions now left 339'; center 395'; right 383' early and 377' late in season.

1926 - A new rule (1926-1931) in major league baseball prompted the placing of two white poles, each 250 feet down the foul lines. The new rule made any fair ball which bounced into the stands beyond 250 feet, a home run. Short of the 250 foot markers was a double. The "bounced" home run into the pavillions was a rare occasion, but once it happened twice in the same inning of the same game. In 1927, Paul and Lloyd Waner ("Big Poison" and "Little Poison") both sliced home runs into the left field stands, both on one bounce.


1930's


1931 - Old Timers Reunion

1932 - "Peanut Jim" Shelton arrives in the "West End" and begins selling his roasted peanuts outside Redland Field. "Peanut Jim" was as much a part of Crosley as were the Reds themselves. Dressed in his stovepipe hat and tails he sold roasted peanuts from his pushcart well into his nineties, having moved to Riverfront Stadium in 1970, along with the Reds.

[ 1869 ] [ 1900 ] [ 1910 ] [1920 ] [1940 ] [1950 ] [1960 ] [1970 ] [ Top ] [INDEX ]

1933 - The directors of Cincinnati's Central Trust Bank hire Larry MacPhail to run the Reds. Mac Phail's first task is to bring some talent to the team.

1934 - MacPhail convinces Powel Crosley, Jr. to purchase the controlling interest in the Reds and Redland Field. MacPhail's appeal was to Crosley's civic pride. Crosley did not want to see the city lose its team. He never anticipated making any money with the team; he only hoped to minimize his losses. Crosley purchases both for less than $500,000. MACPHAIL INSISTS THAT CROSLEY RENAME THE PARK AFTER HIMSELF, AND THE PARK BECAME CROSLEY FIELD. Also in 1934, the original Redland Field scoreboard is extensively remodeled with an art deco flavor. Larry MacPhail was a promoter with a talent and flair for creating excitement. At the outset of the 1934 season, to quote Lee Allen (The Cincinnati Reds, 1948), "MacPhail had painted the park, he had dolled up the ushers, and installed cigarette girls so cute they made the customers want to smoke themselves to death".

1934 Crosley Ticket Stub



1935 - Although baseball had been played "under the lights" in the past, leading the way the Minor and Negro Leagues, Crosley Field hosted the first Major League night game on May 24th. This was promoted by the Reds' general manager, Larry MacPhail. MacPhail had already promoted "night baseball" in the minor leagues, and quite successfully. The lighting was provided by 632 permanent lamps (1,500 watts each) manufactured by Ken-Rad of Owensboro, Kentucky. Ken-Rad (founded by Roy Burlew) was a major manufacturer of lamps and radio tubes during this time. The 632 Ken-Rad lamps were installed on eight, 130 foot steel towers by General Electric, who manufactured the lighting plant at a cost of approximately $50,000. (Thanks to Nick Burlew for this information on his grandfather's contribution to major league night baseball.) Attendance 20,422. Reds over Phillies 2-1.

No home run was hit during the first night game, so you ask, "When was the first night game home run hit?"   The answer, two months later, on July 10th, by Babe Herman, of the Reds.

Another addition in 1935 was a canvas shield draped above the center field fence to protect against street light glare. This canvas shield remained until June 7, 1940.

1936 - The left field "terrace" was natural, but it was decided to extend it all the way to the right field corner in 1936. It was thought that it would be a good place to rope off overflow crowds.

See Score Book from 1936


FLOOD


1937 - The Great Flood - History repeats itself with a vengeance! In January, 1937 the Ohio flooded to great proportions. The Millcreek, a tributary, flooded profusely and covered Crosley with water to the depth of 21 feet over home plate! So deep was the water that boats were able to row over the outfield fences. Here is a great photo of the flood from inside Crosley Field, showing the water rising into the seats on January 25, 1937! Now, if you want to get an idea of just how deep this flood of Crosley was (21 feet over home plate), take a look at this side-by-side comparison of a "dry" Crosley, and a "wet" Crosley. If you look toward the back-left of the black & white photo, you'll notice that the water rose to within 3 rows of the back upright girders. On this color photo of a "dry" Crosley, I have drawn in a yellow line that represents the high water line. Look closely to the right side of the photo, and you can see a small portion of the playing field below.

See Score Book from 1937

[ 1869 ] [ 1900 ] [ 1910 ] [1920 ] [1930 ] [1940 ] [1950 ] [1960 ] [1970 ] [ Top ] [INDEX ]

1937 - Dick Bray begins his seventeen year "Fans in the Stands" radio show on WSAI. Before each game, for fifteen minutes, Bray would interview fans in the stands, carrying a 32 pound transmitter on his back. Each fan interviewed received a coupon for a loaf of Rubels Rye Bread.

1937 - Larry MacPhail leaves the Reds to rebuild the Brooklyn Dodgers. Powel Crosley appoints Warren Giles as General Manager of the club.

1938 - Press box is built on roof of Crosley (One source says 1937, although in January, when the field was flooded, the press box was definately not yet installed.)

1938 - Home plate is moved forward another 20 feet and the lower deck seating is extended forward. The first row of seats is now nearly one foot below ground level. Also, the diamond is shifted towards right field moving the left field foul line 27.6 feet. Crosley's "friendly" dimensions are established at left 328'; center 380'; right 366'.

The ballpark's dimensions were constantly changing from year to year as little variations were made. For example, the right field line was as short as 342' during the years of the "goatrun" (see 1946).

1938 - Crosley Field hosts its first All-Star Game! July 6, 1938 sees Crosley host the sixth annual All-Star Game. The newly added press box is expanded to the ends of the upper decks to provide more room for the media. Here is Another View of expanded press box.

1939 - Anticipating a trip to the World Series, the Reds decide to extend the upper decks providing another 3,000 seats. This was done in September, prior to the World Series that year. Who could build two upper decks in such a short period of time? Look Here

1939 - The Reds' Harry Craft hits a controversial homerun in New York which prompted the mounting of screens on the foul poles at Crosley Field. Crosley Field was the first major league park to mount such screens on the poles. Notice in the October 7, 1939 World Series Game (link below) that there is no screen on the left field foul pole.

Notice the sign on the left field wall when you open this photo of the October 7, 1939 World Series Game. The sign marked the centennial of baseball, 1839 to 1939. The players also wore matching patches that year to commemorate the occasion. You might have noticed it in this photo of Johnny Vander Meer. And Oh, by the way, in the photo of the 1939 World Series Game you might have noticed the Student Prince ad above the Laundry. Well, Student Prince was a beer brewed by the Heidelberg Brewing Company of Covington, Kentucky. Here, Check out this label.

1939 - World Series with the New York Yankees. Reds lose.

1939 World Series Ticket


1940's


1940 - Willard McKee Hershberger is the only player in Major League history to have committed suicide during his playing season. Willard died on August 3, 1940, after slashing his throat in Boston's Copley Plaza Hotel. In the previous photo, he looks happy to me, but I have seen other photos that may hint of his inner frustration. It was reported that he had been depressed in the weeks prior to his death. In 1928, Willard's father also committed suicide.

World Series with the Detroit Tigers. Reds win. This is the only World Series title the Reds clinched at home! The previous photo is from October 2, 1940, showing the bleacher seats and in the background, Hulbert Hall, with the Young & Bertke Company's mechanical man advertisement, which became a part of Crosley Field for many years.

Click each image below to enlarge these cool 1940 World Series photos:

Pre-Game Activity         Pre-Game Activity         Pre-Game Activity

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Team Photo of the 1940 World Champion Reds!

Here's a Larger Photo with Names

And here's the one I like best

See old post card from final game of this World Series!

1940 Crosley World Series Ticket

1944 - August 10th - CROSLEY FIELD - PITCHER THROWS 58 PITCHES IN NINE-INNING SHUTOUT; TEAMS COMPLETE NIGHT GAME IN 1 HOUR, 15 MINUTES - As far as baseball historians know, this is the fewest number of pitches ever thrown in a nine-inning game. Throughout the contest, Charles 'Red' Barrett of the Boston Braves didnít fall behind in the count to a single batter, surrendered just two singles, and neither walked nor struck out anyone. Barrett induced 13 ground outs, five fly balls, three pop-ups in fair territory, four foul outs, and two line-drive outs. When the game was completed in only one hour and fifteen minutes, it also established the still-standing mark as the fastest night game in major league history.

1945 - Smallest crowd in Crosley history; 281 on September 13th.

1946 - The "goatrun" is built in front of the right field grandstand. Over the next thirteen years it was removed and rebuilt intermittently. When it was first installed it was known as Giles Chicken Run, after Reds president, Warren Giles. The addition of this extra seating reduced the right field line to a mere 342 feet. Remember, without the "goatrun" the right field line is 366 feet. Also, the screen behind home plate is moved 18 feet closer to the field.

In 1946, a future Reds slugger, Wally Post, is coming up through the ranks, playing ball for St. Henry High School, in St. Henry, Ohio. This photo was sent to me by a former co-worker, Al Lefeld, whose father is standing next to Post in the photo. On January 7, 1982, Wally Post died of cancer. He was only 52. "Somebody - and something - truly good left the world that day." - John Erardi

1947 - Largest crowd in Crosley history; 36,691 on April 27th. Pay phones are removed from the park to cut down on betting. May 13th., brings Jackie Robinson to Crosley. This is the first time a black ballplayer played at Crosley as a major leaguer. On September 21st., the first Reds game is broadcast on television by W8XCT, the predecessor to WLWT. The estimated home audience was 10,000 viewers.


1950's


1950 - Crosley Field adds a press box elevator behind the central grandstands.

1953 - Crosley Fields hosts its second All-Star Game. (The 20th All-Star Game)

[ 1869 ] [ 1900 ] [ 1910 ] [1920 ] [1930 ] [1940 ] [1960 ] [1970 ] [ Top ] [INDEX ]

1954 - Another record is set at Crosley when Ted Kluszewski hits 34 home runs there. This was the most home runs ever hit in one season by one man at one ballpark! Ted hit a total of 49 homers in 1954. Ted's 34 home runs in one park/one season held until 1998 when the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa eclipsed it at Wrigley Field. Big Klu electrified Crosley Field fans in the 50's as much as Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa have recently! In 1998 the Reds retired "Big Klu's" number 18.

1955 - Check out Ted Kluszewski batting in 1955

See Year Book from 1955

Another View of Crosley

Color View of Crosley

1956 - I attend my first game at Crosley Field (or at least the first one I can remember)! The Reds tie a NL record with 221 home runs, 128 of which were hit at Crosley. Crosley annual attendance reaches over 1,000,000 for the first time ever!    I ride the Arrow Express for the first time. The Reds big sluggers, Ted Kluszewski, Wally Post, and Gus Bell, are featured in Sports Illustrated.

1957 - The new 58 foot tall scoreboard, with the famous Longines clock on top, is built. The new scoreboard replaces the second one which was actually the original scoreboard extensively remodeled in 1934.

1958 - The demolition of surrounding homes and businesses begins to make room for auto parking around ballpark. It was at about this time that work on the Millcreek Expressway (I-75) was begun. It would eventually go right by the center field fence.     Also, note in this photo combo the difference in the appearance and atmosphere looking over the right field fence after the demolition began. The photo on the left is from around 1958 and the one on the right around 1961. That bank behind the fence in the photo on the right is the groundwork for I-75.


1960's


1961 - On March 28th Powel Crosley dies of a heart attack. The controlling interest in the Reds is turned over to Mrs. Stanley Kess, Powel's only daughter.

[ 1869 ] [ 1900 ] [ 1910 ] [1920 ] [1930 ] [1940 ] [1950 ] [1970 ] [ Top ] [INDEX ]

1961 - Crosley's familiar red brick structure is painted white. Reds win the National League Pennant, but, alas, they lose the World Series to the New York Yankees. ( Click Here to read the previous front page image in a new browser window ) The famous "laundry building" (Superior Towel & Linen) is now gone and replaced with a huge parking lot. The large net above the left field fence is hung to protect the autos in the lot from long home runs! The link below is to a great photo I just received of Crosley taken from the north parking lot "behind the net". This is where the "laundry" once stood.Construction of the Mill Creek Expressway (I-75) proceeds right past Crosley Field. This photo shows the unpaved path (strewn with spectators) running right past Crosley. This photo was probably taken at the 1961 World Series. Now, Click Here to view information about Crosley Field, as printed on the back cover of the 1961 yearbook.


Shot from the North Lot


Administration Building Painted White
Click Me!

[ 1869 ] [ 1900 ] [ 1910 ] [1920 ] [1930 ] [1940 ] [1950 ] [1970 ] [ Top ] [INDEX ]



1962 - Opening Day, April 9, 1962 - Reds vs. Philadelphia - Reds lose 12-4 - Winning Pitcher-Art Mahaffey - Losing Pitcher-Joey Jay.

1963 - Advertising is now allowed on the left field wall, and Wiedemann Beer grabs up the choice spot to the left of the scoreboard.

1963 - Crosley Field sees the beginning of one of the greatest baseball careers in history. Pete Rose begins his long and fabulous career. In his rookie year he hits 170 hits in route to his all-time record, 4,256 hits. This photo was actually taken as Rose took his first step onto the playing field, on opening day, 1963. Hits: Zero...if you can imagine that!

1964 - The center field wall is raised 9.5 feet by the addition of plywood and old ping pong tables atop the original concrete wall. A line was painted at the old height of 13.5 feet and any ball hit above the line was a homer; anything below the line was still in play. Umpires would listen for the sound of the ball hitting wood to determine close calls. This rule was soon changed and everafter a ball had to clear the whole 23 foot fence to be a home run. Dick Sisler becomes the manager of the Reds.

See the 23' Fence

Vintage Postcard (1964-1970) Looking West

Crosley Coupon (season) Ticket from 1966

1967 - On June 10th, Houstonís Jimmy Wynn hit what many consider the longest homer at Crosley ever, over the 58-foot scoreboard in left-center and onto I-75.

See the home run here


1970's


1970 - On May 17, 1970, Hank Aaron hits his 3,000th career hit, a single, in game two of a doubleheader against the Reds. Wayne Simpson was the pitcher who gave up Aaron's #3,000 in route to a career 3,771 hits. This was the only 3,000th hit seen by Crosley Field, but Pete Rose did record his 3,000th hit in Cincinnati, at Riverfront Stadium, on May 5, 1978, in route to his record 4,256 hits. Steve Rogers, of the Montreal Expos, coughed up #3,000 to Rose.

1970 - Last game is played at Crosley on June 24th. Homeplate is presented to Mayor Eugene Ruehlman and flown by helicopter to Riverfront Stadium. Lee May and Johnny Bench hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth to give the Reds a 5-4 win in the last game ever played at Crosley Field.

[ 1869 ] [ 1900 ] [ 1910 ] [1920 ] [1930 ] [1940 ] [1950 ] [1960 ] [ Top ] [INDEX ]



Reds fan, Frank O'Toole is the last fan to leave Crosley Field. After everyone else had left the park, Frank roamed the stands, collected dirt from the field in a cup, and scaled a pole to collect a sign. He even helped the clean up crew with a few of their tasks before finally leaving.

1970 - 1971 - Crosley is put to use as an auto impound lot. Her seats and signs and scoreboard are put up for sale.

Impound Lot       Impound Lot

1972 - Crosley Field is demolished. Pete Rose, Jr., sitting on a wrecking crane operator's lap, is the first to strike a blow. The wrecking ball was painted like a big baseball, with Mr. Red's face on it, in tears.


Try to Remember...



For fifty-eight years Crosley Field stood proudly at the corner of Findlay Street and Western Avenue. Prior to its name change in 1934 it had been known an Redland Field. Prior to the building of Redland Field, the Palace of the Fans stood on this location (1902-1911). And Prior to that, League Park (1884-1901), [known as American Park (1884-1890)] stood in this same location. So, for 86 years baseball had been played at Findlay and Western. In fact, had Crosley remained at Findlay and Western until today, Findlay and Western would be the oldest home of professional baseball in the world.** As it is, the honor goes to Detroit. On April 28, 1896, baseball was first played on the site that now is Tiger Stadium (then Bennett Park), making "The Corner" (Michigan & Trumbull) the oldest current home to pro baseball in the world. This will come to an end on Opening Day, 2000 when the new Tiger Ballpark opens one mile away from old Tiger Stadium.

** Labatt Memorial Park in London, Ontario, Canada is the oldest site currently in use for baseball of all kinds, (amateur, semipro, etc.) dating back to 1877. Labatt Memorial Park was built in 1877 as Tecumseh Park, and after the original grandstand was destroyed by flood in 1937, the Labatt family (of Labatt Beer fame and native Londoners) bought the park, built new grandstands, and donated it to the city. Currently it is home to the London Werewolves of the Frontier League and the London Majors of the Inter-County Amateur League. Thanks to Kevin Jordan for this information and the photo of Labatt Memorial Park.

Historical Note

Crosley Field, in Cincinnati, opened on April 11, 1912 as Redland Field
Closed: 1970 * Demolished: 1972
Tiger Stadium, in Detroit, opened on April 20, 1912 as Navin Field
Final Game: 1999
Fenway Park, in Boston, opened on April 20, 1912 as Fenway Park
Still in Use
Wrigley Field, in Chicago, opened on April 23, 1914 as Weeghman Park
(First National League game: April 20, 1916)
Still in Use


If you are close to my age and a long time fan of the Cincinnati Reds, then you need read no further. This is for the benefit of those younger fans who never had the chance to see the Reds play in the confines of Crosley Field. I attended my first Reds game in 1956. I was six years old and had a friend whose father knew somebody that knew somebody, so I got to visit the dugout before the game. You could actually do that back then, you know. Even if you didn't know somebody who knew somebody, you could still stand alongside the dugout gate and talk to the players. Anyway, I enjoyed fourteen wonderful seasons at Crosley Field taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. It was a glorious place to watch baseball.

Even though you seemed closer to the game and more involved in the action, there was always the possibility of getting seated behind a girder. Click here now, to see what I mean. At the time, it was an inconvenience, but looking back, I remember it was always the topic of conversation on the way to the ball park. But, it didn't really matter, not really.

I remember the smells also. Ibold cigars mixed with peanuts and beer. They actually had cigar vendors going up and down the isles. Think about that for a minute. Men who never smoked in day to day life, would light up a big Ibold cigar and puff away. Why? Because they could and because they were at the ballgame! That is what the ballgame is all about; getting away from the routine, kicking back and relaxing, doing what you didn't or couldn't day to day and enjoying yourself. We aren't allowed to do that anymore, not even at the ballgame. We can still drink beer, but not after the seventh inning. Try lighting up a cigar at Cinergy Field while you relax in your seat.

I also remember the players arriving in the dugout by way of the stands. They walked right by you! There they were, right in the stands with you! For a kid, it was wonderful! Now, of course, they appear from the abyss below the stadium to which they return after the game. To a kid, it might appear that that is where they live, or at least they don't come from the same places we do.

Times have changed. The sights, sounds and smells of baseball have changed. Baseball has changed (Reds vs. ChiSox) and not the World Series! Who would have guessed. Baseball, despite the changes, is still the greatest of games. Some changes have been for the better. Black players have raised the level of talent to a new tier. Now we see the best players in the world, not just the best of some of the players in the world. AstroTurf (Not!). The resurection of the ballpark vs. the soup bowl stadium (YES!). Playing regular season games with American League teams (TO BE DETERMINED!)

Now we are to get a new ballpark. I hope, for the kids sake, it is a real ballpark. I hope it has grass and fungo circles and even a terrace in the outfield instead of a warning track. Did you know that Crosley field was the only park not required to have a warning track? It was felt that the terrace was sufficient warning for any ball player that the wall was coming near.

Did you know that even the mighty Babe Ruth fell on the left field terrace? The date was May 28, 1935. Ruth went back on a sharply hit line drive to left field. As he started going up the steep slope his legs gave way, and ducking, the ball landed behind him. After that, the Babe took himself out of the game. It was after just one more game that Babe Ruth retired. What was Ruth doing at Crosley in the first place? Remember, at the end of his career he played in the National League, for the Boston Braves.

So, here is to Crosley Field! What a great place to grow up!

[INDEX ]



The Demise of Crosley...

Many people who remember Crosley Field probably remember a sparkling white facility in the midst of acres of parking lots. If so, then you remember only her last nine years of life. The Crosley field I remember was a natural red brick structure tightly woven into the fabric of a working class neighborhood known as "The West End". Why did Crosley perish? Actually, it all began in 1948, twenty-two years before Crosley was finally abandoned. The Cincinnati "master plan" put forth in 1948, called for the steady industrialization of the west end. A super highway (The Millcreek Expressway, later known as I-75) was envisioned cutting right through the west end. The city fathers knew what they wanted for the west end and that in part doomed Crosley. There were other contributing factors also. First, there was no parking. More and more people were using automobiles to go to the ballgames. The days of taking a bus or trolly were gone. The city started buying up property around Crosley in 1958 and leveling it into parking lots to satisfy the parking need. By 1961, even the Superior Towel & Linen building ("The Laundry" ) was gone, and the Millcreek Expressway (I-75) now passed right by the center field wall. Another problem was that the neighborhood was declining. Gangs of youths began extorting money from motorists to protect their cars while they were at the game. You either paid, or returned to your car to find four flat tires, or worse.

Below is a communication I received from an individual named Ralph, who lived in the Crosley Field neighborhood. He has a very different opinion of the way things were there near the end of Crosley Field, so his information is presented here for your consideration - Webmaster

"There is very disturbing comment made by someone concerning the demise of Crosley Field. More specifically, about gangs roaming the area extorting monies from fans under the pretense of watching their cars. Moreover, a refusal would mean damage to your vehicle. I lived in this area. As a teen I worked as a vendor at Crosley Field. There were no gangs. I would love to confront the author of this assertion. This comment is not only a lie but suggests criminal disrepute to the neighborhood's fine young men and women. The truth is business and plans of displacement for inner- city families doomed Crosley Field. The whole notion of Interstate Highways never had anything to do with public transportation anyway. In the U.S., almost without exception, these highways were cut through poor and primarily Black neighborhoods. This caused thousands of people to be displaced from their homes and forced to move elsewhere. Both I-75 and I-71 are clear examples of this. Trying to make West End residents a party to a larger picture, is at least offensive. The comment of gangs should be deleted from the comment. As usual, when something of this magnitude occurs, there is always a need to victimize the unfortunate."




I remember pestering my father to take me to a ballgame and receiving the reply, "It's too dangerous". If I pestered long enough and was persistant enough, we would end up on the Arrow Express. The Arrow Express was a bus that took you directly to Crosley Field from various points in the suburbs. Once the parking lots were established and almost everyone was coming to the games by automobile, traffic became a problem. There were massive traffic jams, which sometimes delayed the start of the games. The small city streets around Crosley could not handle the volume of traffic generated on game days. So, in 1961, amid new threats that the team might leave Cincinnati (San Diego was probable), standing virtually alone in a sea of parking lots, Crosley was painted brilliant white, the Yankees came to town, and plans for a new facility were underway. In 1968, those plans came to fruition as ground was broken for Riverfront Stadium. The last Reds game at Crosley took place on the evening of June 24, 1970. The last time I saw Crosley she had been gutted of her seats and scoreboard and her playing field was strewn with automobiles. Her last function for Cincinnati was as an impound lot. In 1972, Crosley Field was leveled to make room for commercial development.

[INDEX ]


Tour of Old Crosley...

So, what's at Findlay and Western now? That is what I am about to tell you...

Let's start at the right field corner of Crosley Field (SE Corner). It was located on the corner of Findlay Street and Western Avenue. This is where the bleachers gate was located. There is a nice monument to the old ballpark at this corner. At this time, Hill Floral Products is located right where the bleachers used to stand, but they've expanded to the corner, so the previous photo is not really accurate.

NOTE:   There is new construction on this corner. The monument is relocated a little due to the new building which has been built stretching from the facade of Hill Floral Products right up to where I stood to take the previous photo. It is an addition to the Hill Floral Products building.

Thanks to RICHARD ANSARA we now have new photos of the monument and its location! The monument has been moved slightly north to the landscaped area by the main entrance to Hill Floral.

CLOSE UP                  HOW SITUATED                 ANOTHER VIEW




Now, walk west on Findlay from the monument and you are walking behind what was the right field grandstands. When you get to Dalton Street, cross it (Dalton going north from Findlay was not here when Crosley was. It was extended after Crosley was torn down. This is what makes it hard to get your bearings). You will notice that there are some old red seats from Crosley placed out in front of Phillips Supply Company. Facing these seats (from the street) you are looking at where the administration building and main gates were located. Here is Another View of the main gates.

Now, this is important! A friend of mine, Kevin Fisher, of Kansas, recently took a trip to the old Crosley site and became totally confused by the placement of "Home Plate" outside the front of Phillip's Supply. He was right to be confused because that is not where home plate was located! Furthermore, the memorial home plate faces in the wrong direction, adding to the confusion. It will lead the informed baseball fan to believe that the playing field was to the south of Phillip's Supply, across Findlay Street. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It lay to the north and east of this bronze plate. Visit this section of the site and you will see what I mean and discover how to find the true location of home plate. The link will open in a new browser screen so you can close that screen and return here. Thanks for pointing this out, Kevin!

Now let's head back towards the monument. When you get to Dalton, remember that this is where it ended. Dalton (going north) deadended into Crosley. Now let's take a left turn on Dalton. You are now proceeding right through the middle of Crosley Field, heading straight for the left-center corner of the park. When you come to York you are at the left-center field wall. Take a left turn and proceed west on York to the Moellering building. This building was standing at the time Crosley Field was here and now marks the extreme NW corner of the ballpark. The low wall with the name Moellering on it is an extention of the left field wall of Crosley Field.

Alongside the Moellering Building, to the east, you can see the old terraced ground of left field.   (Note in Photo: The terrace slope is NOT the right to left slope you see, but the upward slope you see going away from you. Look at the base of the white brick wall and you will see it plainly). The field actually rose to meet the fence. The players had an uphill run as they approached the wall. This terrace remains, at this point, but this portion would have been just behind the stands. You see, the park was built on an old brick yard, whose surface was below road level. The terrace was already there before the park was built. (Left field only. The terrace was extended around to the right field corner in 1936.)

Are you getting the feel for it yet? Now walk back York to Dalton Street and look straight ahead. Imagine that York goes on straight ahead (as it used to). Look to the back corner of the parking lot in front of you. That is where Western Avenue once came through. Now cross Dalton and go to the back of the parking lot and look south. You can see where Western Avenue used to come straight to you and meet with York. The view in this photo would be along the center field wall, looking south down Western Avenue. Picture the backs of these buildings on the right as the outside of the center field wall of Crosley.The scoreboard (left-center field) was at the SW corner of York and Western, right about where this building is now. In fact, when looking at this building from this vantage point, it is just as if you were looking at the back of the old scoreboard while standing in the intersection of Western & York! Now that you have seen this building up close, you can refer back to the view from Clifton Hill and find this building in that photo. It is plainly visible at the left of the photo. Now turn to your right and look back down York Street. This would have been looking right down the left field wall when Crosley was still here. The wall stretched all the way from the Moellering Building (behind those trees) to where you are standing (at the scoreboard). Where those trucks are parked was where the Superior Towel & Linen building was located. Take a look back in time. Now, see them side by side.

Now, here is a comparison of two photos taken from Clifton Hill, one taken during the Crosley era, and one after she was gone, as Queensgate appears today.

Now you have pretty well walked the length and breadth of the old park. I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did when I recently went down there again.

[INDEX ]




1969

Other Info...

Open this photo of Crosley Field and notice that spectators are seated in the outfield on the terrace. This was not common practice. This photo was probably taken on an opening day, when seating on the terrace was the practice. In 1946, seats were installed on the terrace in front of the right field bleachers during the regular season. This area was known as the "goatrun"! Over the next thirteen years it was removed and rebuilt intermittently. The addition of this extra seating reduced the right field line to a mere 342 feet. Remember, without the "goatrun" the right field line was 366 feet.

This photo was taken sometime between 1935 and 1938. The lights (present in photo) were added for night baseball in 1935 (The first night game in MLB history was hosted at Crosley on May 24, 1935). The lack of a press box on the grandstand roof shows that the photo is pre 1938 as that was the year the press box was added. The extended upper deck (not present in this photo) was added in 1939 adding 3000 much needed seats. When the upper deck was extended in late 1939 (My father's photos from the 40's show it extended) it created whole new effect at Crosley. The decking was steel, rather than concrete, and when fans stomped on it in unison it created quite a noise!

[INDEX ]


The Beatles

Crosley Field is most well known as the cathedral of Cincinnati Reds' Baseball. From 1912 until 1970 over 4500 baseball games were played within her confines. Throughout the years, however, Crosley was used for other purposes, as well. Perhaps the most memorable use of Crosley was the half hour Beatles concert held there on a Sunday afternoon in 1966. The concert was attended by 15,000 screaming fans!

Thanks to the photography of photojournalist Gordon Baer, we can relive this event in Crosley Field history.

Beatles' concerts were not the only other use of Crosley Field. In 1884 Buffalo Bill's "Wild West Show" put on a performance at Findlay Street and Western Avenue. This was, of course, before Crosley Field was built at that location, but it was the Reds' ball field they used. At that time League Park was located there.

Redland Field played host to The Holy Name Parade in the 1920's.

Crosley Field, like many ballparks of its era, was the scene of many different functions. There were boxing matches, moonlight dances, circus performances, and concerts. Although they call the new stadia "multi-purpose", they have nothing on old Crosley Field!

The Thrill Circus Ad       The Rodeo Ad       The Action

Oh yes, Crosley Field had one last use in her long and glorious life. Crosley's final use, and it was sad to see, was as an auto impound lot. The once grand cathedral of Cincinnati baseball stood alone in a vast sea of abandoned parking lots, her field strewn with impounded automobiles. Ironic, in that it was the automobile more than anything else, that forced Crosley's "relocation" to an area with better traffic flow and more parking.

[INDEX ]


Crosley Trivia...

1) The first fan to enter Redland Field in 1912 was a kid named Mike Maxwell. The last fan to leave Crosley Field on June 24, 1970 was Frank O'Toole.

2) Note the net
(in this photo) draped across left field, just above the left field fence.

The history:

Up until 1961, when you looked out over the left field fence you saw the famous Superior Laundry building. Broadcasters actually measured home runs for listeners by using the laundry building as a reference. A home run was either "in front of the laundry", "off the laundry", or "on top of the laundry"! During the 1950's there was a billboard atop the laundry which read, "Hit this sign and win a Seibler suit". The Reds' Wally Post hit that sign a record 11 times! The laundry was torn down after 1960 and a parking lot took its place. To protect the patron's vehicles from home runs, a large 41' net was draped over the left field fence to catch any well hit balls in that direction.

NOTE: The Superior Towel and Linen Company still exists, and can be read about at http://www.superior-linen.com/About.aspx. There is a good photo of the laundry and the left field terrace there too.

What was across the center field fence? In the mid 40's it was The Crescent Tool Company. Next to Crescent, and behind the right field bleachers, was The Lackner Sign & Clock Company. Later on, in the 50's to 60's, the Crescent Tool Company building was occupied by The Crowe Engineering Company. Needless to say, these buildings gave way to The Millcreek Expressway (I-75) project in the 60's.

3) No player in the entire history of Crosley Field ever hit a homer over the right field bleachers! Into them, yes, many times, but never out of the park over them. Now on June 10, 1967, Houstonís Jimmy Wynn hit what many consider the longest homer at Crosley ever, over the 58-foot scoreboard in left-center and onto I-75. Had this been to right field it might have accomplished the feat!

The right field bleachers were known as the "Sun Deck" for day games and the "Moon Deck" for night games. This was when I was a kid and going to Crosley in the fifties and sixties.
Waite Hoyt (Red's radio broadcaster) often referred to them as "Burgerville" after Burger Beer, of which there was no shortage in the bleachers! In case you didn't realize it, Waite was a Yankee pitcher and teammate of the Babe's. Waite pitched 27 innings without giving up an earned run in the 1921 World Series. He was known by the nickname, "Schoolboy", but to anyone my age, he was the voice of Reds baseball and Burger beer.

4) The scoreboard with the familiar Longines clock was built in 1957 and was manually operated from within by up to six persons. The balls, strikes, and outs were operated electronically from the press box. In the mid-fifties, one "balls, strikes, and outs" operator was Mike Voris of Western Hills. He passes along this humorous anecdote from his time in the press box. See side by side with old scoreboard prior to 1957. Note the large clock on the older scoreboard. Originally, in 1934, there was a small clock atop the scoreboard. I haven't been able to determine in which year the larger clock was added, but it was either 1938 or 1939. It was not there during the 1937 flood, and it was present for the 1940 World Series.

5) Only the left field terrace was natural. In 1936 the terrace was extended around to the right field corner. In 1947 when it was ruled that all fields must have warning tracks, Crosley was exempted. The terrace was warning enough.

6) What made old ballparks like Crosley very interesting were their idiosyncrasies. Because the parks were built to fit into the neighborhood, among existing streets, they were rarely symetrical. Once built, there arose a need for ground rules as individual as the parks themselves. Look at this picture and notice the vertical white line on the outfield wall. Any ball hitting the wall to the right of this line was a home run. Any ball hitting the wall to the left of the line was still in play. Later on, this ground rule was actually written on the wall. And, here is an earlier version. Another such example is from the 1950's when a ground rule pertaining to batted balls going behind the scoreboard was painted on the wall in center field. Take a look!.

7) Here is a little known bit of trivia: Did you know that in 1937 Cincinnati had a semi-pro football team that played at Crosley Field? The team's name was the Bengals! Stranger yet, one of the players on the team was named Harry "Pete" Rose! Twenty six years before our famous Pete Rose's rookie year at Crosley, his father played on the same field!

8) Before Redland/Crosley Field there were two previous parks at the Findlay & Western location. In 1884 League Park was built and home plate was located in the SE corner (right field corner at Crosley). In 1894, when new stands were built, home plate was swung around to the SW corner, as at Crosley. After a fire in 1900, 1901 found home plate back in the SE corner of the park, but when The Palace of the Fans was built in 1902, it was back to the SW corner where it remained ever after! Part of the reason for the switch from SE to SW was the sun. It was always getting in the batter's eyes. One game at League Park was even called on account of the sun's brightness!

9) The Reds'
dugout was on the third base side of the field, unlike at Riverfront/Cinergy Field. I do not know why this changed when they went to Riverfront Stadium, but if you know the answer, email me...I'd love to know! Paul Munsey suggests a theory: Paul thinks that because of the change in configuration of the field from NE aligned at Crosley to SE aligned at Riverfront, the dugout switch from third base side to first was made to keep the Reds on the shady side of the field.

Alan, from Orlando, Florida writes:

      "I remember reading in the Enquirer and (I believe) in a commemorative magazine published about the stadium, that the first base side was selected because it required less jogging/walking distance to return to after a batter had been put out.
       I believe, however, that there were probably design considerations stemming from the fact that the home clubhouse needed to be larger and with more amenities than the visting clubhouse. I do not ever having recalled seeing this issue addressed, however."

10) In 1964 the center field wall is raised 9.5 feet by the addition of plywood and old ping pong tables atop the original concrete wall. A line was painted at the old height of 13.5 feet and any ball hit above the line was a homer; anything below the line was still in play. Umpires would listen for the sound of the ball hitting wood to determine close calls. This rule was soon changed and everafter a ball had to clear the whole 23 foot fence to be a home run. This still pales in the shadow of Fenway's 37.17 foot "Green Monster"! The left field wall at Fenway Park in Boston is called the "Green Monster". Before 1934 when "The Monster" was born, there was a steep 10 foot ledge in left field known as "Duffy's Cliff". The ledge was so named for outfielder Duffy Lewis who had become very skilled at playing balls hit to the ledge. (Sounds a little like the terrace at Crosley, doesn't it?) The name Green Monster arose in 1947 as the result of a brand new coat of emerald green paint covering advertisements which had previously been painted on the wall!

11) In extreme right field, in foul territory, there was a wall. This wall was used for advertisements and sometimes for announcements. For instance, in the late 30's and early 40's the wall was painted with a sign that asked patrons not to throw cushions onto the field. By 1944, added below this was painted a reminder to fans that any ball hit into the stands and then returned would be sent to someone in the military service. At another time in the 40's a quote from former President Hoover was painted on the wall: "Next to religion, baseball has furnished a greater impact on American life than any other institution." In 1961, the top of the Central Trust Tower was painted on the wall, with Schoenling Beer's ad just to its right. [Schoenling, Wiedemann, Bavarian, Hudepohl, and Burger were all local Cincinnati (German) brewers who supported the Reds throughout the years.] In 1966, a portrait of the beautiful Union Central Life Insurance Company building and tower was painted on the wall. During the 1919 World Series, the wall was bare. Perhaps they hadn't yet discovered its advertising value.
(PS - Sorry about the poor quality of the above linked photos. If I find better ones, I'll replace them.)

12) The Reds were not always the "Reds". How the name changed...

For the first "professional baseball season" some new rules are established on May 4, 1871:
*
Home plate is a 12" marble square, situated with its centre at the intersection of the first and third base lines. One corner faces the pitcher while the opposite corner faces the catcher.
*
The first and third base bags are located half in fair and half in foul territory.
*
The pitcher delivers the ball from a 6-foot square with its front line 45 feet from the plate. The pitcher must deliver the ball with a straight arm, swinging perpendicular to the ground, and passing below the hip.
*
The batter stands astride a three-foot line drawn through the middle of the plate and may call for either a high (above the belt) or a low (below the belt) strike.
*
The batter had to receive three balls for a walk, but the pitcher was not assessed a ball until he had been warned an unspecified number of times by the umpire for not delivering good balls or delaying the game.
*
A ball was judged fair or foul according to the first place it touched the ground.
*
The batter could not be called out on strikes without first receiving a warning for not swinging at a good pitch.
Thanks to Stephen Thorne for this information.

Ever wonder where we get the term "doubleheader" when two games are scheduled for the same day? Well, me too. So I checked. Years ago teams used to get together to play ball and to the winning team went a keg of beer. Back then, kegs of beer were known as "headers". Ah, you say. Yes, that's right. If there were two games scheduled to be played, and two headers at stake, it was a "doubleheader". Now, you know.


Lasts at Crosley Field

Last Game: 6/24/70, Reds won 5-4
Attendance:28,027
At-Bat: Bobby Bonds, 6/24/70
Hit:Lee May, 6/24/70
Run: Lee May, 6/24/70
Single:Tito Fuentes, 6/24/70
Double: Bernie Carbo, 6/24/70
Triple:Pete Rose, 6/24/70
Home Run: Lee May, 6/24/70
Walk: Hal Lanier, 6/24/70
Strikeout: Bobby Bonds, 6/24/70
Strikeout by Pitcher: Jim McGlothlin, 6/24/70
Win:Wayne Granger, 6/24/70

Demolished: 1972

This information was taken directly from the Cincinnati Reds official site.



[INDEX ]


Crosley and the Negro Leagues...

Beginning in 1921, Redland Field/Crosley Field was host to four Negro League teams as well as to the Reds. The first Negro League team to come to Cincinnati, the Cuban Stars, formed in Havana, Cuba in 1920 and moved to Cincinnati in 1921. In 1922, they moved to New York.


		  NEGRO LEAGUE TEAMS IN CINCINNATI

			1921		Cuban Stars
			1934-1937	Tigers
			1942		Buckeyes
			1943-1945	Clowns

See More About the Negro Leagues

The Negro League teams played generally on weekends when the Reds were out of town. The concession stands were not open, but the fans (which included many whites) would bring their own food to the games. In keeping with the mentality of the day, the players were not permitted to use the locker rooms.

Many of the Tigers' games played at Crosley Field were more heavily attended than Reds games, with attendance from 10,000 to 15,000 per game. The Tigers were absorbed into the Memphis Red Sox organization after 1937.

The Clowns (1943 - 1945) put on quite a show for the fans and were extremely popular, drawing up to 20,000 fans per game. Pre game activities included foot races and greased pig contests. They even had a catcher who caught from a rocking chair! They were like a baseball version of, and precursor to, The Harlem Globetrotters. The Clowns moved to Indianapolis for the 1946 season and played there until 1962. It would appear from the reproduced poster below, that the Clowns still played games at Crosley after moving to Indianapolis. Perhaps they used it for big games with teams like the famous Kansas City Monarchs. The poster below is from the 50's (either 1953 or 1959) as the day and date (Friday, July 3rd) only occured during those two years in which both teams were in existence. By the way, have you heard of Hank Aaron? Well, it was the Indianapolis Clowns who nurtured and introduced Hank to the world in the early 1950's!

The Cincinnati Reds were one of the last teams to integrate, hiring Chuck Harmon in 1954. Harmon was mainly a reserve player, playing outfield and third base.

[INDEX ]


Lew Crosley Stories...

Lew Crosley is the grandson of Reds and Crosley Field former owner, Powel Crosley, Jr. As a boy, Lew spent a lot of time at Crosley Field and with the Reds players. The following are several anecdotes from his childhood at Crosley Field:

"As you might suspect, I spent a lot of time at the old ballpark as a kid.† When I was discharged from the USAF in the spring of '59 the "Boss" told Gabe Paul to hire me but not to pay me more than $4,000.† I worked there through the 1964 season in various positions, the last being Director of Stadium Operations.† Mike Dolan, Matty Schwab's grandson, was my #1 guy and we had a blast."


"The only other story that pops into my mind at the moment concerns Mike Dolan.† It was the day before the first World Series game with the Yankees in 1961, a Friday.† There were people everywhere.† Mike and I were walking along under the lower grandstand when there was a big commotion and everyone began running towards the elevator.† One of the concessionairs was on top of the elevator shaft threatening to jump. The buck naked guy was maybe three feet back from the edge, but every time a cop would poke his head up to try to talk him down, the guy would move right to the edge of the shaft and prepare to do a swan dive. In the excitement Mike, who is Catholic, bought a hotdog, ate half of it, realized what he'd done, said, "What the hell", and finished the rest of it."


"The Reds clinched the 1961 NL pennant while flying back from a game in Pittsburgh.† Manager Fred Hutchinson threw a huge party in the Netherland Hilton Hotel while the good citizens of Cincinnati were doing their best to demolish Fountain Square. At some point, late in the evening, Henry Royer, the Assistant Ticket Manager had to use the men's room.† Not having the dime necessary to open the stall door, he began to crawl under it.† Just then, Warren Giles walked into the room. For the rest of the evening Warren told everyone at the party that he saw poor Henry crawling under the toilet door, that the Reds really should pay their employees more money and now they could afford to."


I became curious the other day as to how to tell an original Crosley Field seat from an expansion area seat, or whether or not you could. I wrote to Lew Crosley and asked him if he knew. Here is his response:



"Afraid I can't help much on your question about the seats. I do know that when I was in charge of the maintenance at the park we replaced slats and whole backs and seats that were broken so often that there was nothing original about any seat in the ballpark."

[INDEX ]



Frequently Asked Questions...

 
Q: In what year was Crosley Field built?
 
A: 1912. The first game was played there on
   April 11, 1912.
 

Q: Was it always known as Crosley Field?
 
A: No. It was originally Redland Field.  
   The name change occured in 1934 when 
   Powel Crosley Jr. purchased Redland Field.
 

Q: Why does the outfield go uphill in front of the fences?
 
A: This was known as the "Terrace".  The left
   field terrace was natural, the field having been built
   in an old brickyard, which was below the level of York
   Street.  In 1936, the terrace was extended all the way
   around to the right field corner.
 

Q: When were the lights installed for night baseball?
 
A: 1935. 
 

Q: Was Crosley Field the first Major League field 
   to use lights in a game?
 
A: Yes. May 24, 1935 was the first Major League
   game played under the lights.  Crosley hosted
   this game.
 

Q: How many World Series were played there?
 
A: Four. (1919, 1939, 1940 and 1961.)  Ironically,
   the year the Reds abandoned Crosley would have
   been the fifth World Series there. The Reds met
   Baltimore in 1970 in the Fall Classic.
 

Q: How many ballgames were played there in all?
 
A: 4,543 games in all.
 

Q: When did Crosley Field close?
 
A: 1970. The last game to be played at Crosley was on
   June 24, 1970. After the game home plate was flown
   by helicopter to Riverfront Stadium in downtown
   Cincinnati, one and a half miles away.

              
               Click to Enlarge
 

Q: When was Crosley Field torn down?
 
A: 1972.

[INDEX ]


Excellent Baseball Links
For Serious Students of the Game

www.baseball-almanac.com
Sean Holtz

Baseball History Links
Perry Glasgow

Ballparks.com
Munsey & Suppes
Baseball-Reference.com
Sean Forman
Original Baseball Research
Clifford Blau
Sabermetric Research
Cyril Morong
1919blacksox.com
Erik Varon

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Mark Watkins for so much information I obtained from his video, "Safe at Home: Crosley Field and the Cincinnati Reds", copies of which are available at the Cincinnati Museum Center gift shop, with proceeds going to benefit the Museum Center. Further thanks are in order to the Museum Center whose assistance to Mark, in the making of his video, was invaluable.

Further appreciation for information provided by the books:

Diamonds - The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman. Houghton-Mifflin, 1993 © 1993 Michael Gershman. All Rights Reserved. by Michael Gershman.

and

Cincinnati's Crosley Field - The Illustrated History of a Classic Ballpark by Greg Rhodes & John Erardi - Road West Publishing Company 1995 © 1995 Greg Rhodes & John Erardi. All Rights Reserved.

and

The Cincinnati Reds, A Pictorial History of Professional Baseball's Oldest Team by Ritter Collett - Jordan-Powers Corporation 1976 © 1976 The Jordan Powers Corporation.



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