Philadelphia Phillies Favorites: Ballparks

Ryan SmithCorrespondent INovember 19, 2008

A team’s home field is one of the most important factors in how a team plays. The dimensions, the turf, and comfort of the fans are all important. If the fans are unhappy, you’re in trouble. The Phillies have called five ball parks home. Some were state-of-the-art while others were trash bins. Let’s take a look, shall we?


1. Citizens Bank Park


Home of the Phillies: 2004-present

Location: 1 Citizens Bank Way


This state-of-the-art stadium was made for hitters.  It has a grass turf that would have definitely appealed to Tug McGraw (he once made a comment saying if a horse can’t eat it, he won’t play on it).


It also is very appealing to fans. You can sit and watch the game or head down to Ashburn Alley and buy a Rick’s Steak and some Crab Fries. Or you go play the Games of Baseball. But if you’re a real Phillies fan, you’ll sit your butt down and watch the game.


2. Veterans Stadium


Home of the Phillies: 1971-2003

Location: Northeast corner of Broad St., Pattison Ave.


It was a fine stadium even though it was shared with the Eagles. It was built to replace Connie Mack Stadium for the Phils and Franklin Field for the Eagles.


The only bad part was the playing surface. The playing surface was AstroTurf. Both baseball and football players complained about it. Besides all of this, the stadium holds a record. It had the fastest implosion of any stadium in history.


3. Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium)


Home of the Phillies: 1938-1970  

Location: Bounded by Lehigh Ave., 20th St., Somerset St., and 21st St.


Depending on who you’re talking to, the stadium the Phils played at was called either Shibe Park or Connie Mack Stadium. Shibe was renamed Connie Mack Stadium and that’s what most Phillies fans know it by. Fans of the Philadelphia Athletics called it Shibe.


Connie Mack Stadium was a historic ballpark. It was baseball’s first steel and concrete stadium.


The stadium dimensions were peculiar, but not as weird as the Baker Bowl. At one point the farthest part of the park was 515 feet away from home plate. There was also a huge wall in right field called the “Spite Wall” that was put up by Connie Mack to block the view of fans who sat bleachers stationed on the roofs of nearby homes (it was later lowered again after the Athletics left Philly).


After the last game was played at Connie Mack, fans were allowed to take whatever they wanted from the stadium (I myself have a piece of Connie Mack).


4. Baker Bowl


Home of Phillies: 1887-1938

Location: Bounded by N. Broad St., Huningdon, 15th St., and Lehigh Valley Ave.


Referred to as state-of-the-art when it first opened, it was the laughingstock of baseball after it closed. It was dilapidated and right field stood only 280 feet away from home plate. The “Baker Wall” stood 60 feet high.


Besides being oddly shaped, the stadium was a deathtrap. In 1894, the grandstand and bleachers caught fire. In 1903, several drunk men assaulted a group of girls. Fans streamed onto a 100 foot deck. Under the pressure it gave way and 12 fans were killed while 232 were injured. In 1927, parts of two sections of the lower deck extension along the right field line collapsed. No one was killed.


5. Recreation Park


Home to the Phillies: 1883-1886

Location: Bounded by 23rd St., Ridge Ave., 25th Ave., and Columbia Ave.


The first home of the Phillies housed great players such as Charlie Ferguson.