Enders: Exploring extreme ballparks past

From SABR member Eric Enders at The Hardball Times on November 16, 2018:

Ewing Field, San Francisco’s notoriously short-lived ballpark, was one of the finest stadiums in America when it opened in May 1914. With a capacity of 17,500 and a price tag of a quarter million dollars, the Double-A park was larger and more expensive than several of its major league counterparts. The new ballpark had the Bay Area brimming with excitement — an excitement which, unfortunately, was short lived once actual games started being played. It became quickly apparent that Ewing Field was utterly useless as a ballpark, and its first season of baseball turned out to be its last.

How did one of the world’s finest baseball venues become a white elephant overnight? Blame it on the weather. Ewing Field had been built near the summit of San Francisco’s most desolate hill, Lone Mountain, where frigid, wintry winds whipped through the neighborhood most of the year. The San Francisco Seals had gotten a sweetheart lease from the local archdiocese on a plot of land fit only for the dead. (That was literally true — the rest of Lone Mountain housed the city’s various cemeteries, containing some 100,000 bodies, and the view from the stands was tombstones virtually as far as the eye could see.)

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/exploring-extreme-ballparks/

Originally published: November 16, 2018. Last Updated: November 16, 2018.