Swanson: Ballparks we miss: Shibe Park

From Ryan Swanson at The National Pastime Museum on August 16, 2017:

Looking back nearly 50 years after the ballpark’s demolition, Shibe Park—later renamed Connie Mack Stadium—is perhaps best understood as a tale of bipolar architectural decisions. Home of the Philadelphia Athletics, and later the Phillies, it was a case of the beauty and the beast. The good was astonishingly good. The park had friezes and facades. The words terra cotta must be used to describe the stadium’s exterior. A cupola was involved. American League commissioner Ban Johnson called it “the greatest place of its character in the world.”

As SABR described it, the park was “more French palace than ballpark.” And that was meant as a compliment. But a tightfisted, if pragmatic business decision—involving corrugated metal—alienated fans. And it’s fair to say that the Philadelphia Athletics never recovered from the erection of “Spite Fence” in 1935.

Read the full article here: https://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/ballparks-we-miss-shibe-park-1909-1970

Originally published: August 16, 2017. Last Updated: August 16, 2017.