Shibe Park

A Complete History of Shibe Park

Ben Shibe, an Athletics stockholder and manufacturer of baseball products, had a dream in mind when he set out to build the first concrete-and-steel stadium in major league history. William Steele and Sons were signed on in 1908 to make the dream a reality and one year later the doors opened to Shibe Park.

Shibe Park, known later as Connie Mack Stadium, was a baseball park located in Philadelphia. It was the home of the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League (AL) and the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League (NL).

When it opened April 12, 1909, it became baseball's first steel-and-concrete stadium. In different eras it was home to "The $100,000 Infield", "The Whiz Kids", and "The 1964 Phold".

The venue's two home teams won both the first and last games at the stadium: the Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 8–1 on opening day 1909, while the Phillies beat the Montreal Expos 2–1 on October 1, 1970, in the park's final contest.

Shibe Park stood on the block bounded by Lehigh Avenue, 20th Street, Somerset Street and 21st Street. It was five blocks west, corner-to-corner, from the Baker Bowl, the Phillies' home from 1887 to 1938.

Shibe Park hosted eight World Series and two MLB All-Star Games, in 1943 and 1952, with the latter game holding the distinction of being the only All-Star contest shortened by rain (to five innings). In May 1939, it was the site of the first night game played in the American League.

Phillies Hall-of-Fame centerfielder and longtime broadcaster Richie Ashburn remembered Shibe Park, "It looked like a ballpark. It smelled like a ballpark. It had a feeling and a heartbeat, a personality that was all baseball."

"There is much less drinking now than there was before 1927 because I quit drinking on May 24, 1927." - Rabbit Maranville

Twelve GREAT stories from baseball's past through the 2016 World Series, concentrating on the "what-ifs," includes a spirited case for the Hall-of-Fame for a man who hit a lot of long home runs at Connie Mack Stadium, Dick Allen.
Coulda Woulda Shoulda: Baseball Stories You Haven't Heard
Shibe Park / 1909 - 1953
Connie Mack Stadium / 1953 - 1976

Shibe Park Forever by Andy Jurinko

Major League Occupants in Shibe Park

Data

First Game

04-12-1909

Last Game

First Game

05-16-1927

Last Game

05-28-1927

First Game

07-04-1938

Last Game

Shibe Park / 1909 - 1953
Connie Mack Stadium / 1953 - 1976

Shibe Park

Shibe Park Ballpark Capacity

Data

1909

20,000

1925

33,500

1926

27,500

1929

30,000

1930

33,000

1947

32,750

1948

32,500

1952

33,300

1953

33,166

1960

33,359

1961

33,608

Largest Crowd

41,660

05-11-1947

Smallest Crowd

23

09-08-1916

Shibe Park / 1909 - 1953
Connie Mack Stadium / 1953 - 1976

Shibe Park

Miscellaneous Items of Interest in Shibe Park

Data

A.K.A.

1953+

Connie Mack Stadium

Current Status

Demolished 06-1976

Field Surface

Grass

First Night Game

05-16-1939

Last Game Ever

Original Location

North

West Somerset Street

South

West Lehigh Avenue

East

North 20th Street

West

North 21st Street

Shibe Park / 1909 - 1953
Connie Mack Stadium / 1953 - 1976

Shibe Park

Ballpark Dimensions

Shibe Park Dimensions

Backstop

1909

85'

1942

90'

1943

86'

1956

78'

1960

64'

Left Field

1909

360' - 378'

1921

380'

1922

334'

1926

312'

1930

334'

Left Center

1909

393'

1922

387'

1925

405'

1969

387'

Center Field

1909

515' - 502'

1922

468'

1950

448'

1951

440'

1953

460'

1954

468'

1956

447'

1969

410'

Right Center

1909

393'

1969

390'

Right Field

1909

360' - 340'

1921

380'

1926

307'

1930

331'

1934

329'

Shibe Park History | Connie Mack Stadium History



Shibe Park was designed and built by William Steele and Sons. It took less than one year to build the entire ballpark and cost $141,918.92 for the land and $315,248.69 for the stadium itself - ballpark history at its best!
Right center field had a scoreboard that was 400' from home plate, 50' high, and had a 60' Ballantine Beer sign attached to it. Dick Allen was the only player to ever hit a home run over the Ballantine Beer sign and scoreboard.

" Allen didn't just hit homeruns... Connie Mack Stadium featured a two-deck grandstand in left field. Allen crushed balls that landed on or over the roof of these stands on several occasions." - Author Chris Williams in Coulda Woulda Shoulda: Baseball Stories You Haven't Heard (ACTA Publications. 03/01/2017. Chapter 6. Pages 48 and 49. Get it at: Acta or Amazon .)

Did you know that when the park closed in 1970 they removed home plate and placed it in Veterans Stadium for the 1971 regular season?
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