Sunday, November 09, 2008

23rd Street Ball Grounds

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Also known as State Street Grounds, this is where the Chicago Cubs (then called the White Stockings) played in their first two years in the NL, 1876 and 1877. Wikipedia gives a great description (from Green Cathedrals) of where the park was and how it was laid out. They say it had to look like a home plate, but for all we know, it could have been rounded off in left and right field. But I drew it as home plate-shaped, only having to guess just how far north or south home plate was positioned within the block, leaving room for any kind of grandstand above it.

This page shows a picture of the buildings that stand there today. (I grabbed you a nice street view of that spot.

And here's a crazy-long article about the sad state of the residences that stand all along that section of State Street today.


Jere --

I'm a fairly new reader of your blog, but I wanted to thank you for this series of old ballpark locations! Growing up less than an hour from Cooperstown, I was never a baseball fan until I moved away and could no longer appreciate having the HoF in my extended backyard. I like to go when I can and take in all the history there, and these entries give me the same feeling of awe and wonder.

So, yeah. Just saying thanks and letting you know your work is appreciated.
Thanks for letting me know.

The fun part for me is learning all this stuff about each park that, if I wanted to, I could post here, but it would probably require a whole other blog to fit it all in. Hopefully everyone does their own research about the parks they're interested in. My main goal is to just draw the footprint, and bring up any notable stuff about the park.
Yeah, I'm loving this old timey ball park stuff too! This could make a great book - something with lots of "then & now" pictures. Hook up with local historical groups for details... And now that you are a world famous published writer, this should be easy, right? ;)
Definitely book-worthy, but I'd rather make Smiths of Baseball into a book. (I've got other nerdy ideas too, we'll see what happens.)

Oh and Jeff, I just saw your comment at Joy of Sox--for more of ALlan's voice, see my interview with him. (It says "cast unavailable" now--hopefully it returns from the netherworld. Keep trying back.)
Thanks Jere - I have to be careful listening to too many voices. It might make me look like a Red Sox blog stalker or groupie. Is that wrong?

Looking forward to reading the Smiths of Baseball...

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Location: Rhode Island, United States