Saturday, May 27, 2023

Stadium Saturday - Mile High Stadium

Hello friends!

Today's stadium was short-lived in MLB, but it was also used in Minor League Baseball and the NFL.

Of course, it's Mile High Stadium

Fun fact.. TCDB only has one card listed under Mile High Stadium's checklist. It reads as two because one is a parallel.. But there are two distinct cards. 

1993 Triple Play has a card of Mile High. The one listed on TCDB is the 1994 Score and Gold Rush parallel. 


Mile High was originally known as Bears Stadium and was built in 1948 for the Denver Bears minor league baseball team. 
The stadium was built on the site of a former landfill and consisted of a single 18000 seat grandstand. 

Bob Howsam, the person behind getting Bears Stadium built, was part of the group trying to get a third Major League going in the late 50s. That league would have been the Continental League. If I recall, it's how the Mets came into being, as the CL was going to place a team in New York, so MLB awarded the Mets expansion franchise. However, that's for another episode..

Howsam was told that he would need to expand the stadium to be MLB worthy, so expansions started. Because Denver was not given a team in that round of expansion Howsam was left with a lot of debt. His solution was to try to get into the AFL. 

The expansion done at the time was to triple deck the west sideline. Debt forced Howsam to sell in 1961. In 1966, Denver was told that in order to be part of the AFL-NFL merger, the stadium needed to be upgraded to 50 000 seats. The city of Denver bought the stadium in 1968 and renamed the place Mile High Stadium. 

The Broncos kept selling out their games in the 70s, causing more and more expansions. The largest of them is the set taking place form 1975-1977 where the capacity was raised to 75000 by expanding the the upper deck along the north side and building moveable grandstands for the east side. 
This meant the stadium could be in a horseshoe shape for football and the usual configuration for baseball. 

The moveable structure was 450 feet long and 200 feet wide and weighed 9 million pounds. Movement was done through hydraulics. Water bearings would be filled with water, lifting the grandstand up. A sheet of water 1/3 of an inch thick formed, allowing engineers to use hydraulic rams pushed the stands at a rate of two feet per minute. The average time to move the stands was 6 hours..

The Rockies began play in 1993. They blew attendance records out of the water because fams were excited for MLB and the team offered low ticket prices. The Rockies would only stay here until 1995 when they moved to Coors Field, but people made their way out to the Park in those early days. 

After the Rockies moved to Coors, the Broncos remained as tenants here until 2000. After moving to their new home, Empower Field, Mile High was demolished and the site turned into a parking lot for the new stadium. A miniature Mile High sits on site as well. 

So.. Tenants of this place throughout its history:
Denver Bears (WL) 1948-1954
Denver Bears/Zephyrs (AA/PCL) 1955-1992
Denver Broncos (AFL-NFL) 1960-2000
Denver Dynamos (NASL) 1974-1975
Colorado Caribous (NASL) 1978
Denver Gold (USFL) 1983-1985
Colorado Rockies (MLB) 1993-1994
Colorado Rapids (MLS) 1996-2001


Sunday, May 21, 2023

Signature Sundays - May 21

 Good day friends!

It's another installment of Signature Sundays. I'm moving it from Saturday to Sunday. 

Anyway. Today's is a nice one.

Marquis Grissom!

I believe this is from one of the Tek sets. I'm not 100%  sure though. I just know I stay away from them because they're confusing AF, as the kiddies say these days...

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Stadium Friday - Arlington Stadium

 I know... It's Saturday.. 

Anyway. I'm feeling less beat up and burned out today so I'm writing up my normal post on Stadium Friday! *cough cough* Saturday Edition

Today is actually a stadium I only have one card of.. It's Arlington Stadium, the original place the Texas Rangers played 

The stadium started out as a minor league stadium, called Turnpike Stadium. It was named that for the Dallas-Fort Worth turnpike. 
The Fort Worth Cats and Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs played here previous to the Rangers. 
As with stadiums of the era, it was designed to be upgradeable to MLB standards for the time. There were 10000 seats, but was able to be bumped to 50K. 
The way the stadium was built, the Dallas Cowboys would have been able to play here as well, but they were uninterested in this stadium. 

The stadium was set into a natural bowl, so little excavation was necessary. 
When the Senators Part 2 moved to Texas and became the Rangers, Arlington Stadium was the sixth stadium to make the leap from minor league to Major League. 
The other stadiums being Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis, Seals Stadium in San Francisco. and Sick's Stadium in Seattle.

Before the upper deck was built in 1978, fans could enter the top of the stadium and just walk down to their seats. 
One of the insane things about this place is the absence of a roof or covering of any kind for the fans. As a result, games were scheduled for the evenings most of the time. Something that continued to their next home. 

The stadium was replaced in 1994 with The Ballpark in Arlington. George Brett got the last hit in Arlington Stadium in 1993. Originally home plate and the foul poles were moved to the new Park but were later changed out. Some bleachers were also ported over. They were painted green, but blue showed through if the paint chipped. 

Some of the interesting things about this place: 
There was a scoreboard shaped like Texas. 
They played Cotton-Eye Joe during the 7th Inning Stretch instead of Take me out to the ballgame
Nolan Ryan threw no-hitters here.
Mike Witt had a perfect game here
Nolan Ryan also happened to use Robin Ventura as a grappling buddy here.. 

When this place was demolished, part of the site was used for the new Cowboys Stadium and for a parking lot for a convention centre. 

I just find it interesting that both Texas teams had a stadium that was slap-dashed together when they first came into existence. Both looked about the same. Both had no relief from the elements for fans. Only difference is Houston moved into a dome in a few years, while it took the Rangers until the last couple years to get a dome. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

1972 OPC

 Some more cards I got from CrazieJoe that was totally unexpected!

1972 O Pee Chee..

Now, this design is undoubtedly 70s. The cinema marquee/disco style lettering for the team names... 

I'm sure other people can describe them better than I can. So how about I show them?

Hey what do you know? Ron Taylor! 
Bateman's last season was 72. He split the year between Montreal and Philadelphia. 

Ron Woods finished his career in Montreal in 1974. 
Ernie McAnally played his MLB career with Montreal, from 1971-1974. 

Manager card! 
Stan Swanson only spent 1971 in the Majors. He was another one who was done at 28 years old. 

Ron Hunt, the human bullseye.. Lead the league in Hit By Pitch for 7 straight seasons including 50 in 1971. (OUCH!!)
Gary Sutherland was on the Astros for the 72 season. Between 1972-1973, he played 21 games in the Majors. In Detroit, he went to 149..


It may be a stretch, but yeah...

Monday, May 15, 2023

1975 OPC

 I recently got a bunch of Expos cards from CrazieJoe. Not a Cliff Floyd Ted Williams in the bunch lol 

However, I did get some nice Expos OPC cards from the 70s and 1980.. 

I want to show the 1975 OPC cards today. I'm sure this post will be Night Owl approved.. 

Balor Moore also ended up pitching for the Jays in the 80s. 
I think these pics are taken in West Palm Beach at Spring Training.

Dale Murray had two stints in Montreal and also played in Toronto. 
Mike Torrez is kind of interesting. After his 1974 season in Montreal, he went to be a 20 game winner in Baltimore in 75.. Then Oakland, Yankees, Boston, Mets, Oakland from 1976-1984.

Finally, Steve Rogers. 
I'd be interested to find this out.. If he were pitching today, would he be known as Captain America? Obviously, the whole thing with Marvel would stop him from being able to use that in say.. Players weekend, but it makes me wonder.. 
Of course, the funny thing about it is Captain America would have spent his entire career playing for a French Canadian city... 

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Signature Saturday - Sunday May 14 edition

 Hello friends!

I'm almost tempted to move the Signature posts to Sundays here on out. Anyway

Today's Signature is 

Thomas Hatch.
He's currently in Buffalo for the Jays

Friday, May 12, 2023

Stadium Fridays - Wrigley Field

Hello friends. It's Friday. Time for another Stadium Friday post.

I've briefly mentioned the Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. There was also a Wrigley Field on Catalina Island when the Cubs did Spring Training there.. Now today is the lasting Wrigley Field..

Of course, we're talking about the Wrigley Field in Chicago. 

I'm sure it's common knowledge now, but the Cubs weren't the team this park was designed for. 

No, this beautiful piece of architecture was commissioned by Charles Weeghman for his Federal League team, the Chicago Whales. 
Weeghman had a number of lunch counters in Chicago. The success of these allowed him to first try to purchase the St Louis Cardinals, but was unsuccessful. He bought the Whales and when the Federal League closed, he bought into the Cubs. The park was named after Weeghman until 1920.
William Wrigley bought the Cubs in 1921. The park was renamed Cubs Park until 1926.

A little interesting fact I didn't notice until just now.. The "first Game" listed on the back of these Fleer Stickers is the first MLB game. The park hosted the Federal League, an outlaw Major League from 1914-1916.

The Park has undergone many renovations and updates over the years. In the early days 

Wrigley Field 1935. Chicago Collections

In the early days it was a Square for lack of better terms. In this configuration, you can tell it was capable of hosting football as well, going from left field to centre/right.. After looking it up though, it was actually angled from Home plate area to left field and they put bleachers down in right. 

Anyway, in 1926 the stadium was double-decked and the playing field was lowered. The now iconic ivy was planted in 1937 by Bill Veeck. Over that time we also had the current outfield configuration come into being. 

The next big thing was in 1988 when Wrigley became illuminated. There were originally supposed to be lights installed way back in 1942, but Phillip Wrigley donated the lights that were to be used on the field to the war effort. 
Temporary lights were used in 1943 for an All American Girls Professional Baseball League game.
In 1984, had the Cubs made the Word Series, a plan was set in place. Detroit would host the night games during the week and the Cubs would have three day games over the weekend. So games 1,2, 6, and 7 would be in Detroit, while 3,4, and 5 would be in Chicago on Friday Saturday Sunday.
Obviously, the Cubs failed to beat the Padres so it was a moot point.
By the late 80s, the league was saying that any postseason "home" games the Cubs would have would be in St Louis if lights were not installed. As a result, lights were added in August of 1988.

In 2014, another set of renovations occurred. In this set, bleachers were extended and a new scoreboard was installed. Also done was improving the Cubs locker room and facilities. The outside also got a freshening up with some terra cotta work being added. 
In 2013, the club agreed to National Landmark status. 

The Ivy was specifially mentioned in the Landmark registration. MLB made a change in the rules to require padded fences. The ivy covered wall was grandfathered in. 
So many things around the park have become legendary. The rooftop seats across from the park for example. Originally started as a way for the building owners to make a little cash, they became more regulated by the city and eventually the Cubs came calling for their share of the pie.. The rooftop seat owners worked out a deal where the Cubs got 17% of the revenue. 

Aside from Baseball, Wrigley has been used for football and soccer. Concerts have also been held here. Winter Classic hockey games have been hosted here by the BlackHawks. 

Tenants of Wrigley: 
Chicago Whales (Federal League) 1914-1915
Chicago Cubs (MLB) 1916-present
Chicago Tigers (APFA) 1920
Hammond Pros (NFL) 1920-1926
Chicago Bears (NFL) 1921-1970
Chicago Cardinals (NFL) 1931-1939
Chicago Sting (NASL) 1977-1982, 1984

This would be the football configuration. 

The grand old Yard has been around for over 100 years now. I want to say 110 now, but I don't know. Depends on the system, I guess lol

On a side note: I know I intended these to show cards of the stadium and some history. Do the extended things with some external pictures or historical pictures bother anyone? Or is this format enjoyable? I enjoy doing the deeper dives. Plus is gives me more fodder if I ever get a chance to actually work on creating custom cards