Saturday, August 12, 2023


 Hello friends!

I'm writing this to let everyone know I'm going on a short hiatus from writing here. Between my physical health and my mental health, I just don't have it in me to do the quality of posts I expect from myself. 

My other blog will have some life updates in the meantime. 

I'll just say I'm fed up with my body and am really teetering on the edge

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

A Mattsplosion of Cards

 Hello Friends!

I almost feel ok today. Mind you, I did just wake up from a nap, so that may have something to do with it.. 

Anyway, I wanted to show off some cards I received from two different Matts. One is a Brewers collector, one is a Royals collector. 

First, the Royals Matt:

Glen Gorbous. I can honestly say I hadn't heard of him until Matt offered duplicates to people in our card Discord group. I asked if any Canadians were in it, and he mentioned Gorbous. So I now have one. 

All Time Team cards from TCMA. Kind of funny that they made these in the early 80s for the Jays. There were 12 cards.. Bob Bailor, John Mayberry, Bobby Cox, Luis Gomez, Roy Howell, Otto Velez, Al Woods, Rick Cerone, Dave Lemanczyk, Tom Underwood, and Joey McLaughlin. 
If this was made now, it would look MUCH different. 

The Expos has Ron Fairly, Dave Cash, Tim Foli, Bob Bailey, Ken Singleton, Ellis Valentine, Rusty Staub, John Bateman, Steve Rogers, Woodie Fryman, Mike Marshall, and Jim Fanning. 

Honestly, the three cards shown are the only three I ever see from these sets.. 

Now, the other Matt sent me a bunch of cards. Some Expos and Jays, but I'm focusing on the Canadians he sent. 

It's the Ax Man! John Axford, Brett Lawrie, and Larry Walker 
I think Lawrie was a decent player, but his... Shall we say.... Intensity? and attitude were too much to overcome. He definitely got fewer chances than hotheads like Milton Bradley and Carl Everett. 

Another Walker and Axford, this time joined by Korey Koskie. 

I also wanted to show a couple cards from the book he wrote. He wrote a book called Opening Day in Milwaukee. I may have to see about an ebook rental from the library, since physical copies are non-existent here. 

Finally, a card of the author. 

It strikes me.. We have seen all sorts of cards for all sorts of topics. TV shows, movies, Bands, Gross Out humour... Why have we never seen a set of Author Trading Cards? 
"Author Trading Cards! You've read their work.. Now, collect their card!" 

Thank you very much to both Matts for the cards!

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Signature Sundays - July 30

 Hello Friends!

Well, as you  may have seen, yesterday there was no Stadium Saturday. I've mentioned before I've been struggling with my mental health lately and I was just overwhelmed trying to even decide on a topic yesterday. Between that and being social for a while, I ended up sleeping most of yesterday evening and just woke up at almost 4PM EDT today to do this post. 

So again, I decided to postpone my Stadium post rather than put out a subpar effort. 

Anyway, onto Signature Sunday Matters!

Today I do have a post. I have a nice card to show. 

Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins!
I have a couple of his autographs. There are a few players I ended up getting a couple cards of, but since they're different cards, I'm of course going to keep them. (I do, however, have an Ernie Whitt 86T duplicate that's autographed that I'm willing to trade) 

On one hand, I'm upset with myself for not getting the post out yesterday. On the other, I'm realizing sometimes I need to take care of myself.. 

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Signature Sundays - July 23

 Hello friends! 

Here's part two of the blog doubleheader!

Of course, this is the easier post, since it's a pic and a post lol

It's Bo Naylor!
His brother Josh is also on the Guardians and their brother Myles was drafted 39th by the Oakland A's. 
Just so you know, for those who may be wondering Bo also used the name Noah for the first couple years of his pro career. Noah is his real name. 

Stadium Saturdays - Shea Stadium

 Hello Friends!

Today I'm doing a Sunday doubleheader of sorts.. I wanted to get both the Saturday and Sunday posts out, but yesterday I was so beat after going out for a bit I ended up sleeping and then getting up way too late to really do this justice. So today I'm doing both the Stadium Saturday and Signature Sunday posts..

Today's stadium, as you can gather from the title, is Shea Stadium. The formal name was William A. Shea Municipal Stadium. 

The stadium was built in 1964 for the Mets, who spent their first two seasons in the Polo Grounds. 

The Flushing site was pitched to the Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley in 1957, but he refused because he couldn't agree to terms with the city. The city was going to have a hand in the construction and operations of the stadium, but O'Malley wanted to build it himself to have control over the operations and parking. Or shall I say, the revenue from said?

The other sticking point was O'Malley wanting the new stadium in Brooklyn. The city was insistent on the Flushing site. When Los Angeles offered O'Malley what he wanted, he decided to pack up and move to the west coast. 

The Mets came into existence when Shea was trying to help begin a third Major League, called the Continental League. The league disbanded when MLB agreed to expand, adding 8 teams. 

In order to get the stadium built, the team agreed to a substantial rent in order to pay the construction bonds. At the time, the State didn't allow public money to be used to build a stadium. 

The stadium opened five days before the World's Fair in New York. The Fair site was across the street from the stadium. For the Fair, the stadium had blue and orange steel panels on the outside. They remained on the stadium until 1980. 

At one time the foul territory was the largest in the Majors. As retrofits occurred (it was retrofitted after the Jets moved out) the foul territory was lessened. At one time there were plans to have this stadium fully enclosed, but that never came to pass. In the card above, you can kind of see the outline where the outfield enclosure would have gone. 

Shea hosted one All Star Game, in 1964. It hosted the Postseason in 1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 1999, 2000, and 2006.

Tommy Agee was the only person to hit a fair ball into the upper deck in left field. In 1971 Dave Kingman hit a ball out of the stadium and hit the Giants' team bus parked behind the bullpen.
Shea Stadium also hosted the first and last games in Montreal Expos history. 

Here we see Shea in the football configuration. 

1975 was a busy year for the Stadium. The Mets, Yankees, NFL Giants, and Jets all shared the venue. The Yankees were here due to Yankee Stadium being renovated. The two NFL teams were waiting for Giants Stadium to be completed. Neither the Jets and Giants could play home games until after the baseball season was over. Since neither MLB team made the playoffs, the NFL had the park from October on.. 

Here we see Citi Field rising in the background.

You can see the orange panels in this photo.. 
In 1965, there were plans to add a glass dome and 15000 seats, but the Mets opposed the plan. The idea was scrapped altogether when engineers determined that the foundation wouldn't be able to support the additional weight.

When it came time to remove Shea Stadium, they needed to dismantle it rather than implode it, as NYC regulations don't allow implosion in city limits. After any salvageable memorabilia was taken, demolition began. Pairs of seats were sold for $869.

So who used this place??

The New York Mets (MLB) 1964-2008
New York Jets (AFL/NFL) 1964-1983
New York Yankees (MLB) 1974-1975
New York Giants (NFL) 1975
St. John's Red Storm (NCAA) 2000

Two personal things I'd like to add.. I did a painting of Shea Stadium based on a picture from Topps Magazine while I was in high school. I still have it. Maybe once I excavate it from my closet I'll take a pic and show people. 
The other thing I remember is hating playing games in this place on any baseball video game. I don't know what it was but I found it impossible to focus playing games. 

What say you? Any memories of Shea? Let me know!

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Signature Sundays - July 16

 Hello Friends!

As you can see, there was no Stadium Saturday post. Honestly the past few weeks I've been feeling low emotionally, mentally, and physically. I've had zero energy. As I put it to my CMHA worker, I just feel done with everything. And that includes being done with everything. 

Yesterday I didn't have the energy or the motivation to do a post that you, the awesome readers of this blog, deserve. I feel it's better to not do it than quarter-ass it.. 


It's Sunday! That means it's time to show another autographed card from my collection..

Today's card is Paul Quantrill. It's from that Leaf Signature Series they did where every card was autographed. 
Now, I just need to get an autograph of his son.. 

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Signature Sundays - July 9

 Hello Friends!

It's Sunday. Technically this is the second post I've done today since my stadium post launched after midnight.. (oops) but I digress..

Today's card puts another check in my "Canadian Player Autograph Card" collection/project.. 

Love those Marlins uniforms, though I love the original teal even more. 
He played for the Marlins, Reds, Rangers, Cubs, and Red Sox.
After retiring, he went into the Cubs' front office, pitched for Canada in the 2017 WBC, and started broadcasting Cubs games. 

Fun fact.. He was originally drafted by the Rangers, but was traded with Rick Helling to the Marlins for John Burkett.
He was born in Gibsons BC, which was also the setting of a long running Canadian series, The Beachcombers. 

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Stadium Saturdays - Tropicana Field

 Hello friends!

I was honestly debating on skipping today because I haven't been feeling the best, but I've already been down on myself and didn't want to give myself more ammo...


Today's topic is a field that seems to be one of the more.... Hated? fields around... Tropicana Field. The Juice Carton... 

Located in St Petersburg Florida. 
So, The Trop came into being because after Tampa got the Buccaneers and the Rowdies in the 70s, St Petersburg said "Us too!!" and started designs on a stadium to attract MLB to the area. Original designs were to be an open-air stadium with design cues from Kauffman Stadium. There was going to be a circus-tent like covering as well. 

This design was rejected due to the weather in Florida in the summer. Humidity and Thunderstorms. With the odd Hurricane knocking on the door.. They decided on a fixed dome design for this reason and started working on it in 1986. 
The first team it targeted was the Chicago White Sox, who were in a battle with Illinois government officials to get funding to replace Comiskey Park. 
In the early 90s, the Mariners and Giants were both rumoured to be moving to the Dome. 

It received its first tenant in 1991, with the Arena Football League's Tampa Storm. In 1993, the Lightning of the NHL used the facility for its home games for three seasons. During this time, the stadium went from being called the Florida Suncoast Dome to The ThunderDome....
In 1996 the Rays came into (future) existence. The Lightning and Storm moved to a new arena, and Tropicana Field underwent retrofitting to complete its intended purpose. 

Ebbets field was the inspiration for some of the upgrades. 

Of the upgrades, the turf was done a couple times. In 2007 the Ray tank was added where people could touch a ray. (I'm honestly surprised PETA doesn't have their knickers in a knot about this) 
Tropicana Field has also served as the "home" stadium for a couple other teams for a series. In 2015 due to rioting in Baltimore, the series that was supposed to be at Camden Yards was moved to Tampa. Baltimore served as the home team.
In 2017 due to flooding in Houston due to a hurricane, a Houston/Texas series was moved to the Trop. Oddly enough, two weeks later, a Rays home series against the Yankees was moved to Citi Field due to another hurricane. 

During the pandemic, World Wrestling Entertainment took over Tropicana Field and (re) renamed it The ThunderDome. They used the facility for all tapings and shows until the 2021 baseball season was ready to start, where they moved to another arena. 

Of course, this place has had a lot of criticism.. I'm not going to go over too much of it, mainly because we all know the big points.. The catwalks.. The fact it's far away from Tampa and hard to get to.. The fact it looks like a giant warehouse inside.. 
But there were issues before the place was even built. 

Where Tropicana Field sits was site of the Gas Plant district from the late 1800s to 1986. In the 1800s, St Petersburg started a recruitment drive to get people to settle in the area. A large community of African Americans moved to the area looking for work and a place to live and well.. Have a life like everyone else. The Gas Plant district housed 800 people. Business and churches sprung up and the area did well. 
In 1979, city council decided they needed to refurbish the area, as it "has seen better days" 
The original plan called for new affordable housing and industry in order to revitalize the area. By 1982, no plans had been submitted. A group finally submitted a plan that included the stadium. Council agreed. 
The residents of the area felt betrayed by council. They were given relocation and reparation packages with the understanding the area would be refurbished and be made a functioning community again. The result was a fracture in the relationship between the city and the African American community. 

The two ThunderDomes... 

So.. Speaking of ThunderDomes... Who used this place?????

Tampa Bay Storm (AFL) 1991-1996
Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) 1993-1996
Tampa Bay Rays (MLB) 1998-now
St Petersburg Bowl (NCAA) 2008-2017
WWE ThunderDome (WWE) 2020-2021

There were some common knowledge things I intentionally left out like this being one of the barriers to future MLB expansion and the whole Montreal Bay ExRays....

But what say you? What are your impressions of the place?

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Signature Sundays - July 2

 Hello Friends!

It's Sunday! Meaning it's another day I pull an autographed care out of my collection.. 

Rounding out the Canadian weekend that is Canada Day weekend, we have an autograph of a Canadian player who stuck around for a number of years and had a pretty good career..

Matt Stairs! 

In his 19 year career, he played for 13 teams. 
Montreal, Oakland, Boston, Cubs, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Toronto, Texas, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Washington.

(Montreal and Washington are different!) 

It's funny.. His Nicknames according to Baseball Reference are Wonder Hamster and Newf.. 

The problem of course is.... Newf is used for those from Newfoundland. Stairs is from New Brunswick.. 

Anyway.. I know the Star Spangled Spectacle of July 4 is coming up soon.. As many of my American friends wished me a Happy Canada Day, I wish you all a happy and safe Independence Day..

Saturday, July 1, 2023

It's Canada Day

 Today is July 1. That's Canada Day here in the Great White North. 

Of course, the first thing that everyone thinks of when they think of Canada is hockey. And  yes, we have had a number of excellent players. I think of baseball. 

There have been Canadians in baseball since the beginning, really. One of the first big names from Canada was Tip O'Neill

There is an award named after him. 
An interesting fact.. Former US Speaker of the House Thomas O'Neill was given the nickname "Tip" as a child after the ballplayer.
The Tip O'Neill Award is an annual award given out by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame to the Canadian baseball player "judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to the highest ideals of the game of baseball."

The next big milestone for a Canadian was becoming a manager. That was done by George Gibson in Pittsburgh

George Gibson was the first Canadian born manager in the Major Leagues. It took until Rob Thomson to become manager of the Phillies to get our second. 
We also had, between the 1910s and 1940s, players just as Russ Ford, Phil Marchildon, Dick Fowler, George Selkirk and Jeff Heath all making names for themselves in the Majors. 
George Selkirk not only took over Babe Ruth's position for the Yankees.. He also wore #3

Dick Fowler was the first Canadian to throw a no-hitter. The only other to do so is James Paxton. And that was in Toronto. 

The 50s 60s and 70s had guys like Ron Piche, Ron Taylor, Pete Ward, Claude Raymond, Fergie Jenkins, and Terry Puhl all showing up in the Majors. 

We also had some politicians show up in sports in the way of awards.. Lester B Pearson has an award named after him in the NHL and, in the 80s, there was the Pearson Cup, a cup that was contested between the Jays and Expos.

Fergie, of course, is the first Canadian born player to be elected to Cooperstown. Canadian players in general were still few and far between, but the floodgates would soon be opening. 

The 80s, 90s and 00s up to today have seen a number of Canadian born players
Rob Ducey, Jeff Francis, Jason Bay, Denis Boucher, Paul Quantrill, Cal Quantrill, Bo Naylor, Josh Naylor, Jordan Romano, Tyler O'Neill, Larry Walker, Mike Soroka, Eric Gagne, Russell Martin, Justin Morneau, Joey Votto and more have plied their trade in the Majors. 

Larry Walker is of course, the second Canadian in the Hall.. I'd like to think Joey Votto will be joining them.. 

Of course, in the history we can't forget about the teams.. Montreal and Toronto both started out as minor league cities with the Royals being in Montreal and the Maple Leafs being in Toronto. Over the years there have been teams in London, Hamilton, St Catherine's, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Quebec, Trois-Rivieres, Thetford Mines, Sherbrooke, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Victoria, and Vancouver. 
The Expos moved to Washington to give them the third kick at the Major league can.. Just imagine if the 1994 season didn't end in a strike.. 
Toronto is still around, making a push for the playoffs each year lately. Hopefully we'll see a World Series win again soon..

Happy Canada Day, eh?

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Signature Sundays - June 25

 Hello friends!

It's Sunday. That means another autographed card.

Today is umpire Laz Diaz. I'm not sure any ump is a "fan favorite" but I could be wrong. 
This one is actually up for trade if someone wants this. 

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Stadium Saturdays - Olympic Stadium

 Hello Friends!

It's Saturday, meaning the newest installment of Stadium Saturdays. 

Today is another stadium that's no longer being used, but unlike Candlestick, is still standing. 

Of course, it's the White Elephant known as Olympic Stadium

I drew this as part of an art assignment in High School. Obviously the stickers were a later addition. 

Olympic Stadium, or Stade Olympique, was originally built for the 1976 Olympics then retrofitted for the Expos. 
The want for a covered stadium for Montreal started in the 1960s. Mayor Jean Drapeau believed that a covered stadium was essential to getting a MLB team to the city. The obvious weather problems being the reason. 
Originally the stadium was to be built by 1971. Charles Bronfman, owner of the Expos, was ready to walk if a deal wasn't in place (Seattle, Montreal.. Both had issues with stadiums and ending up playing in substandard facilities it seems) 

The stadium was built to have a retractable roof using a cable system. The cables were to hang from the adjacent tower to the field. 

Originally slated to be opened in 1972, construction was delayed due to strikes. The construction union head was tied to organized crime, and as a result, was causing much of the disorder with the project until the Quebec Premier paid him off. Other issues caused delays as well, such as the winters being generally ugly. 

The stadium and tower were unfinished before the Olympics. Materials for the roof were stored in a warehouse until 1982. The roof and tower weren't finished until 1987. The roof could not be used in winds above 25 mph.. Overall, it opened 88 times. 

Originally slated to cost $130 Million to complete, strikes, delays, and cost overruns caused the cost to balloon to $1.2 Billion dollars. 
A tobacco tax was added in 1976 to recoup the costs of the stadium. Once the stadium was paid, it would become property of the city of Montreal. It took until 2006 to fully pay it off.. The total expenditure: Construction, Strikes, overruns, inflation, etc, was $1.61 Billion. 

At different times, parts of the stadium started crumbling. A couple times the roof failed, causing a new roof to be installed. Better heating and runoff management was installed to keep the roof intact. The roof that was being used was dangerous with heavy rainfall or 3.1 inches of snow. 

The stadium was a multipurpose venue, also housing the CFL Montreal Alouettes. As a result, the lower seats were further away from the field. Part of the reason for this is the different dimensions of the field for the CFL compared to the NFL. The upper deck was so high up that it was generally useless for baseball games. 

The Expos weren't consulted at all about the field. As a result, they used other gimmicks to make it more baseball friendly. An Om-Pah band greeted patrons arriving by the Metro. If an opposing pitcher threw over to first instead of pitching, they would play the sound of a chicken clucking. 
Before the 1992 season, the running track was removed and the infield was moved closer to the stands.
There were other issues with the field though. The turf and the padding under the turf was very thin, as was the padding on the wall. The committee in charge of making any improvements to the stadium balked at the $1 million cost to change the turf and padding. As a result, it was hard to get free agents to come to Montreal. 

In the 1990s and early 2000s, we all know about the struggles of trying to get a new stadium. The Premier at the time, Lucien Bouchard,  balked at talks of a new stadium since The Big O wasn't paid off yet, plus at the time "How can we justify a new stadium when we're closing hospitals?"

The stadium is currently in a permanent football/soccer configuration. The stands can no longer be moved in order to play baseball. 

So.. Who's used this stadium???

Montreal Alouettes (CFL) 1976-1986, 1996-1997, Part time 1998-2013
Montreal Expos (MLB) 1977-2004
Montreal Maniac (NASL) 1981-1983
Montreal Machine (WLAF) 1991-1992
CF Montreal (MLS) 2012-present - select games. 

Having lived through the long, drawn out death of the Montreal Expos, I'm seeing a lot of parallels with the Oakland Athletics. Owner who wants to cash in elsewhere, years of being told the stadium sucks.. (and to be fair... Both stadiums have their issues) and lack of government cooperation. Obviously the constant firesales as well. It's hard to be a fan of a glorified Triple A team..

So what say you? Any memories of the Big Owe?. 

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Signature Sundays - June 18

 Hello Friends!

Today is Sunday. Another installment of  Signature Sundays!

Today is a Canadian ballplayer who was enshrined in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022, though his induction year was 2020.. (Yay Covid....) 

Justin Morneau!

Now a number of people will gripe at the sticker auto, but to me it's better than no auto at all..

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Stadium Saturdays - Candlestick Park

 Hello Friends!

This week I'm hopping the San Francisco Bay over to Candlestick Park for my Stadium Saturdays series. 

Candlestick was the home of the Giants from 1960-1999. 

The Giants moved from New York in 1958. Candlestick wasn't finished so the team spent two seasons at Seals Stadium. When Candlestick opened, it originally was for baseball only. In 1971 the 49ers moved into the Stadium, causing an expansion and recongifuration of the stadium and field. 

Interestingly enough, the Oakland Raiders played in the Stick in 1960 and 1961. 

Originally, the park was open in the outfield. The roof was supposed to extend along past left field and into the outfield, but was scrapped for cost purposes. There's no saying whether or not the roof would have cut down the wind and cold, but it may have. (Though when the stadium was fully enclosed, all it ended up doing was creating a negative pressure cell over the field) 
There was heating installed to the seating but it was ineffective. So much so that an attourney in 1960 sued the Giants and won the cost of his season tickets because the heating didn't work as advertised. It should be noted that he showed up in court wearing a parka to prove his point. 
From 1970-1978 the field was Astroturf, mainly to stop dust storms from the swirling winds. 

One incident everyone hears about is the 1961 All Star Game, when Stu Miller was blown off the mound and charged with a balk. A couple years later, a gust of wind picked up the batting cage and dropped it on the mound. 

The cold resulted in some humourous things though. Any fan who stayed an entire night game that went into extra innings got a pin called the Croix de Candlestick. It had the phrase "Veni, Vidi, vixi" on it. In English: I came, I saw. I survived. It also got many nicknames like Windlestick, the North Pole, Cave of the Winds, and The Ashtray By the Bay.

There were some name changes along the way, as usual. 3Com Park, then San Francisco Park at Candlestick Point, then Monster Park. Monster is for a Cable company, not the energy drink or the job website. 
A writer in the Bay area called the place Candle3MonsterStick as a result of the name changes. 

Over the course of its history, Candlestick hosted two All Star Games, three NLCS (1971, 1987, 1989) two World Series (1962, 1989) and one NLDS (1997)
On the football side, the 49ers hosted eight NFC Championship games. 

In 1997, plans were being made to replace Candlestick Park on Candlestick Point. In 2006, The 49ers stated they were abandoning any future search for a site in San Francisco, and looked to Santa Clara. 

With no tenants, Candlestick was demolished over 2015. 

The card above was from the Earthquake in the 89 Series, but it's kind of fitting for a place that was demolished. There was a lot of praise on the build of the stadium after the quake because of how it withstood the activity. Had the stadium given way, there would have been thousands injured or killed at the one site alone. 

Tenants.. Who used this place while it was standing?

San Francisco Giants (MLB) 1960-1999
San Francisco 49ers (NFL) 1971-2013
Oakland Raiders (AFL) 1961-1961
San Francisco Golden Gate Gales (USA) 1967

That last one, as well as being a mouthful to say, was part of the United Soccer Association. 

There were plans in place to build residential and commercial property on the site, but nothing has come of it as of yet. 

What are your memories of the place? Did anyone do the Croix de Candlestick??

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Signature Sundays - June 11

 Hello Friends!

I'm marginally better than yesterday, though a long way from "good" 

However, I'm here.. 

And speaking of good... Today's auto is from arguably one of the best pitchers in Blue Jays history

Dave Stieb. 

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Stadium Saturdays - June 10

 Hello Friends.

Sorry to say this week there won't be a Stadium post..  I've been dealing with mental and physical health all week and used up all my energy in 20 minutes at a BBQ today...

Signature Sunday is still a go.. 

I apologize for the inconvenience.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Signature Sundays - June 4

 Hello Friends!

Today is Sunday. That means I show another autographed card from my collection.  

Today it's Rowdy Tellez from the Topps Total Reboot debacle they made online exclusive. 

It's a sticker auto, which in a way makes sense due to the nature of the product. 
Rowdy was drafted and signed by the Jays. He was traded in 2021 to the Brewers for Bowden Francis and Trevor Richards

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Stadium Saturdays - Oakland Coliseum

 Hello Friends!

It's Saturday, so that means another stadium on the tour. Now. I'm going to try not to dunk on the place too much given the recent events, but some of the things have been an issue throughout. 

I'm of course, talking about Oakland-Alameda Network Associates McAfee Ring Central Coliseum in Oakland, California. 

So some of the things we know.. It's part of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Complex, which also has Oakland Arena. 

In the 50s and 60s, Oakland, as well as pretty much every other city on the west coast, was fighting for expansion consideration from the major sports. Of course, by the start of the 60s, you had both the Dodgers and Giants in the area, but other cities wanted a piece of the pie. 

In 1960 a non-profit group was started in Oakland to oversee the financing and development of a stadium. Local devleoper Robert T Nahas had the idea to have the facility privately financed with ownership transferring to the city.

In some respects, Nahas was the only reason the place even got built. He also had the unenviable task of dealing with Al Davis and Charlie O Finley. Oakland was on the radar for an expansion by the American League in 1961. 

In 1965, The Cleveland Indians were rumoured to be moving to Oakland, but they stayed put. Instead, Charlie Finley was able to move to Oakland in 1968.

This photo was from the 1980s and people could see outside the stadium. This view was lost in 1995. 

For Raiders games, two congifurations were used for football.. It all depended on whether the Athletics were still in season or not. During baseball season, Raider games were configured to set up from Home to Centre Field. After the baseball season ended, it was From Left Field to Right Field. 
After 1996, the latter configuration was the one used for Football. 

Another photo of the stadium in the early years. 

The Coliseum after Mt. Davis was built. 
So there have been attempts to replace the Coliseum since 2005. First site suggested by the team was across from the current site but was rejected when land owners refused to sell. Through 2006, the team looked for areas within their territory. They were looking in Fremont for a site, but stopped after public opposition. They tried taking the stadium idea to San Jose, but was stopped by the Giants exercising their territory rights to San Jose.
The city suggested sites at Jack London Square and a project called Coliseum City, which would be built on the current property. Both were rejected.
In 2016, the team was in talks with Laney College to build on their site. The proposal would include the movement and construction of an administrative building to a place of the school's choosing. However, that was abruptly shot down. 
2018 the team was looking at the Howard Terminal site for the park. The plans would have included purchasing the coliseum lands and making a technology and housing hub, preserving Oracle Arena, and turning the Coliseum into a low-rise sports park. 
We all know where things stand right now, so I'm not going to go any further.. 

In the late 70s, the Coliseum was poorly maintained, and attendance suffered. Twice the attendance was under 1000 for a game. During this period, people called the place The Mausoleum. 
There is also the issue of sewage backups. Now, the construction of the stadium was done in such a way that the field is 21 feet below sea level.
I may be talking out a random orifice, but to me, that seems like it would put strain on the sewage system, especially if the stadium was busy. 

Anyway.. Who has used this place over the years??

Oakland Athletics 1968-now
Oakland Raiders (NFL) 1966-1981, 1995-2019
Oakland Clippers (NPSL/NASL) 1967-1968
Oakland Stompers (NASL) 1978
Oakland Invaders (USFL) 1983-1985
San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) 2008-2009

So there we have it.. The Oakland Coliseum.. The Milk Bowl.. The Black Hole..