Monday, June 29, 2009

Forbes Field in Pittsburgh - 100th anniversary


It's been gone for quite a while, but the City of Pittsburgh is still celebrating its greatest sports facility - Forbes Field and its 100th anniversary...June 30, 1909 the Pirates played the first game at Forbes Field...Robert Dvorchak of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes a well researched history of the famed ballpark... Robert Dvorchak - Forbes Field

Here are a few interesting facts about Forbes Field:
- It featured lavatories specifically designated for women
- There were public telephones
- An underground parking garage
- Ramps instead of steps

Here is a real throwback, the ballpark was named after a British general, not some internet site or corporate sponsor... "The place was named after John Forbes, the British general whose forces built a road through the Pennsylvania wilderness to evict the French from Fort Duquesne in 1758. In his after-action report, the general called it "Pittsbourgh," and the name stuck even if the spelling didn't."

- Tenants: Pittsburgh Pirates (NL 1909-70); Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers (NFL 1933-63); University of Pittsburgh (football 1909-24); Homestead Grays (Negro National League 1939-48); also Duquesne, Carnegie Tech and Pitt freshman football.

- Groundbreaking: March 1, 1909
- First National League game: June 30, 1909 (Cubs 3, Pirates 2)
- First NFL game: September 20, 1933 (NY Giants 23, Pirates 2)
- Last NFL game: December 1, 1963 (Eagles 20, Steelers 20)
- Last National League game: June 28, 1970 (Pirates 4, Cubs 1)
- Demolished: July 28, 1971
- Baseball capacity: 25,000 (1909); 41,000 (1925); 33,537 (1939); 34,249 (1953); 35,000 (1960)
- Surface: Natural grass

- Architect: Osborn Engineering
- Builder: Nicole Construction Company
- Owners: Pittsburgh Pirates (1909-57); University of Pittsburgh (1958-71)
- Cost: $2 million (1909)

Dimensions:
- LF foul line: 360 ft (1909), 365 ft (1930), 335 ft (1947 Greenberg Garden/Kiner's Korner), 365 ft (1954)
- LF alley: 406 ft (1926)
- Deep left-centerfield corner: 462 ft (1909), 457 ft (1930)
- Center field: 442 ft (1926), 435 ft (1930); 436 ft (1946)
- Right-center at corner: 408 ft (1926)
- Short right-center: 375 ft (1925)
- RF foul line: 376 ft (1909), 300 ft (1925)
- Home plate to backstop: 110 ft (1909), 84 ft (1938), 75 ft (1959)

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