Couldn’t pass this up.
Forbes Field, 1909 (via)
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: June 30, 1909
Forbes Field, named after the head of the British forces in 1758, General John Forbes, was dedicated; 30,338 persons watched the Pirates lose the opening game there to Chicago, 3 to 2. [Historic Pittsburgh]
From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, by Robert Dvorchak, 2009:
The father of Forbes Field was Barney Dreyfuss, the Hall of Fame owner who wanted a fireproof structure of steel and concrete to replace Exposition Park, located in an industrial neighborhood on the North Side that was prone to flooding.
With $1 million of his own money ($24 million in today’s currency), he built the park on land acquired with the help of Andrew Carnegie, acclaimed at the time as one of the richest men in the world.
Had Mr. Dreyfuss had some other hobby than betting on horses, Forbes Field may not have been a one-of-a-kind destination. Architect Charles A. Leavitt Jr., who had designed the grandstands at Belmont and Saratoga racetracks, was brought in. Forbes Field was his only ballpark, and the day it opened, the newspapers called it the greatest baseball palace in the world.
Its revolutionary design featured lavatories specifically designated for women, public telephones, an underground parking garage and ramps instead of steps. (One could, however, sit in the left field bleachers and not be able to see home plate because of obstructed views.)
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.
An overflow crowd of 30,338 — to that point the largest throng ever to witness a baseball game — attended the opener as Mayor William Magee threw out the first pitch. Days later, during the Fourth of July weekend, Forbes Field was the altar upon which the marriage of baseball and fireworks was consummated. Pyrotechnics were set off in the evening there following an afternoon baseball game.
The Pirates gave the city its first World Series title and first championship parade the year Forbes Field opened as Honus Wagner outplayed Ty Cobb in a showdown of superstars. (more)
aaaaand, they tore it down to build the ugliest building on Pitt’s Oakland campus.
Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen poses for a 2011 SI portrait. McCutchen drove in all three runs of Pittsburgh’s 3-2 win over Kansas City on Sunday, the team’s fourth straight victory. The Pirates are now tied for first place in the NL Central, the first time they’ve occupied the top spot this season. (Al Tielemans/SI)
do you have…
then, my friend, I have just the thing for you: a ticket to Free Shirt Friday!
get at me on here, or my email or whatever. If I don’t hear anything I’ll just scalp it, no biggie.