Baker Bowl

Baker Bowl, once a bustling hub of baseball activity in Philadelphia, holds a special place in the annals of baseball history. Known for its quirky features and as the home of the Philadelphia Phillies for several decades, it witnessed a myriad of baseball moments, from legendary performances to unique historical events.

Stadium Facts about Baker Bowl

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Opened On: April 30, 1887
  • Closed On: June 30, 1938
  • Home Team: Philadelphia Phillies (National League)
  • Stadium Nicknames: “The Baker Bowl”
  • Dimensions: Left Field – 341 feet, Center Field – 408 feet, Right Field – 280 feet
  • Capacity: Approximately 20,000
  • Attendance Record: Not available
  • Surface: Grass
  • Architect: Unknown
  • Owner: Philadelphia Phillies

The History

The Baker Bowl, originally known as the Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds, opened in 1887 and underwent several name changes over its lifetime. It was one of the oldest ballparks used in Major League Baseball when it closed in 1938. The Phillies played at the Baker Bowl until they moved to Shibe Park, marking the end of an era for one of baseball’s most historic venues.

The stadium’s legacy is remembered for its unique place in baseball history and its impact on the game’s development in Philadelphia.

Design and Features

The Baker Bowl was known for its distinctive and somewhat peculiar features. It had a notoriously short right-field wall, which led to a high number of home runs and earned it the nickname “The Bandbox.” The park was also one of the first to use steel and concrete in its construction, signaling a shift from the wooden ballparks of the past.

Its urban setting meant that the stadium was tightly squeezed into the city’s grid, contributing to its quirky dimensions and unusual playing conditions.


Throughout its history, the Baker Bowl underwent various renovations and modifications. These included the addition of upper-deck seating, improvements to the grandstand, and periodic repairs and maintenance due to structural issues.

However, the limitations of its location and the rise of more modern facilities eventually rendered the Baker Bowl obsolete, leading to the Phillies’ relocation.


The facilities at the Baker Bowl were typical of early 20th-century ballparks. Concessions were basic, offering traditional ballpark fare, and the seating, while close to the action, lacked the comforts of modern stadiums. The park was known for its intimate atmosphere, where fans felt close to the players and the game.

Despite its lack of modern amenities, the Baker Bowl was cherished for its historical significance and its role in Philadelphia’s baseball history.

Memorable Moments at Baker Bowl

  • Chuck Klein’s Career: Hosting the career of one of the Phillies’ greatest hitters, who thrived in its hitter-friendly environment.
  • Early Baseball Milestones: The stadium witnessed many early baseball records and historic moments.
  • Notable Games and Events: Including several high-scoring games due to its short right-field wall.
  • Hosting Negro League Games: The Baker Bowl was also a venue for Negro League baseball, showcasing some of the era’s greatest African American players.

Interesting Baseball History at Baker Bowl

  • Architectural Evolution: Reflecting the transition from wooden ballparks to more durable materials.
  • Impact on Playing Style: The park’s dimensions influenced how the game was played and strategized.
  • Role in Phillies’ History: Serving as the backdrop for both triumphant and challenging periods for the Phillies.
  • Early Fan Experience: Offering insights into what it was like to be a baseball fan in the early 20th century.

Non-Baseball Events

In addition to baseball, the Baker Bowl hosted a variety of other events, demonstrating its versatility as a multi-use facility. These included boxing matches, football games, and large public events. The stadium’s role in these diverse events underscored its importance beyond baseball, serving as a significant venue in Philadelphia’s cultural and sports history. The range of events held at the Baker Bowl highlighted its role in the broader entertainment landscape of the city during its operation.