Crosley Field, a cherished gem in the history of baseball, stood as a testament to the sport’s rich tradition and the love of the game in Cincinnati. This iconic ballpark, with its unique features and intimate atmosphere, was the home of the Cincinnati Reds for many decades and witnessed numerous historic moments.
Stadium Facts about Crosley Field
- Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
- Opened On: April 11, 1912
- Closed On: June 24, 1970
- Home Team: Cincinnati Reds (National League)
- Stadium Nicknames: N/A
- Dimensions: Left Field – 328 feet, Center Field – 387 feet, Right Field – 366 feet
- Capacity: Approximately 30,000
- Attendance Record: Not available
- Surface: Grass
- Architect: Unknown
- Owner: Cincinnati Reds
Crosley Field, originally named Redland Field, was opened in 1912 and served as the home of the Cincinnati Reds for nearly six decades. Renamed Crosley Field in 1934 after Reds owner Powel Crosley, the ballpark bore witness to the evolution of baseball through the roaring twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and the swinging sixties. The stadium was closed and later demolished after the Reds moved to Riverfront Stadium, but its memory lives on among baseball enthusiasts.
Design and Features
Crosley Field was known for its classic ballpark design, featuring a cozy, intimate setting that brought fans close to the action. Notable for its inclined outfield terrace, known as “The Terrace,” it presented unique challenges to outfielders and became one of the park’s defining characteristics. The stadium’s small dimensions contributed to a hitter-friendly environment, while its lack of modern amenities gave it a nostalgic charm.
Over its lifespan, Crosley Field underwent several renovations to improve fan experience and accommodate the evolving needs of baseball. These included the installation of lights in 1935, making it the first Major League Baseball stadium outside of New York to have night games, and various seating expansions and modifications.
Despite these efforts, the limitations of its urban location and the rise of more modern facilities eventually led to the decision to construct a new ballpark for the Reds.
The facilities at Crosley Field were reflective of its era. The concessions offered traditional ballpark fare, and the seating, while not luxurious, provided an up-close and personal experience of the game. The stadium was also known for its iconic scoreboard, a beloved feature among fans.
Despite its age and lack of modern comforts, Crosley Field was beloved for its historical significance and the unique atmosphere it provided to baseball games.
Memorable Moments at Crosley Field
- First Night Game in MLB History: Hosting the first Major League night game on May 24, 1935.
- 1940 World Series: The Reds winning the World Series at Crosley Field.
- Johnny Vander Meer’s Second Consecutive No-Hitter: A historic achievement in 1938.
- 1956: The Perfect Game by Don Larsen: Hosting the only perfect game in World Series history, though achieved by an opposing player.
- Final Game: The emotional last game in 1970, marking the end of an era.
Interesting Baseball History at Crosley Field
- Integration of Baseball: Crosley Field witnessed the integration of the Reds, with players like Chuck Harmon and Nino Escalera.
- Legendary Players: Hosting some of baseball’s greatest players, including Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, and Joe Morgan in its final years.
- Baseball During War Years: Reflecting the nation’s mood and challenges during World War II.
- Evolving Fan Experience: Showcasing how the experience of attending a baseball game changed over several decades.
Beyond baseball, Crosley Field hosted various other events, demonstrating its versatility as a multi-use facility. This included hosting football games, boxing matches, and large public events. The stadium’s role in these diverse events underscored its importance beyond baseball, serving as a significant venue in Cincinnati’s cultural and sports history. The variety of events held at Crosley Field illustrated its role in the broader entertainment landscape of the city during its operation.