Shibe Park

Named for Athletics stockholder Ben Shibe, Shibe Park opened April 12, 1909 as baseball’s first concrete-and-steel ballpark, and on May 16, 1939 it hosted the AL’s first night game. Double-decked in 1925, Shibe’s left and right field walls met at a virtual right angle in deep centerfield, originally 515′ from home plate and not shortened to below 440 until 1969. The park was renamed Connie Mack Stadium to honor the retired A’s manager in 1953, but two years later the A’s had moved to Kansas City, leaving the Phillies as sole occupants. In 1956 a plexiglass shield was installed to protect fans seated behind home plate, replacing the standard wire screen, and a large scoreboard from Yankee Stadium was added to the right field wall, which was simultaneously reduced from 50′ to 36′. Richie Allen hit the only ball ever to clear that scoreboard. Shibe Park’s bright red seats were filled for the last time October 1, 1970, and the stadium was torn down in June 1976.