Looking for a baseball fix this off-season? Can’t get enough of the Baltimore Orioles? Read on.
While conducting research for my book Deadball, A Metaphysical Baseball Novel I became quite familiar with the lost ballpark sites of Baltimore, including Union Park, home of the 1890’s world champion National League Baltimore Orioles, and American League Park, home of the 1901-02 American League Baltimore Orioles and the 1903-1914 International League Orioles – including Babe Ruth (a previous ballpark known as Oriole Park once sat at the same location as American League Park and was where the American Association Baltimore Orioles played from 1890 until May 1891). Union Park and American League Park were located just four blocks apart, Union Park at the southwest corner of East 25th Street and Guilford Avenue, and American League Park at the southwest corner of East 29th Street and Greenmount Avenue.
Baltimore's Union Park
In addition to Union Park and American League Park, two other ballparks were once located nearby. Terrapin Park (also known as Oriole Park), home of the 1914-15 Federal League Terrapins, the International League Orioles, and the 1938-1944 Negro American League Baltimore Elite Giants, was located directly across the street from American League Park at the northwest corner of East 29th Street and Greenmount. Memorial Stadium (and its earlier incarnation known as Municipal Stadium) home of the International League Orioles (1944-1953) and the “new” American League Orioles (1954-1991) was located .7 miles north and east of American League Park on 33rd Street.
Over the past few years, I occasionally have given tours of the old ballpark sites to die-hard Orioles fans and history buffs. This fall, I continued that tradition. In October, Bruce Brown, a friend and fellow SABR member toured the sites of Union Park, American League Park, and Terrapin Park.
Bruce Brown Standing in the Approximate Location of American League Park's Home Plate
And most recently, this past November, I made the same trek to Baltimore with friend and fellow author Austin Gisriel (Safe at Home, A Season in the Valley). Austin and I also toured the former site of Memorial Stadium, which Austin chronicled on the SABR blog Seamheads (see Seamheads.com).
Author Austin Gisriel at the Former Site of Union Park. The Building in the Background Once Sat Just To the Right of Union Park's Third Base Side Grandstand (see above picture of Union Park)
If you are interested in a tour of these sites, let me know. Just send me a comment to this posting (you may need to click on the title to this post – “Touring The Lost Ballparks of Baltimore” and scroll to the bottom of the page for the reply option) or send me a note on my facebook page – David B. Stinson. If there is enough interest, I’ll arrange a tour. With winter soon upon us, a tour of Baltimore’s lost ballpark sites could provide that much needed off-season baseball fix. In the meantime, below are four entries from my companion blog deadballbaseball.com with pictures and information about these lost ballpark sites. Enjoy!
American League Park
Terrapin Park/Oriole Park