Exposition Park (Pittsburgh)


Exposition Park (Pittsburgh)

Infobox_Baseball_Stadium
stadium_name = Exposition Park
nickname =


caption = Pittsburgh skyline and Exposition Park
location = Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
broke_ground =
opened = 1882
closed = 1909
demolished =
owner =
operator =
surface = Grass
construction_cost =
architect =
former_names =
tenants = Pittsburgh Pirates (NL) (1882-1883, 1891-1909)
Pittsburgh Stogies (UA) (1884)
Pittsburgh Burghers (PL) (1890)
seating_capacity = 16,000
dimensions = Left Field - 400 ft
Center Field - 450 ft.
Right Field - 400 ft |

Exposition Park was a baseball park that formerly stood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. It was one of two ballparks (along with Boston's Huntington Avenue Grounds) that hosted the first modern Major League Baseball World Series in 1903.

Exposition Park was situated on the north shore of the Allegheny River across from Downtown Pittsburgh in Allegheny City (which since 1907 is a part of the city of Pittsburgh). Left field was bounded to the south by the B & O R.R. tracks and the Allegheny River; third base was bounded to the east by School (later Scotland) Street; first base was bounded to the north by South (later Shore) Avenue; and right field was bounded to the west by Grant (later Galveston) Street. Today this location is between the site of Heinz Field and the current Pittsburgh Pirates' home, PNC Park. The park held 16,000.

A single-tiered grandstand with roof extended from the first base side to home plate, and down the third base side. Open bleachers ran down both the first and third base lines. Right field had standing room, and additional seating was on top of the covered grandstand. The dimensions were a spacious 400 feet down the foul lines and 450 feet to center field.

The first incarnation of Exposition Park opened in 1882 for the Allegheny club of the American Association on what was called the Lower Field, near the river. Because of spring flooding along the river, an Upper Field was constructed for the opening game of the 1883 baseball season. The two fields overlapped in this second phase of the park's history. The park was so-named because circuses and other big tent shows camped there when in town.

The next year, the Alleghenys moved uphill and out of floodwater range, to Recreation Park. Meanwhile, the Union Association entry, the Pittsburgh Stogies of 1884, found refuge here during their very brief existence.

Exposition Park entered its third iteration when it was refurbished and re-opened by the Pittsburgh entry in the outlaw Players' League in 1890, another one-year wonder. During their stay in Recreation Park, the Allegheny Club had switched to the National League in 1887 and had renamed themselves "Pittsburgh" in 1890. Since Expo Park was a newer facility, the National Leaguers made plans to move back to it. In the 1890-91 off-season, the team had been dubbed "Pirates" after allegedly "pirating" second baseman Louis Bierbauer away from the Philadelphia Athletics American Association team. So in 1891, the club had a new park and a new nickname.

After 18 1/2 seasons at the primarily wooden Exposition Park, including co-hosting the first World Series in 1903, the Pirates moved into the steel-and-concrete Forbes Field in the city's Oakland neighborhood on June 30, 1909.

Exposition Park enjoyed a brief revival during 1913-1915 as the home of the Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federal League, which was a minor league in 1913 and a full-fledged outlaw major league the next two years. Some improvements were made to the park at that time, including roofing one of the open bleacher sections and also removing the out-of-fashion turrets on the grandstand roof. After that it was demolished and its property became part of the rail yards.

The Pirates lived at Forbes Field for 61 seasons (actually 60 full seasons and two half seasons), their longest tenure at any venue, before moving back to their old neighborhood, into Three Rivers Stadium, on July 16, 1970.

Exposition Park also served as the home field for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers football team, which was known as the Western University of Pennsylvania until 1908, its final year in the Park. Pitt began playing in Exposition Park as early as its first season of playing football in 1890 [ cite book | url = http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittmiscpubs;cc=pittmiscpubs;rgn=full%20text;idno=00c50130m;didno=00c50130m;view=image;seq=0021;node=00c50130m%3A7
last = Eldridge, Jr.
first = Larry
title = Greatest Moments In Pitt Football History
pages = pp. 2
year = 1994
id = ISBN 1-878839-04-7
location = Nashville, TN
publisher = Athlon Sports Communications, Inc.
] . During successive years, Pitt also played home games at Recreation Park, including during at least the 1898 and 1899 seasons. [http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittcourant;cc=pittcourant;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Recreation%20Park;rgn=full%20text;idno=e39398v14n01;didno=e39398v14n01;view=image;seq=0032] [http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittcourant;cc=pittcourant;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Recreation%20Park;rgn=full%20text;idno=e39398v15n01;didno=e39398v15n01;view=image;seq=0040] By 1900, Pitt was again playing games at Exposition Park [http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittcourant;cc=pittcourant;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Exposition%20Park;rgn=full%20text;idno=e39398v16n02;didno=e39398v16n02;view=image;seq=0017] , but was again at Recreation Park (as well as Schenley Park) for at least some games during the 1901 season [http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittcourant;cc=pittcourant;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Recreation%20Park;rgn=full%20text;idno=e39398v17n02;didno=e39398v17n02;view=image;seq=0019] , and did not sign a lease to exclusively play its home games at Exposition Park until 1904. [http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittcourant;cc=pittcourant;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Recreation%20Park;rgn=full%20text;idno=e39398v17n02;didno=e39398v17n02;view=image;seq=0019] [http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittmiscpubs;cc=pittmiscpubs;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Exposition%20Park;rgn=full%20text;idno=00c50130m;didno=00c50130m;view=image;seq=85;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset]

External links

* [http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/national/exposi.htm Historic photos of Exposition Park]
* [http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/pit/homepage/pit_homepage.jsp Pittsburgh Pirates official website]
* [http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/pit/history/ballparks.jsp Pittsburgh Pirates official ballparks website]

References

*cite book | author=Lowry, Philip J. | title=Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All 271 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present | location=Reading | publisher=Addison-Wesley | year=1992 | id=ISBN 0-201-56777-6


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