Recreation Park (Pittsburgh)

Recreation Park (Pittsburgh)

Infobox Stadium
stadium_name = Recreation Park
nickname =

location =
coordinates =
broke_ground =
opened =
renovated =
expanded =
closed =
demolished =
owner =
operator =
surface = Grass
construction_cost =
architect =
project_manager =
main_contractors =
former_names =
tenants = Pittsburgh Enterprises, Xanthas, and Olympics (circa. 1876–circa. 1887)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1887–1890)
Pittsburgh Panthers (1898–1904)
seating_capacity = 17,000
dimensions =

Recreation Park, originally known as Union Park, was a stadium located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the latter 1800s to the early 1900s. It was the first official home to the Pittsburgh Pirates,cite book |title= The good, the bad, and the ugly Pittsburgh Pirates: heart-pounding, jaw-dropping, and gut-wrenching moments from Pittsburgh Pirates history|last= McCollister|first= John|year= 2008|publisher= Triumph Books|location= Chicago|isbn= 9781572439825|pages= 95–6] originally known as the Alleghenys, the city's Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise. [cite web |url=|title= Ballparks: 1887 - Present|accessdate=2008-08-08 |work= Pirates Ballparks|publisher=] It also hosted the football team of the University of Pittsburgh, then known as the Western University of Pennsylvania. In November 1892, the Park hosted the first ever professional football game, between two local teams.


Recreation Park originally had a capacity of 2,500,cite book |title= The Bucs! The Story of the Pittsburgh Pirates|last= McCollister|first= John|year= 1998|publisher= Addax Publishing Group|location= Lenexa, Kansas|isbn= 1886110409|pages= 21] but later expanded its wooden grandstands to allow 17,000 spectators.cite news |title= Exposition Park|url=|publisher= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2006-07-11|accessdate=2008-08-08] The stadium stood at the corner of Grant and Pennsylvania Avenues on Pittsburgh's Northside. [cite web |url=|title= PNC Park Overview|accessdate=2008-08-08 |work= PNC Park|publisher=] Prior to 1876, three amatuer Pittsburgh baseball teams — the Enterprise Club, the Xanthas, and the Olympics — competed, most often at Recreation Park. Due to flooding from its close proximity to the Allegheny River the Allegheny baseball club, of the American Association baseball league, moved from the first Exposition Park to Recreation Park in 1884.cite news |first= Chris|last= Potter|title= Was there a baseball field that the Pittsburgh Pirates played in before Forbes Field in Oakland?|url=|publisher= Pittsburgh City Paper|date= 2008-06-12|accessdate=2008-08-08] [cite web |url=|title= Pittsburgh Pirates Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors|accessdate=2008-08-08 |work= Pittsburgh Pirates |publisher=] The team posted a 18–37 record at home thourghout the season, finishing 12th overall in the league. [cite web |url=|title= 1884 Pittsburg Alleghenys |accessdate=2008-08-08 |work= Pittsburgh Pirates|publisher=] The Alleghenys moved from the American Association to the National League. On April 30, 1887, the Alleghenys defeated the Chicago White Stockings by a score of 6–2 in front of 10,000 spectators. Though they would not change their name until 1912, the game was the first official contest of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. [cite web |url=|title= 1887-1900 |accessdate=2008-08-08 |work= Pirates Timeline|publisher=] Prior to one game in the 1887 season Pittsburgh's catcher, Fred Carroll, buried his pet monkey beneath home plate. The lowest attended game at the park came on April 23, 1890, when six specatators watched the Pirates play the Cleveland Spiders. In 1891, after the collapse of the Pittsburgh Burghers baseball franchise of the Players' League, the Alleghenys moved to the second Exposition Park which had been constructed for the Burghers.

On November 12, 1892, the Allegheny Athletic Association football team defeated the Pittsburgh Athletic Club during the first ever professional football game, which was hosted by Recreation Park. [cite web |url=|title= Nov. 12: Birth of pro football|accessdate=2008-08-22 |work= Pro Football History|publisher=] As of 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers play their home games at Heinz Field which is located just blocks from the site of Recration Park.

The Western University of Pennsylvania (WUP), which was re-titled the University of Pittsburgh, played their first game of the 1898 season at Recreation Park. The team defeated Wesminster 5–0. [cite journal |author= Western University of Pennsylvania|title= Foot Ball.|journal= Western University courant |volume= 14|issue= 1|pages= 27|url=;cc=pittcourant;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Recreation%20Park;rgn=full%20text;idno=e39398v14n01;didno=e39398v14n01;view=image;seq=32;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;|accessdate=2008-08-08] However, the following season on October 15, Wesminster would beat the WUP, 6–0, at Recreation Park. [cite journal |author= Western University of Pennsylvania|title= Foot-ball team|journal= Western University courant |volume= 15|issue= 1|pages= 35|url=;cc=pittcourant;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Recreation%20Park;rgn=full%20text;idno=e39398v15n01;didno=e39398v15n01;view=image;seq=40;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;|accessdate=2008-08-08] Though the WUP began playing games at Exposition Park as early as 1900, [cite journal |author= Western University of Pennsylvania|title= Athletics|journal= Western University courant |volume= 16|issue= 2|pages= 46|url=;cc=pittcourant;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Exposition%20Park;rgn=full%20text;idno=e39398v16n02;didno=e39398v16n02;view=image;seq=0017|accessdate=2008-08-08] games were still hosted at Recreation Park, including in 1901, [cite journal |author= Western University of Pennsylvania|title= Athletics|journal= Western University courant |volume= 17|issue= 2|pages= 14|url=;cc=pittcourant;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=Recreation%20Park;rgn=full%20text;idno=e39398v17n02;didno=e39398v17n02;view=image;seq=0019|accessdate=2008-08-19] until the University signed an exclusive contract with Exposition Park in 1904. [cite book |title= Pitt: The Story of the University of Pittsburgh, 1787-1987|last= Alberts|first= Robert C.|year= 1986|publisher= University of Pittsburgh Press|url=;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|isbn= 0822911507|pages= 65] After sporting events had ceased, Recreation Park was renamed the Coliseum and used as "a wooden saucer for motor-paced bicycle riding".


succession box
title = Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates
years = 1884 – 1890
before = first ballpark
after = Exposition Park II
succession box
title = Home of the Pittsburgh Panthers
years = 1898 – 1904
before = Exposition Park I
after = Exposition Park II

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