Municipal Stadium (Kansas City)

From BR Bullpen

CAPACITY: 17,476 (1923); 34,165 (1969); 35,561 (1971)

LAST GAME: October 4, 1972, vs. Texas Rangers (Royals 4, Rangers 0)

OTHER OCCUPANTS: Kansas City Blues (NFL), 1924; Kansas City Cowboys (NFL), 1925 to 1926; Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), 1963 to 1971

Originally named Muehlebach Field, Municipal Stadium was built in 1923 at a cost of $400,000 as a new home for the minor league American Association Kansas City Blues and their tenant, the Kansas City Monarchs, replacing the older Association Park. Named for Blues' owner George E. Muehlebach, it consisted of a single-decked, mostly covered, grandstand extending from the right field foul pole down around most of the left field line.

When the New York Yankees brought the Blues into their farm system in 1937, the ballpark was renamed Ruppert Stadium in honor of the Yankees owner, Col. Jacob Ruppert. Ruppert died two years later, and the stadium was renamed Blues Stadium in 1943.

The Kansas City Monarchs used the stadium for home games through the same period as the Blues, although they rarely did so in the 1930s, as they primarily barnstormed during the Depression. The ballpark hosted games for the Colored World Series of 1924, 1925, 1942, and 1946. Two Negro League no-hitters were pitched at the ballpark, the first a combination no-hitter thrown by Hall of Fame pitchers José Méndez and Bullet Rogan in 1923 and the second by another Hall of Famer, Hilton Smith, in 1937. In each game, a perfect game was missed because of a single base on balls.

It was also the site of the only nine-inning perfect game ever pitched in the American Association on June 26 1947 by Carl De Rose.

When it was announced in November 1954 that the Philadelphia Athletics would move to Kansas City for the 1955 season, the stadium was quickly renovated and expanded, adding an upper deck atop the original stands, along with the scoreboard from Boston's defunct Braves Field. The ballpark was renamed Municipal Stadium.

The arrival of the Athletics caused the Monarchs to leave the city after the 1955 season, citing higher rents for the renovated field. The team was sold and relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan, though it retained the name "Kansas City Monarchs".

Municipal Stadium hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1960 (first game), a 5-3 National League win, as well as the final Negro Leagues East-West Game, a 5-2 victory for the West.

The Kansas City Athletics moved to Oakland, California following the 1967 season, and the 1968 season was the first time in 46 years that the stadium did not host at least one professional baseball team (Blues, Monarchs, or A's), and was the first time in 84 years, going back to 1884, that a professional baseball team was not located in Kansas City. The expansion Kansas City Royals occupied the stadium in 1969.

After the Royals moved to the newly opened Royals Stadium in 1973, the city razed Municipal Stadium in 1976. Today, a community garden occupies part of the site where the park stood. The rest of the site is a vacant lot. A "Sam's Baseball Parking" sign can still be seen on a bridge over some railroad tracks near where Municipal Stadium once stood, and an historical marker was placed at the corner of 22nd and Brooklyn about 1997.

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