South End Grounds

From BR Bullpen

Boston Braves Home Records:

  • South End Grounds I: 458-224-5 (.670)
  • South End Grounds II: 283-128-9 (.685)
  • South End Grounds III: 764-705-26-1 (.519)

The first South End Grounds in Boston, MA, originally built as a bicycle racetrack, was also known as Walpole Street Grounds. It was home to the Boston Red Stockings and the Boston Red Caps. The capacity was 3,000. It was torn down in late September 1887 and replaced on site by the second South End Grounds.

The second South End Grounds had several alternate names: Grand Pavilion, Walpole Street Grounds (II), Union Baseball Grounds, and Boston Baseball Grounds. It was the home field for the Boston Beaneaters from May 25, 1888 until May 15, 1894. It was destroyed by the Great Roxbury Fire on May 16, 1894 in the bottom of the 3rd inning during a game against the Baltimore Orioles.

The capacity when the park opened was 6,800. It was a double-deck park, but fans could watch for free from Sullivan's Tower past the right field fence. Dimensions were 250 feet to left field, 445 feet to left center, 500 feet to center field, 440 feet to right center, and 255 feet to right field.

After the fire, the Beaneaters moved to the Congress Street Grounds while the third South End Grounds was being built. This park was smaller than its predecessor because the insurance money from the previous park wasn't enough to rebuild a similar size park. Capacity was 5,000 when it first opened, increased to 6,800 for the 1895 season after two wings were added in the off-season. Up to 10,000 fans could watch a game by 1908, with a final capacity of 11,000 by 1912. The park remained in use until August 11, 1914 when the Braves moved temporarily into Fenway Park until the opening of Braves Field the following season.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bob Ruzzo: "An Unexpected Farewell: The South End Grounds, August 1914", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: The Miracle Braves of 1914: Boston's Original Worst-to-First World Series Champions, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 307-319. ISBN 978-1-933599-69-4

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