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Yokohama Peace Stadium

From BR Bullpen

Yokohama Peace Stadium, full name of Yokohama Peace Park Baseball Field, was a stadium located in Yokohama, Kanagawa.

The stadium was built upon a site that was originally a cricket ground built for foreigners in 1876. At the time the ward contain the part was a Western extraterritorial zone. On May 23, 1896, the park was the location of the first international game in Japan. The Ichiko team of First High School of Tokyo defeated an American team from the Yokohama Country and Athletic Club, 29-4.

In 1909, Yokohama Park was returned to Japan and Yokohama Park Stadium was built. During 1923's Great Kanto Earthquake the stadium collapsed, but was rebuilt six years later. In 1934 it was the site of a game between the All-Nippon team and the touring Major League All-Stars. On November 18, American team defeated the Japanese team 21 - 4.

The stadium was taken over by the military in 1943 and became a prisoner-of-war camp. After World War II, the stadium was placed under the control of the United States militay in September, 1945. The American forces renamed the stadium Lou Gehrig Stadium after the Lou Gehrig, the former New York Yankees first baseman. He also played in touring MLB team in 1934.

On August 17, 1948, the stadium was the site of the first night game between two professional teams. The Chunichi Dragons defeated the Yomiuri Giants defeated the 3 to 2, despite being out-hit eight to five. Jiro Hoshida got the win while Hall of Famer Hiroshi Nakao was pegged with the loss.

In 1952, following the end of the American occupation, control of the stadium was returned to the city of Yokohama. In 1955, the stadium was renamed to Yokohama Peace Park Baseball Field. For the next 20 years the stadium was mostly used for amateur games. The upper deck of the stadium was closed in 1970 due to the oxidation reinforced concrete supports, cutting its capacity in half to araound 7,500.

In the late 1977 Taiyo Whales, reached a deal with Yokohama to move to the city from nearby Kawasaki's Stadium to a new municipal stadium. The only viable location in the city was in its central park and on the site of Yokohama Peace Stadium. In April, 1977 the old stadium was demolished to allow construction on Yokohama Stadium to begin.