By Glen Sparks
Test your ballpark knowledge with this quiz. You’ll find the answers at the bottom.
- Fifteen-year-old Joe Nuxhall made his major league debut at this ballpark on June 10, 1944.
- Bob Cain and Bob Feller hurled one-hitters on April 23, 1952, in a pitching duel for the ages at this ballpark.
- The new owner addressed the crowd over the p.a. system at this ballpark on April 9, 1974. He said, “That is the most stupid ball playing I’ve ever seen.”
- A gust of wind blew Stu Miller off the mound during the 1961 All-Star game at this ballpark.
- The Washington Senators’ Tom Cheney struck out 21 opposing batters in a 16-inning game played at this ballpark on Sept. 12, 1962.
- Wally Berger hit a grand-slam home run at this ballpark on the final day of the 1933 season.
- Vic Power stole home twice during a game played Aug. 14, 1958, at this ballpark.
- Willie Stargell blasted a home run estimated at 535 feet during a game at this ballpark on May 20, 1978.
- Carl Hubbell tossed a 1-0 shutout in an 18-game played at this ballpark on July 2, 1933.
- Two baseballs were in play at the same time at this ballpark on June 30, 1959.
Crosley Field in Cincinnati. Nuxhall, a left-hander from Hamilton, Ohio, pitched in that one lone game in 1944. He went 2/3 of an inning against the St. Louis and gave up five runs, all earned. That was it until 1952, when he came back for the Reds. Nuxhall spent 16 seasons in the majors. He compiled a 135-117 career won-loss record and made two All-Star teams. The Ol’ Left-hander, as some called him, later worked as a beloved Reds broadcaster.
Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. Cain, a journeyman pitcher for the Browns and other teams, actually got the better of future Hall of Famer Feller in this game. Cain’s Browns beat the Cleveland Indians 1-0. Cain struck out seven, while Feller fanned five
San Diego Stadium. Ray Kroc retired as CEO of the McDonald’s hamburger chain and bought the San Diego Padres in 1974. A stadium crowd of 39,083 supposedly cheered the new owner’s brassy words. The Padres lost that game 9-5 to the Houston Astros and finished in last place in ’74, going 60-102.
Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The ‘stick, since demolished, was famous for its cold winds that whipped up in the evening off San Francisco Bay. Miller, 5-feet-11 and a slender 165 pounds, was called for balk in the ninth inning following the harsh breeze.
Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Cheney only topped the 100-strikeout mark once time, fanning 147 in 1962. He retired with a 19-29 won-loss record over nine seasons with the Senators and other clubs. The right-hander from Georgia tossed the game of his life on Sept. 12, 1962. He beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1. No one, before or since, has struck out 21 batters in a major league game.
Braves Field in Boston. Berger, a centerfielder, slugged 242 home runs in 11 seasons and led the American League with 34 in 1935. His grand slam for the Braves on Sept. 30, 1932, against the Philadelphia Phillies, clinched fourth place for Boston, the team’s first finish in the first division since 1921.
Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. Power, one of the early star players from Puerto Rico, played for the Indians from 1958-61. Known as a solid hitter and fancy fielder at first base, Power enjoyed a 12-year career in the majors. He only stole 45 bases in his career and was caught 35 times. On Aug. 14, 1958, Power took his lead off third base in the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers. He sprinted home and was safe easily. He made his second steal of home in the 10th inning. This time, he slid under catcher Charlie Lau to score the winning run.
Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Stargell belted 475 home runs in his Hall of Fame career, all of it spent with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He hit many titanic shots, including two onto the Dodger Stadium parking lot. His clout in Montreal is considered the longest homer ever hit at Olympic Stadium.
The Polo Grounds in New York. Hubbell, nicknamed The Meal Ticket, won 253 games for the Giants. The left-hander threw a screwball for the Giants and made nine All-Star teams en route to the Hall of Fame. On July 2, 1933, Hubbell essentially pitched two ballgames and beat the St. Louis Cardinals. Hubbell gave up six hits, struck out 12 and didn’t allow a walk. Tex Carleton went 16 innings for the Red Birds. Jesse Haines came on in relief and took the loss.
Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Cardinals and Cubs have played some crazy games through the years, including this one on June 30, 1959. Stan Musial stood at the plate with a 3-1 count. The next pitch evaded Cubs catcher Sammy Taylor and slipped to the backstop. Home plate umpire Vic Delmore called the pitch ball four. The Cubs, though, argued that Musial had foul tipped it. While the argument carried on, an alert Musial dashed for second. Cubs third baseman Alvin Dark grabbed the ball, which by then was in the hands of field announcer Pat Pieper. Umpire Delmore, though, flipped a new ball to catcher Taylor. Pitcher Bob Anderson grabbed the newest baseball and threw it to second base in a failed attempt to get out Musial. That throw ended up in centerfield. Dark, meanwhile, threw the original ball to Cubs shortstop Ernie Banks. By then, Musial was sprinting to third, unaware that Banks had a ball in his hand. The shortstop tagged out Stan. An inevitable delay followed. Finally, Musial was declared out. Not surprisingly, each team played the game under protest. The Cardinals quickly dropped theirs after winning 4-1. Nothing ever came of the Cubs’ protest. Just another day at the old ballpark.