By Glen Sparks
Test your ballpark knowledge with this quiz. You’ll find the answers at the bottom.
- The Baltimore Orioles’ Jim Gentile smashed grand-slam home runs in consecutive innings at this ballpark on May 9, 1961.
- This remodeled stadium opened April 15, 1976.
- New York Yankees second baseman Tony Lazzeri drove in 11 runs on May 24, 1936, at this ballpark.
- The new owner grabbed the public address system mic at this ballpark in 1974 and told fans: “This is the most stupid ball playing I’ve ever seen.”
- St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial doubled for his 3,000th career hit on May 13, 1958, at this ballpark.
- Lenny Randle blew a soft grounder into foul territory at this ballpark on May 27, 1981.
- Johnny Vander Meer recorded his second straight no-hitter while pitching at this ballpark on June 15, 1938.
- A game at this ballpark lasted 21 innings on July 17, 1914, and both starting pitchers—Rube Marquard and Charles “Babe” Adams—went the distance.
- This ballpark opened at the intersection of Findlay Street and Western Avenue on April 11, 1912.
- Detroit Tigers first baseman Walt Dropo recorded seven straight hits at this ballpark in 1952.
- Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Gentile, also known as “Diamond Jim,” belted 179 home runs over his nine-year career. The first baseman enjoyed his best season in 1961. He set career highs in most categories, including home runs (46), RBI (a league-leading 141), batting average (.302), on-base percentage (.423) and slugging percentage (.646). The lefty hitter also hit five grand slams that season. On May 9, 1961, against the Minnesota Twins, Gentile blasted slams off Pedro Ramos and Paul Giel, one in the first inning and one in the second. The Orioles won 13-5. Gentile drove in nine runs total.
- Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Yankee Stadium, the famous House that Ruth built, opened April 18, 1923. By the early 1970s, things were getting a bit old and creaky. New York played the 1974 and ’75 seasons at Shea Stadium, home of the Mets, as workers completed $160 million in renovations to the old House. The remodeled park opened in time for the 1976 season, the year the Yankees won their first pennant since 1964.
- Shibe Park in Philadelphia. Tony Lazzeri batted .292 and hit 178 home runs during a 14-year career. He enjoyed his greatest day as a player on May 24, 1936. The Yanks pummeled the A’s 25-2. Lazzeri, batting eighth, went 4-for-5 with a homer, a triple and two singles. The Veteran’s Committee elected Lazzeri to the Hall of Fame in 1991.
- San Diego Stadium. Ray Kroc built McDonald’s into a fast-food empire. The multi-millionaire retired from the hamburger business in 1974 and bought the San Diego Padres, which began as an expansion squad in 1969. Kroc rescued the team but could do little to stop the sloppy play.
- Wrigley Field in Chicago. Musial knocked a pinch-hit off the Cubs’ Moe Drabowsky for his 3,000th career hit. He became the eighth player in big league history to reach that mark and the first since Paul Waner in 1941. Stan the Man retired with 3,630 hits–1,815 at home and 1,815 on the road.
- The Kingdome in Seattle. Kansas City Royals outfielder Amos Otis hit a slow roller down the third-base line in the sixth inning. Randle, playing at third for the Mariners, huffed and puffed and blew the ball foul. Plate umpire Larry McCoy initially ruled the ball foul. Following an argument from Kansas City manager Jim Frey, McCoy reversed his call and awarded Otis first base.
- Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Vander Meer, a wild-armed young lefty out of New Jersey, hurled a no-hitter on June 11, 1938, against the Boston Braves at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. He struck out four and walked three. Four days later, he walked eight, struck out seven and no-hit the Dodgers in the first night game ever played at Ebbets Field. The four-time All-Star pitched 13 seasons in the majors and compiled a 119-121 career mark.
- Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Pitchers back in the day were famous for their rubber arms. Even so, this game at Forbes Field was one for the ages. Marquard, starting for the Giants, gave up 15 hits but just one run over his 21 innings. He walked two and struck out two. Adams, starting for the Pirates, gave up three runs. He scattered 12 hits, didn’t walk a batter and fanned six.
- Crosley Field in Cincinnati. League Park opened at Findlay and Western in 1884 and hosted ballgames until it burned down in 1900. A new park, also known as League Park (a.k.a., Palace of the Fans) opened soon after that. Crosley, a park made of concrete and steel, debuted for the 1912 season and lasted nearly 60 years. The last major league game was played there on June 23, 1970. Riverfront Stadium opened June 30.
- Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. Dropo went 4-for-4 in the first game of a doubleheader on July 15 at Griffith Stadium. He recorded hits in his first three at-bats of Game 2 and went 4-for-5. “Moose” Dropo did all that after getting five hits in five at-bats on July 14 at Yankee Stadium.