Ballpark postcards have always been extremely popular with both baseball and postcard collectors, with cards appearing in the 1900s, virtually coinciding with the the first player postcard subjects. Postcard issues often preceded the construction of ballparks, with cards published of architect renderings, as public interest built within local communities.
This ballpark gallery is separated by city and team, with the most cowded sections not surprisingly those devoted to some of the most popular teams -- The Chicago Cubs and White Sox, The New York Yankees and Giants, and Pittsburgh Pirates.
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Pre-Linen card, most likely from the 1920s, depicting the "Entrance to Braves Field," Pub. by M. Abrams. Opened in 1915, this park was the largest to-date, seating 45,000. The building shown still stand today.
Postmarked 1935, this pre-linen postcard features a classic shot of the "Blimp Over Braves Field, Waterfront Park in St. Petersburg, Florida." Pub. by Asheville Post Card Co., likely in the 1920s
Here's what we do know about the card on the right:
This pre-linen postcard was issued in the teens, pub. by Mason Bros & Co., depicting batting practice and warm-ups with Fenway's divided stands clearly visible in the background.
Scarce postcard showcases Fenway Park in its debut season of 1912, complete with policeman on horseback.This specimen is blank-backed, possibly a proof. The actual card was issued by an unidentified publiaher.
Another hard-to-find pre-linen card, postmarked in 1915, and featuring the "Grand Stand" behind third base and home plate. Pub. by The Union News Co.
Here's what we don't know: Is that Babe Ruth at the bat? Many collectors and Ruth fans assert that the batter at the plate is the Babe, coiled to unleash a blow while his teammates look on. If you have any info, or simply a good opinion, click here and let us know -->
A not often-seen late pre-linen card from 1941, showcasing a classic stadium in Brooklyn's Ebbets Field. This postcard was published by Manhattan Card Publishing Co., the same company which issued numeorus views of both the Giants' Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium.
SPOTLIGHT: FEDERAL LEAGUE PARK
In 1915, the Federal League folded and Charlles Weeghman was given the opportunity to buy the Cubs team and relocate them from West Side Park to Weeghman Park...which is known today as Wrigley Field.
Originally dubbed Weeghman Park when it opened in 1914 as the new home to the Federal Legaue's Chicago Whales or Chi-Feds, this park was modeled by the same architect who designed the city's Comiskey Park.
This classic 1909 view depicts the field at West Side Park, home to the Cubs from 1893-1915. This field is marked by its rounded 1st base, 3rd base and home pate dirt areas. Postard pub. by V.O., Hammon.
Another pre-linen view of the Cubs' West Side Ball Park, this postcard features a view of the wooden stands behind the third base line along with players, coaches and umpires on the field.
Amazing West Side Park view of the Cubs warming up -- many with their sweaters still on. Pre-linen card published by Franklin Post Card Co.
Postmarked in 1912, this Acmegraph Co. card showcases one of the less logical traditions in some parks: the fans would exit through the outfield. This card is cataloged as depicting West Side Ball Park.
Pub. By Max Rigot Selling Co.
These two cards, as well as the Real-Photo ones to the right of the line, showcase the Cubs Spring Training facility in San Catalina Island, California.
The printed card on top most likely originates from the 1920s and was issued by Tichnor View, while the one on the bottom is postmarked 1925 and features the "Baseball Grounds, Country Club and Golf Links" and is credited to Keystone Photo Service.
These Real Photo cards of the Cubs on their Catalina training field can be found in the "Real-Photo" Gallery.
The two cards on the left showcase the new stadium Charles Comiskey built in 1910. Not only did Comiskey name the stadium after himself, he also inserted himself into postcards which depicted his new jewel.
Note these two cards at left both feature the same image, with one glaring execption. The card at the bottom inserts Comiskey, himelf, in the lower right corner peering over the upper deck rail at his prized possessions below.
The postcard card at right, duplicates the earlier card with Comiskey looking out over the upper deck rail. This postcard was issued a bit later with a white border and diffrent coloring. All three have different captions.
This postcard is interesting on two counts: Like the other early cards of Comsikey Park, all refer to the field by the name if its predecessor -- South Side Park. Also of ironic note is the "No Betting Allowed in This Park" sign in right field.
This card really belongs in the Player Gallery, as it depicts the team traveling through the Royal Gorge, Colorado. However, it was issued together with other views of scenery and places, not as a team-oriented card. This card is postmarked 1913.
Detroit's Navin Field opened in 1912 and was essentially an enlarged Bennet Park. Driven by the popularity of Ty Cobb, the club refurbished the park and added many new seats. Frank Navin was the club secretary who became half-owner in 1907.
In the 1930s Navin Field was refurbished and renamed Briggs Stadium (later Tiger Stadium). This card was postmarked in 1948, the year the first night game was played at Briggs, although no light towers can be seen in this card, printed earlier.
Like Boston, Chicago and PIttsburgh, Cleveland received a new park about ten years into the new century. In 1910, League Park was modernized from wood to concrete and steel with postcards issued to celebrate the event.
A great image of League Park, taken from behind home plate and showcasing much mens haberdashery of the day. This card is postmarked 1914, while the one on the left was mailed in 1913. Both celebrate the new ballpark.
Interestingly, the cards with Comsikey appeared simultaneously with the ones without the Old Roman, leaving open questions as to why different manufacturers all chose to add Comiskey. Perhaps the White Sox team supplied the images to publishers and added Comiskey after he saw the first ones issued.The card at the upper left is postmarked 1915, while the one at bottom left boasts a 1912 postmark,
This sepia card was postmarked in 1909 and depicts 12,000 fans at the stadium -- most likely in 1907. Color tinted cards of this ballpark also exist. The "Palace of the Fans" can also be seen in the "Red Belt" postcard series of 1907, one of which showcased in the Player Postcard Gallery.
Opened in 1902, the Reds ballpark was ornately architected with pillars and columns, and was dubbed "Palace of the Fans." The park was built in the Greek and Roman style by Reds owner John Brush, who would later own the NY Giants during their glory years. Below the main grandstand were seats called "Rooters Row," situated near two bars selling beer and whiskey.
This early Polo Grounds card is the companion to the New York Yankees' Hilltop postcard also featured in this gallery. This card is postmarked 1911, the year fire ravaged the old wooden park, and emphasizes the wooden grandstand and houses above.
Another great early pre-linen view of the Polo Grounds. This image is pre-1912, before the grandstand was extended way into the outfield, displacing many bleacher seats. Note the water tower above the park.
These three postcards all feature John McGraw in an inset and were issued by Success Postal Card Co.; H. Finkelstein & Son / American Art Co; and unknown, respectively.
All were issued at different times and feature different images -- either of the grandstand and crowd, or of McGraw, himself.
Note the women in their hats and finery and man's cane in the card at top, which refers to the Polo Grounds as "the largest Base Ball Park in the U.S., seating over 45,000."
The bottom two both feature a slightly older McGraw, although the Finkelstein card is the earlier of the two.
Both of these postcards to the immediate left feature the same images as the three cards on the far right with one major exception -- no McGraw insets.
The card on top showcases an image from the New York Times Co. and was part of an oversized folder of cards that fold-out to reveal pitcures of New York.
The card at bottom, meanwhile, features a Brown Bros. image and airbushes out "part" of the wooden pole in the right field bleachers,
A great photo of "A Baseball Game at the Polo Grounds as seen from an airship, New York." This postcard depicts the park in the 1920s, dramatically capturing the horseshoe shape of the park.
Another amazing card, issued by the National Drug Stores Corp., spotlighting a Medusa carving on the grandstand's extrior right field wall. Although most white border cards were made in the 1920s and 30s, this one likely appeared arlier.
Copyright 2006 -- VintageBall.com
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13) Minor League, Semi-Pro & Town
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