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Busch Stadium

By Wikipedia

Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri was the home of the St. Louis baseball Cardinals from May 12, 1966 to October 19, 2005. It opened four days after the last game was played in their old home, Sportsman's Park (which itself had also been known since 1953 as Busch Stadium). The Cardinals closed out their final season there by losing the 2005 National League Championship Series to the Houston Astros.

At a glance...
BUSCH STADIUM
Facility statistics
Location 250 Stadium Plaza
St. Louis, Missouri 63102
Broke ground 1964
Opened May 12, 1966
Last Rams Game October 22, 1995
Closed October 19, 2005 (MLB)
Demolished Late 2005/Early 2006
Replaced Sportsman's Park
Replaced by TWA Dome (Rams, 1996)
New Busch Stadium (Cardinals, 2005)
Owner St. Louis Cardinals
Surface Grass (1966-69, 1996-2005)
AstroTurf (1970-1995)
Construction
cost
$25M
Architects Sverdrup & Parcel and Associates;
Edward Durell Stone;
Schwarz & Van Hoefen
Tenants
St. Louis Cardinals (MLB, 1966-2005)
St. Louis Cardinals (NFL, 1966-1987)
St. Louis Rams (NFL, 1995)
Seating capacity
49,676 (Baseball)
Dimensions
Left Field - 330 ft
Left-Center - 372 ft
Center Field - 402 ft
Right-Center - 372 ft
Right Field - 330 ft
Backstop - 64 ft

It was one of the first multipurpose facilities built in the United States in the 1960s and early 1970s, along with those in Atlanta (Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium), Washington, DC (RFK), Pittsburgh (Three Rivers), Philadelphia (Veterans), and Cincinnati (Riverfront). Having hosted its last game, it leaves Washington's RFK Stadium and Toronto's Sky Dome as baseball's last "cookie-cutter" multipurpose facilities.

Demolition of the stadium began at 3:07 Central Standard Time on November 7, 2005, as the current location for Busch Stadium will become part of the outfield and ballpark village area for the new Busch Stadium. Unlike recent stadium demolitions, which have been triggered implosions, the ballpark is being torn down with a wrecking ball piece-by-piece over a period of a few months, with parts of the north portion of the stadium remaining until the 2006 All-Star Break.

Fly to Busch Stadium!
If you have Google Earth installed, click here to be "flown" to the site of Busch Stadium. (If you do not have it installed, get it from Google. It allows you to view virtually anywhere on Earth in 3D using satellite imagery.)

Football

Busch Stadium was also the home of the St. Louis football Cardinals beginning with that team's 1966 season. They remained there through the 1987 season, and then relocated to Tempe, Arizona after owner Bill Bidwell failed to convince the city to pay for a new football-only stadium.

Busch Stadium was also briefly the home of St. Louis Rams, who relocated from Los Angeles to move into the new and nearby Trans World Dome (currently Edward Jones Dome after TWA filed for bankruptcy). Since construction on their new home was delayed, the Rams played their first two 1995 games at Busch Stadium.

Background

When it opened it was known as Civic Center Busch Memorial Stadium. The stadium's name comes from the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch, who owned the baseball team until March 1996 and championed the stadium's construction.

The stadium was designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone. Its arched design echoes the nearby Gateway Arch, which was completed the year before Busch Stadium opened. The grounds are home to bronze statues of Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Red Schoendienst, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and most recently, Jack Buck. The stadium's playing surface, originally natural grass, was re-covered in Astroturf in 1970; grass returned in 1996.

Busch Stadium!

Busch Stadium was easily the most attractive of the Astroturfed "cookie-cutter" stadiums.

Photo courtesy Missouri Division of Tourism


FIRSTS at BUSCH STADIUM
Game
05/12/1966 Braves 3, Cardinals 4 (12 innings)
Umpires John Kibler, Bill Jackowski
  Ed Sudol, Paul Pryor
Managers Red Schoendienst, Cardinals
  Bobby Bragan, Braves
Starting Pitchers Ray Washburn, Cardinals
  Wade Blasingame, Braves
Ceremonial Pitch Baseball Commissioner
William Eckert and
  NL President Warren Giles
Attendance 46,048
Batting
Batter Felipe Alou (ground out)
Hit Gary Geiger (single)
Run Jerry Buchek
RBI Mike Shannon
Single Gary Geiger
Double Gary Geiger
Triple Mike Shannon
Home Run Felipe Alou
Grand Slam Curt Flood (05/25/1966)
IPHR Orlando Cepeda (06/09/1967)
Stolen Base Lou Brock (05/15/1966)
Sacrifice Hit Frank Bolling
Sacrifice Fly Lee Thomas
Cycle Billy Williams (07/17/1966)
Pitching
Win Don Dennis
Loss Phil Niekro
Shutout Al Jackson (05/13/1966)
Save Nelson Briles (05/15/1966)
Hit by Pitch Phil Niekro hit Curt Flood
Wild Pitch Wade Blasingame
Balk Al Jackson (06/22/1966)
No-Hitter Bob Forsch (04/16/1978)
Primary research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet
.

Busch Stadium hosted World Series games in six different seasons: 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 2004. The stadium was also the site of Mark McGwire's historic 62nd home run of the 1998 season that broke Roger Maris' single-season record, and also of McGwire's 70th of that season, for a record which lasted until Barry Bonds surpassed it in 2001.

The dimensions in center and the power alleys have been altered from time to time over the years. Initially the park was very conducive to the Bob Gibson and Lou Brock style of play, lots of room for pitchers to make mistakes, and for extra-base hits and not so many home runs. Later changes attempted to make the outfield better balanced between pitching and power hitting.

By the early 1990s, the stadium appeared to be falling into disrepair. However, remodeling in 1995 improved the park's sense of intimacy and converted the multi-purpose facility into a baseball-only park.

Related Books on Ballparks
The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
Ballparks by Robert Von Goeben and Red Howard.
Ballparks: Then & Now by Eric Enders.
Baseball Vacations: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballbarks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
Blue Skies, Green Fields: A Celebration of 50 Major League Baseball Stadiums by Ira Rosen.
Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
Fields of Dreams: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying All 30 Major League Ballparks by Jay Ahuja
Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
Video: Story of America's Classic Ballparks
Video: Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

Economics of Stadiums
:
City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

General Stadium Reference:
Sports Staff of USA Today. The Complete 4 Sport Stadium Guide. Fodor's, 1996.

Stadium Design and Financing References:
Philip Bess. City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks. Knothole Press, 1999.
Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit. Common Courage Press, 1998.
Mark S. Rosentraub. Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It. HarperCollins, 1997.
Kevin J. Delaney, Rick Eckstein. Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums. Rutgers University Press, 2004.
Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist. Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums. Brookings Institution, 1997.
Dean V. Baim. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment. Greenwood Publishing, 1994.
Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard. Architectural Press, 2000.
Michelle Provoost, Matthjis Bouw and Camiel Van Winkel. The Stadium: Architecture of Mass Sport. NAI Publishers, 2000.


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BUSCH STADIUM

USGS Photo

Year by Year statistics: for Busch Stadium


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It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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