The Most Legendary Retired Baseball Parks

Baseball is funny in that every park is different. While football stadiums and basketball arenas may look different outside, the playing dimensions are the same regardless of the home team. Based on how pellicular they were, the most legendary retired baseball parks proved that park dimensions are merely a suggestion.

Braves Field

Most baseball fans think of Boston as strictly a Red Sox town. However, before they became the Milwaukee Braves, the Boston Braves were the other team in town. The most well-known fact about the Boston Braves is that Babe Ruth played his last game for the franchise, but what’s even crazier is the center field wall.

The distance between home plate and centerfield is approximately 400 feet in most ballparks. Braves Field was a different animal, considering it was a staggering 550 feet away, equipped with a line of trees to prevent the railyard smoke from making its presence known. There may not have been any home runs over the wall, but you have to imagine hundreds of flyballs over the centerfielder’s head that led to four bases.

Baker Bowl

Another staple that most fans associate with the Red Sox is the “Green Monster” in left field. The famous 37-foot wall has kept many line drives in the ballpark over the years, but it pales compared to the original monster wall in Philadelphia.

The Baker Bowl was the home field of the Phillies from 1904-1938, and it was also home to a 40-foot wall in right field. If you thought Yankee Stadium played within a bandbox, Baker Bowl’s distance from right field to home plate was only 279 feet, which was the motivation behind the massive wall to keep routine pop flies from leaving the yard.

Forbes Field

The dimensions for classic ballparks always shock fans because we’re accustomed to certain standards. One surprising figure is the left-center field gap of Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, being nearly 460 feet away from the plate. Only a handful of home runs surpassed 460 feet in a season, so you know that Forbes was hurting right-handed power hitters.

Nevertheless, former Tigers great, combat veteran, and one of the greatest power hitters in baseball history, Hank Greenberg, found his way in Pittsburgh for his final season, leading to the franchise moving the wall in by 30 feet to accommodate the aging slugger. The Pirates played in Forbes Field until 1970.

Polo Grounds

If you were ever to play a game of MLB The Show, Polo Grounds is one stadium worth having an old-timer’s game at. The Polo Grounds is the king of weird dimensions, as it was only 276 feet down the left field line and 258 feet in the right. Since the Yankees played in the Polo Grounds in 1913, the dimensions were part of why Yankee Stadium’s short porch existed, appeasing Babe Ruth.

Tiger Stadium

As beautiful as Comerica Park is in Detroit, true baseball fans still miss Tiger Stadium. There were several quirks fans loved about the old ballpark, including the giant flagpole in the field of play in center field. But the coolest thing about Tiger Stadium was its right field overhang and double-decker outfield that saw many legendary home runs, other than the one that Mickey Mantle hit over the roof.

With ballparks seemingly going up every couple of seasons, it’s fun to appreciate the most legendary retired baseball parks of years past because we will never see anything like the Polo Grounds again.

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Written by Logan Voss

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