This Day in Baseball History: March 4th, 1912

Very oddly shaped, but you work with what you got.

On March 4, 1912:

The Brooklyn Dodgers begin construction on Ebbets Field.

Before Ebbets Field, there was a run of stadiums with the same name that housed the Brooklyn Dodgers. They were Washington Park #1, #2, and #3. Opening in 1883, Washington Park #1 was the home of the Brooklyn Atlantics. Its main importance really had to do more with its location than design. Built next to trolley tracks, the population would give the team its nickname — Trolley Dodgers. Next came Eastern Park in 1892, but because of its inconvenient location, no one really went to games, and the next Washington Park was built in 1898. By that time, the team was known as the “Superbas” and the “Dodgers”, and this park would last for 15 years. However, team owner Charlie Ebbets began piecemealing lots in Flatbush in 1908 to use for his masterpiece. The final Washington Park would not house the Brooklyn Dodgers, but it would house the only Federal League (and probably only team ever) to be named after a loaf of bread — Brooklyn Tip-Tops.

In 1912, Ebbets and the Dodgers began construction on Ebbets Field. The owner wasn’t too sure what he was going to name the team, but someone mentioned that he should name it after himself. He did, and that’s where the stadium gets its name. A year and a month later, the stadium opened on April 9th. From left to center, the field was very deep, but it was only 300 feet to right field, though the wall was fairly high.

The construction of the stadium led to its ultimate demise. Cramped just like Fenway Park and Tiger Stadium, the stadium was too small and there was never enough parking space. While trying to find another place for the team to play, the team owner and the building commissioner for the city of New York argued on what was best for the team. The owner, Walter O’Malley, would then take the team to Los Angeles after the 1957 season (the Giants moved to San Francisco at the same time).


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