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25 Facts About Shibe Park
Shibe Park stood on the block bounded by Lehigh Avenue, 20th Street, Somerset Street and 21st Street.
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Shibe Park searched for a site for his new park and found one on Lehigh Avenue between 20th and 21st Streets, five blocks west of Baker Bowl, straddling the neighborhoods known as Swampoodle and Goosetown.
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Shibe Park quietly assembled title to his square block of land early in 1907, picking up parcels "through a complicated series of acquisitions, preventing price inflation by masking his intentions, " even using straw buyers to keep his name out of the dealings.
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The Steele design for the Shibe Park facade was in the ornate French Renaissance style, including arches, vaultings, and Ionic pilasters.
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The only link with the Columbia Shibe Park was the transplanted sod, rolled out at the new venue.
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Athletics and their new stadium were a hit: the A's won pennants – and brought World Series to town – in 1910 and 1911, and by 1913, when they would win another, Shibe Park initiated the first of the expansions of seating capacity that would continue right on through the 1950s.
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Shibe Park called again upon the Steele company and added a new unroofed bleacher section across left field, taking advantage of the site's rectangular, rather than square, shape, and added roof structures to cover the open pavilions down the first base and third base lines.
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The Shibe Park brothers moved it back to its original position, resulting in field dimensions of 331 feet to right field, 334 to left, and 468 to the square corner in center.
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In 1936, A's President Tom Shibe Park died, and Connie Mack succeeded in gaining control of the team by buying out Tom Shibe Park's share from his widow.
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Shibe Park upgraded his staff with professional administrators who modernized operations, while spending time in Mr Mack's plush tower office listening to The Grand Old Man of Baseball.
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Shibe Park would spend most games asleep in the dugout, leaving game strategy in the hands of his coaches.
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Shibe Park recognized the growing parking problem, as well as the declining affluence of the neighborhood.
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Shibe Park tried to pass on the purchase, reminding Johnson that he had a lease until 1957.
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Shibe Park found it impossible to find a way to make the park profitable.
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Shibe Park's first thought was to extend the length of his income season by adding a football team.
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Shibe Park hit two to the left field bleachers, two over the right field wall, and had a shot at a fifth homer with a deep fly to center, but center fielder Al Simmons snared it on a running catch.
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Shibe Park hosted its first Negro league games in 1919 when the Hilldale Club and Bacharach Giants played home games at the ballpark.
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Shibe Park was a neutral site for Negro World Series games.
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Shibe Park turnstiles registered some 47 million clicks over 62 seasons of baseball.
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Shibe Park was one of 10 historic ballparks celebrated on the USPS 34-cent Commemorative issue stamps, "Baseball's Legendary Playing Fields", released June 27,2001.
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