Exploring Boston’s Hidden Ballparks

Written by admin
Monday, 29 Apr 2013

Now, if you’re a Red Sox fanatic—and after trucking around town to see a statue and plaque, you should be by now (see our previous post about the Huntington Avenue Grounds)—you can continue your tour of the Olde Towne Teams’ former haunts on another college campus: Boston University.

Until 1953, Boston enjoyed two baseball clubs: the National League Braves (formerly the Boston Red Stockings, the oldest continually-playing team in American sports), before the team moved to Atlanta via Milwaukee, and the American League Red Sox (formerly the Boston Americans; confused yet?)

bravesuseOn the site of what is now BU’s Nickerson playing field stood the Braves Field, a stone’s throw from Fenway. Built in 1915, it held its ground for 37 years—hosting three World Series and an All Star Game—before being demolished to make way for university dorms and Astroturf.  But it wasn’t entirely demolished, and that’s where things get interesting.

Baseball fans should see what’s left of Braves Field because, well, the jewel-box-park style of concourse under the right-field pavilion’s bleachers looks just as it did back in the day (unlike Fenway’s concourse, which has been more recently updated), and because Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Leon Cadore and Braves pitcher Joe Oeschger battled it out for a pair of complete-game performances… that lasted for a still-record 26 innings! In other words: you’re in the presence of past greatness.

Everyone else—looking at you, moms and dads taking your kids on college visits—should see it because you’re going to want to tell your friends that you saw something other than the back of a student tour guide’s head. Regular tourists and rabid baseball fans alike, take note; for a quintessentially Boston experience, the Beacon Inn can help.