With interesting descriptive captions written next to each ballpark, this poster features vivid images of County Stadium, Crosley Field, Ebbets Field, Forbes Field, Polo Grounds, Shibe Park, Sportsman's Park and Wrigley Field.
Each ballpark from the game's golden era included on this poster was painted in strikingly rich detail by one of two renowned sports artists - Andy Jurinko or Bill Purdom - and their prints are arranged in random order under the heading of Vintage National League Ballparks.
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Each vintage National League ballpark in this poster was an original painting and next to their image is its title, artist and caption. Those details are listed below, along with a thumbnail of the ballpark.
Ten-Three Fifty One by Bill Purdom
Although its glory days were the days of John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, Carl Hubbell, Mel Ott and Bill Terry, it was in 1951 when the Polo Grounds was home to the game's most famous home run, the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" by Bobby Thomson to give the Giants the pennant. Willie Mays kept the glory alive by playing his first five seasons here, but by 1957, the party was over, save for serving as a two-year home to the expansion Mets in '62-'63. The history of the Polo Grounds went back to 1889, and the improbable 475 foot center field was part of its final dimensions after fire forced a rebuild in 1911.
Splendid Sportsman's Park by Bill Purdom
St. Louis got its money's worth out of Sportsmen's Park, home to both the American League Browns (1909-1953) and the National League Cardinals (1920-1966), leaving few summer days in which no games were scheduled. Later renamed Busch Stadium, the park was home to the dizzy "Gashouse Gang" of the '30s, three pennant winners in the '40s (the 1946 World Series against the Red Sox is shown here), and a final hurrah in 1964 with the world champions of Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Curt Flood, Ken Boyer and Bill White. Above all, Stan Musial reigned as the greatest to have spent his career on these grounds.
Forbes Autumn Classic by Bill Purdom
It was said that the 1927 Yankees humbled their World Series foes of Pittsburgh just by taking batting practice. When they met again in 1960, the Yankees were again awesome, but the Pirates would not be denied, as Bill Mazeroski (shown here rounding first), delivered the singular moment of Forbes Field history, a walk-off home run that stunned the Bronx Bombers. Opened in 1909, Forbes lasted until 1969, and was home to Honus Wagner, Pie Traynor, the Waner Brothers, Ralph Kiner, and Roberto Clemente - not a bad Hall of Fame roll call.
Ebbets Field Matinee by Andy Jurinko
Was there ever a more faithful fandom than found in Flatbush? The Dodgers were a home town team if ever there was one, the players residing in the neighborhood, mingling with the fans, banded together by the call of "Wait 'til Next Year!" "Da Bums," they were lovingly called, and the ballpark was what put Brooklyn, just a borough within New York City, on the map. Ebbets Field opened in 1913 under owner Charles Ebbets, and closed in 1957 with one memorable world championship - 1955 - when the "Boys of Summer" finally came through. This is a scene from the last Subway Series involving the Dodgers, 1956 against the hated Yankees.
Crosley Field Matinee by Andy Jurinko
Opened in 1912, and originally called Redland Field, Crosley Field was a cozy park of less than 30,000 capacity with an inclined hill in deep left field. From the days of Edd Roush to Pete Rose, it had a neighborhood feel, and was always the site of the National League opener, in honor the Red Stockings having been baseball's first professional team. In this 1959 scene, the Reds host the pennant-bound Los Angeles Dodgers. Two years later, behind MVP Frank Robinson, the Reds would win their final flag in Crosley before moving to Riverfront Stadium in 1970.
County Stadium Classic by Andy Jurinko
We might still have 16 teams and all the original ballparks had not the Boston Braves move to Milwaukee in 1953 been such a smash hit. The fans took to this team in a big way, pouring through the gates at more than 2 million a year, and celebrating championships in both 1957 and 1958 behind Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn and Eddie Mathews. As fast as it came, it was over by 1965, the team bound for Atlanta, finally replaced in 1970 by the Brewers who brought one more pennant to town before County Stadium closed in 2000. This scene is from the '57 Fall Classic, Joe Adcock driving in Mathews.
Wrigley Field Matinee by Bill Purdom
Last holdout for night games, and the last remaining memory of the Federal League, Wrigley Field is among the most beloved of all ballparks, fabled for its ivy covered outfield, its "Bleacher Bums," its neighborhood fans watching from rooftops, its intimacy, and alas, the futility of its Cubbies to reach the World Series since 1945, or to win a World Championship since 1908. Built in 1914 as Weeghman Park, its most favored player was likely Ernie Banks, "Mr. Cub," seen here at shortstop in this 1957 game against the Braves.
Shibe Park Forever by Andy Jurinko
The Whiz Kids. What a breath of fresh air they were to a city starved for good baseball. The Phillies hadn't won since 1915, and their Shibe Park partners, the Athletics had last seen a World Series in 1931. But 1950 brought a pennant to town, and while the euphoria would last only a year, at least a new generation could experience the taste of glory. Shibe Park opened for the A's in 1909, and the Phillies moved in in 1938, using it as a successor to Baker Bowl. This 1952 scene shows Robin Roberts on the mound for the Phils. The park would last until 1969.