Shibe Park, also known as Connie Mack Stadium
, was the home of baseball's Philadelphia Athletics
(or A's) from 1909 to 1954, and the Philadelphia Phillies
from 1938 until 1970. Built in 1909 for three hundred thousand dollars, it was the first ballpark
built entirely of steel and concrete
. Named for Ben Shibe
, A's owner when the park was built.
Shibe Park was located on Lehigh between 20th and 21st streets; residents on 20th street would rent their bedrooms and roofs out to potential spectators who didn't want to pay full price to get into the park. This led the manager and part-owner of the A's, Connie Mack, to eventually build the "spite fence," blocking the view from 20th street. Shibe Park was known being a good pitcher's park; built to fill its city block, the centerfield fence originally stood over 500 feet from home plate.
The A's had immediate success after moving into Shibe Park, winning the World Series in 1910, 1911 and 1913. After falling behind the Yankees in the 20's, the A's again won the World Series in 1930 and 1931. But they sold off most of their better players and never again had success in Philadelphia. Connie Mack managed the A's from 1901 to 1950; an incredible stretch which is unlikely ever to be matched in professional sports. In 1953, in honor of baseball's "Grand Old Man," the A's officially renamed Shibe Park as Connie Mack Stadium, although the name never caught on. Two years later the A's, by then a very poor team, drawing few fans, moved to Kansas City. Twelve years later, having found little in Kansas City, the team moved to California and became the Oakland A's.
The Phillies also played in Shibe Park, although no one ever really seemed to notice. In the 33 years the Phillies played there, they managed only a single pennant in 1950, and then were swept by the Yankees in the World Series. In the late sixties, with the park falling into disrepair and the Phillies starting to assemble a decent team, they decided to build a new park. Veterans Stadium opened in 1971 with the transplanted home plate from Shibe Park. The A's and Phillies old home fell into disrepair, and in 1976 was demolished; the Deliverance Evangelistic Church currently stands on the old site.
Left: 378 ft.
Dimensions in the late 60's: