Four Ballparks in Four Days in One Series

The other day while compiling early attendance data for the St. Paul Saints and Minneapolis Millers during the years 1902-11 I noticed two interesting occurrences. Bear in mind that during the first several years of their entry in the American Association, the Saints and Millers regularly engaged in the practice of the daily alternation of venues during their scheduled series. For example, if a series of games was scheduled for May 6-9, the two clubs would play a game at Minneapolis (at either Nicollet Park or Minnehaha Park, their Sunday venue) on May 6, then on May 7 their game would be played at St. Paul (at either Lexington Park or Downtown Park, the latter also known as either Pill Box Park or Lennon Field). On May 8 the series might return to the Minneapolis site, and May 9 the series might end up in St. Paul. For what it’s worth, the two things I observed are the following:

During a stretch of games between July 1-5 when the Saints and Millers had their second scheduled series of the 1904 season, the two clubs played in four different parks in four days. The series started July 1 at Nicollet Park, moved to Downtown Park July 2, was played at Minneapolis’ Sunday venue, Minnehaha Park (or it’s elongated name, Minnehaha Driving Park) on July 3, and finally back in St. Paul at the Saints’ alternate venue (usually used on Sundays at this time) Lexington Park on July 4. The July 4 game was the first of a twin bill, the second game of which went back to Minneapolis to be played at Nicollet Park. Hence there were actually five games played in five parks, but Nicollet Park being the starting point for the series cannot be considered a “different” park; however, the second game being played at a different place requires that all the gear belonging to the players would still have to be moved, and as a result there were five actual changes in venue during a span of four days for the Millers, and actually seven for the Saints (having played at Downtown Park vs. on June 30, and back at Downtown Park after the series with the Millers). Obviously the proximity of the Millers and Saints, combined with the unusual practice of alternate scheduling, created this unique situation, and was something I had never come across before in my observations of the movement of teams in the American Association.

The largest crowd on hand for one game of the Millers vs. Saints series in 1904 came July 24 during their third series of the season when 7,110 filled Lexington Park. This figure represented the largest single game attendance mark for either venue during the 1904 crosstown series during the 1904 season. The largest crowd either club played before during the 1904 season came at West Washington Street Park in Indianapolis when 12,950 filed in for a Friday matinee between the Millers and the Indians on June 17. In the clash between two second-division teams, the visitors came away the winner by a score of 4-1.

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

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