Sportsman's Park opened it's doors in St. Louis on May 21, 1881. Originally named the Grande Avenue Ball Grounds, the name was changed to Sportsman's park in 1876.
Standing at Dodier Street and North Grande Blvd., Sportsman's Park was home to both the St. Louis Brown Stockings(St. Louis Browns) and the St. Louis Cardinals. The original cost of contruction was $300,000.
When this baseball park was built in 1881 it only held 8,000 fans. By 1902, renovations increased the seating to 18,000 and by 1925, the stadium held 30,500 spectators.
Sportsman's Park was first occupied by the Browns of the American League in 1902. It wasn't until the mid season of 1920 that the St. Louis Cardinals moved out of their mostly wooden Robison Field and into Sportsmans Park.
In 1944, the ballpark was host to the World Series between the Browns and the Cardinals. The "Cards" won 4 games to 2.
In the early 1950s, the Busch family bought the St Louis Cardinals and purchased Sportsman's Park from the financially troubled Browns. In 1953, the park was re named Busch Stadium. Owner August Busch wanted to name the ball park Budweiser Stadium. But the commissioner at the time, Ford Frick, would not allow it because he didn't want a stadium named after an alcoholic beverage! So Mr. Busch named the park after himself. The following season the Browns moved out of St. Louis to become the Baltimore Orioles.
Several World series were played in Sportsman's Park/Busch Stadium. In 1964, the Cardinals took on the Yankees. This Series featured the Boyer brothers. Ken for the cardinals and Clete for the Yanks. The Cards took the World Championship in seven games.
Sportsman's Park was replaced early in 1966 when St. Louis Cardinal baseball moved in to artificially turfed Busch Memorial Stadium.
Baseball was played at the site of Sportsmans park longer than any where else.
Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club took over the site of the old ball park.
Sportsman's Park Baseball Field Dimensions:
Left field was 351 feet down the line. The power alley in left center stood at 379 feet and deepened to a distant 426 feet in center field.
The right center alley was 354 feet while right filed was a cozy 310 down the line. The back stop was 68 feet behind home plate.
Sportsman's Park hosted All Star games in 1940, 1948 and 1957. Ten World Series were played there.
Only one no hitter was ever pitched at this historic ball park. BoBo Holloman did it on May 6, 1953.
Sportsman's Park was home to one of Bill Veeck's greatest "promotions". On August 19, 1951, 3 foot 7 inch Eddie Gadell pinch hit and was walked on four pitches.
Stan Musial won three MVP awards in this park and in 1934, pitcher Dizzy Dean won 30 games.