A.K.A. Busch Stadium II
St. Louis, Missouri
Tenant: St. Louis Cardinals (NL)
Opened: May 12, 1966
Last game: October 19, 2005
Demolished: November 7, 2005
Surface: Grass (1966 to 1969); artificial (1970 to 1995); grass (1996 to date).
Capacity: 49,676 (baseball only)
Architect: Sverdrup & Parcel and Associates; Edward Durell Stone (design collaborator); Schwarz & Van Hoefen, Associated
Owner: St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals tickets:
Location: Left field (E), Broadway, Interstate 70, Gateway Arch, and Mississippi River; third base (N), Walnut Street; first base (W), Seventh Street and 300 Stadium Plaza; right field (S), Spruce Street; Stadium Plaza surrounds the park.
Dimensions: Foul lines: 330; power alleys: 386 (1966), 376 (1973), 386 (1977), 383 (July 1983), 375 (1992), 372 (1996/97); center field: 414 (1966), 410 (1971), 414 (1972), 404 (1973), 414 (1977), 402 (1992); backstop: 64 (Vin Scullyís unofficial measurement during 1985 World Series showed this to be 50 rather than 64); foul territory: large.
Fences: Left and right fields: 10.5 (padded concrete), 8 (padded canvas, 1992); center field: 10.5 (padded concrete, 1966), 8 (wood, 1973), 10.5 (padded concrete, 1977), 8 (padded canvas, 1992).
Located near the banks of the Mississippi River and the majestic Gateway Arch (and across the street from the National Bowling Hall of Fame), the ballpark was actually the second Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The original was known as Sportsmanís Park until August Busch purchased it from the St. Louis Browns in 1953 and changed the name to Busch Stadium. It served as the home of the Cardinals until the new Busch Stadium was opened, as the centerpiece of a downtown revitalization project. Six World Series have been played at Busch. The Cardinals won the Series in 1967 and 1982 but lost in 1968, 1985, 1987 and 2004.
Busch Stadium Trivia:
- A.K.A. Busch Memorial Stadium.
- Site of the 1966 All-Star game.
- From 1970 to 1976 the entire field was artificial turf, except for the part of the infield that is normally dirt on a grass field. In 1977 this was carpeted except for the sliding pits. This is one of only two instances where there was a full dirt infield with an otherwise fully artificial field, the other being Candlestick Park in 1971.
- Ninety-six open arches surrounded the field just below the roof.
- From 1966 to 1982, right field scoreboard lights showed a cardinal in flight whenever a Cardinal hit a home run; the same show was put on every time Lou Brock set a new basestealing record.
- Home plate transplanted from old Busch Stadium at opener on May 12, 1966.
- Was next to the Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River; fans could see the Arch from the top deck in right field.
- Statue of "Stan the Man" Musial outside the stadium was unveiled in 1968.
- In 1987 every seat was replaced, and all of them were painted red.
- At league direction, the site designated for any Chicago Cubs playoff or World Series home games from 1986 until 1988, when Wrigley Field finally installed lights.
- "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" was played on the organ during the seventh-inning stretch and the Anheuser-Busch "King of Beers" theme song was played at the end of the seventh inning.
- Small sections of bleachers were in the outfield. Part of the left field bleachers were taken out in 1996 to accomodate a new bullpen for the Cardinals as well as a family pavillion and picnic area. The visitor's bullpen was hidden behind the left field wall.
- In 1997, a 17' high x 270' wide manually operated scoreboard was built in center field and the visitors bullpen was moved to right field.
More on Busch Stadium:
Recommended Reading (bibliography):
- St. Louis' Big League Ballparks by Joan M. Thomas.
- The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of St. Louis Cardinals and Browns by Peter Golenbock.
- Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
- The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (Revised Edition) by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
- City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
- Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
- Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
- Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
- Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
- The Story of America's Classic Ballparks (VHS).
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View inside Busch Stadium © 1999 by Ira Rosen.
Aerial view of Busch Stadium © 2001 by Above All Photography.
View of Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch by Munsey & Suppes.
View of Busch Stadium from the Gateway Arch © 1997 by John Munsey.
Updated November 2005
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BALLPARKS © 1996-2012 by Munsey & Suppes.