Home of four different baseball teams, Kansas
City Municipal Stadium existed for almost five decades. The stadium was
originally built for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League
and the Kansas City Blues (minor league team). The stadium
consisted of one grandstand extending down the first and third base
lines, that had a capacity of 17,500 when it opened on July 3,
1923. The stadium was originally named Muehlebach Field, after owner
of the Blues, George Muehlebach who built the stadium. In 1938, the
New York Yankees bought Blues and the stadium was renamed Ruppert Stadium,
after the owner of the Yankees, Jacob Ruppert. Several years later the
stadium was renamed Blues Stadium.
In 1954, owner of the Philadelphia A’s Arnold
Johnson decided to move his team to Kansas City. The city now had a professional baseball team. In order for the capacity to be
increased at Blues Stadium an upper deck was added. Beginning in
January 1955 the stadium was reconstructed. The stadium now had
a double decked grandstand that extended from homeplate to the right
field foul pole and down the third base line. A lower level
grandstand extended to the left field foul pole. Bleachers were in
right field and the ballpark could seat 30,611 fans. Blues Stadium was
renamed Municipal Stadium by opening day, April 12,
1955. A scoreboard from Braves Field was added beyond centerfield.
In 1960, Charlie O.
Finley became the owner of the A’s. As part of
an effort to make the stadium more hitter friendly, an area of
bleachers known as "Pennants Porch" was added in right field prior
to the 1964 season, so the ballpark could have the same home run
distance as Yankee Stadium. However, the commissioner of baseball
made the club remove the seats days later.
Kansas City Municipal Stadium had several
unique features. A small zoo and picnic area was behind the
right-field fence, that housed the team mascot, a mule named
"Charlie O". A mechanical rabbit, named "Harvey" rose out of the
ground with new baseballs for the umpire and a compressed-air device
blew dirt off homeplate. Municipal Stadium was a great place to
watch a baseball game. In 1967, a bond was issued to build a new
stadium for the A's. However, Charlie Finley decided to move the team to Oakland after
the 1967 season. Major League Baseball expanded and the Kansas City
Royals were formed. They began playing at Municipal Stadium on April
8, 1969 and played their until October 4, 1972. The Royals moved
Kauffman Stadium in 1973.