Park was home to two different baseball teams during its existence.
Baseball at the site where Sportman's Park stood dates back to 1866.
The Brown Stockings of the National Association League played at the
first Sportsmans Park in 1875 when the ballpark was known as Grand
Avenue Grounds. It was located at the corner of Dodier Street and
Grand Avenue. In 1880 Alfred Spink bought the team and tore down the
ballpark, rebuilding a covered Sportsmans Park. The ballpark opened
on May 21, 1881 but burned ten years later because it was built
mainly of wood. In 1892, the National Association folded, the Browns
were renamed the Cardinals, became part of the National League, and
moved into a new Sportsman Park. However in 1898, fire swept through
the ballpark destroying it and the Cardinals moved to Robison Field.
After the 1901 season the St. Louis Browns were formed when the
Milwaukee Brewers, charter members of the American League, moved to
The St. Louis Browns
built a new ballpark where Sportsman’s Park burned in 1898.
Consisting of about 8,000 wooden seats, the ballpark was named after
its predecessor. In 1908 a new ballpark was constructed. Concrete
and steel was used to build a double deck grandstand from first to
third base with additional seating joining the lower level and
extending down the lines. Bleachers were also built and placed in
the outfield increasing the capacity to 18,000. The Browns played
their first game at the new Sportsmans Park against Cleveland on
April 14, 1909. For over two decades the Cardinals had played at
Robinson Field, a 21,000 seat ballpark. In 1920 owner of the
Cardinals, Sam Breadon, sold the ballpark for financial reasons. The
Cardinals moved to Sportsmans Park, playing their first game there
on July 1, 1920. By the 1925 season the grandstands were double
decked to both foul poles and the bleachers in right field were
covered, increasing the capacity to 30,500.
Fans sitting behind homeplate could see the
bleachers that extended around the outfield, a huge
scoreboard above the left field seats, and views of the surrounding
neighborhood. Members of the media also received an excellent view of the field
from the press box on top of the stadium roof. The first night game
under lights at Sportsman’s Park was on May 24, 1940. Both the
Cardinals and the Browns played at the ballpark until 1953 when the
Browns moved to Baltimore. The same year, Sportsman’s Park was
renamed Busch Stadium after August Busch purchased the team on April
9, 1953. Busch added box seats and renovated the clubhouses at the
stadium. Busch also placed a Budweiser eagle atop of the
scoreboard. The Cardinals played at Sportsman’s Park until May 8,
1966 when the last game was played at the ballpark. The Cardinals
Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis days later. Sportsman’s
Park/Busch Stadium was demolished soon after. Today, it is site of
the Herbert Hoover Boys’ Club. A baseball field is at the same
location where the Cardinals and Browns once played.o
FACTS & FIGURES
St. Louis Browns & Cardinals
17,500 (original), 30,611 (final)
May 21, 1881
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ST LOUIS CARDINALS
Bottom of the Ninth at
Busch Stadium Panoramic Poster
2011 World Series Lineup at
Busch Stadium Panoramic Poster