Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium

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For the football (soccer) stadium, see Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium
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Former names Manila Carnival Grounds
Location P. Ocampo St. corner Adriatico St., Malate, Manila, Philippines
Owner Philippine Sports Commission
Operator Philippine Sports Commission
Capacity 10,000
Field size
  • Left field: 313 feet (95 m)
  • Left center: 349 feet (106 m)
  • Center field: 385 feet (117 m)
  • Right center: 344 feet (105 m)
  • Right field: 303 feet (92 m)[1]
Opened 1934
Tenants
Philippines national baseball team
Baseball Philippines
UAAP Collegiate Baseball

The Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium is a baseball stadium located inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, Philippines. It has a seating capacity of 10,000.

Historical Background[edit]

1934 Far Eastern Championship Games[edit]

The score board at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The Far Eastern Championship Games (also known as Far East Games) was a small Asian multi-sport competition considered to be a precursor to the Asian Games. In 1912, E.S. Brown, president of the Philippine Athletic Association and Manila Carnival Games, proposed the creation of the "Far Eastern Olympic Games" to China and Japan. It was at that time that Governor-General William Cameron Forbes was the president of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Association from 1911-1913. Governor-General Forbes formed the Far Eastern Olympic Association. [2]

Babe Ruth made the second home run during the 1934 Far Eastern Championship Games.

The first Far Eastern Championship Games was held in the Manila Carnival Grounds in Malate, Manila, Philippines on February 4, 1913. Forbes was also the one who formally declared the games open. Six countries participated in the eight-day event: The Philippine Islands, Republic of China, Empire of Japan, British East Indies (Malaysia), Kingdom of Thailand and British crown colony Hong Kong. The Philippine Islands hosted the games two more time in 1925 and 1934.

The Manila Carnival Grounds was then changed into Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in 1934 in honor of the country's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, before the 10th Far Eastern Games. Baseball was a main event in every Far Eastern Games and, in that year, the games were played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium where legendary players Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth hit the first and second home runs, respectively. The game that saw the participation of an All-star team, which included Gehrig, Ruth and Jimmy Foxx, was one of the highlights of the stadium’s history.[1]

World War II Japan retreats in Battle of Manila[edit]

The assault of US Forces against the Japanese Imperial Army during the World War II at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

In February 1945, the Japanese forces built a defensive stronghold in their retreat against the advancing American infantry. The stronghold was built in the Harrison area, which included De La Salle University and the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium. The 1st Cavalry Division of the Americans defeated the Japanese by utilizing three tanks, demolitions, and flamethrowers. The Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium suffered devastation due to the war.[3]

1954 Asian Baseball Championship[edit]

Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium's Pit Bull.

The stadium was badly damaged after the war but in 1953, it was reconstructed in preparation for the 1954 Asian Baseball Championship where Manila played as host. The year 1954 is considered as the beginning of the golden era in Philippine baseball history as the Philippines won first place in the Asian Baseball Championships. The Philippines was the inaugural champions of the Asian Baseball Championships in 1954 but finished fourth in seven of the next eight editions of the biennial events. [4]

Art Deco Architecture[edit]

The Art Deco design of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex shows round edges.

The Rizal Memorial Stadium is considered to be an art deco architectural design that incorporated streamlines and simpler lines, flat surfaces and rounded edges. The design represented stability and modernity.[5] The complex, built under the supervision of architect Juan Arellano, started construction in 1927. [6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About the Philippines". NSWJBL Touring Team Programme. NSW Junior Baseball League. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Far Eastern Championship Games". Olympic Council of Asia. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Dr. Thomas M. Huber. "The Battle of Manila". The Battle of Manila Scrapbook. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Gabriel Fidler. "Philippines Preparing for Baseball Rennaisance". Baseball Stitch Ring. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "National Commission for Culture and the Arts". NCCA. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Manila Bulletin. "Rizal Memorial Declared Historical Landmark". Yahoo News Philippines. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 14°33′42″N 120°59′34″E / 14.56167°N 120.99278°E / 14.56167; 120.99278