Avenue Grounds

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Avenue Grounds was a baseball field located in Cincinnati, USA. Also known as Brighton Park and Cincinnati Baseball Park,[1] the ground was home to the Cincinnati Reds baseball club from April 25, 1876 to August 27, 1879.[2] The ballpark featured a grandstand that could seat up to 3,000 fans. It was approximately two miles north of the Union Grounds, where the original professional team from the area, the Cincinnati Red Stockings played, and was approximately four miles from the heart of the city,[3] so horse-drawn streetcars and trains were a popular way to travel to the park.[4] The ballpark had first opened in 1875,[1] and would continue to be used for amateur baseball until around 1900. The club played poorly, and actually dropped out of the league before the 1879 season ended. The club revived for 1880, and relocated to the Bank Street Grounds.

Location[edit]

Little is known about this ballpark, as even its location is somewhat contradictory.[5] Contemporary atlases indicate the "Base Ball Grounds" was about two short blocks west of Spring Grove Avenue, bounded on the south by Alabama Avenue, on the west by Mill Creek, on the north by the imaginary line extending from Monmouth Street, and on the immediate east by railroad tracks. It was a couple of blocks north of the stockyards, and was near the Cincinnati Workhouse, which served as the jail.[1]

The Cincinnati Enquirer for July 13, 1875, page 4, reported on the planned new ballpark: "Eight acres (the old Union Grounds contained about four) have been leased north of the Stock Yards and west of the Marietta Railroad, which road will build a station at this point and carry passengers the round trip for fifteen cents. $12,000 will be spent in fitting up the grounds with a seating capacity of seven thousand, and making them the finest in the country in every way." (Local newspapers in the nineteenth century often termed any new ballpark as "the finest in the country.")

Although some sources have stated that the ballpark site became the amusement park called Chester Park, that park was located a couple of miles farther northeast on Spring Grove Avenue, T-d into by Mitchell Avenue. Recently the property near the Avenue Grounds site had been occupied by Hilshire Farms and Kahn's.[1] As of 2016, that site was a vacant lot. The actual site of the ballpark is occupied by railroad yards.

Ballpark facts[edit]

Admission onto to the grounds cost 50 cents, which was lowered to 10 cents after the fifth inning. The ballpark featured such cuisine as hard-boiled eggs, ham sandwiches, and mineral water. Lemon peel-and-water drinks also sold for 10 cents. There was a special section named the "Little Dukes", for those who wanted to sit near the bar. It also has the claim to Fame for holding the first Major League Ladies' Day, in 1876.[1]

References[edit]

  • Benson, Michael. 1989. Baseball Parks of North America. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-89950-367-5.
  • MacDonald, Neil W. 2004. The League That Lasted. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-1755-2.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Erardi, John (March 30, 1998). "The Local 'Nine'". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  2. ^ Healey, Paul (2003-05). "Avenue Grounds". projectballpark.org. Retrieved 2008-09-16.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "REDS BALLPARKS". mlb.com. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  4. ^ MacDonald, p. 181
  5. ^ Benson, p. 98

External links[edit]

Preceded by
-
Home of the Cincinnati Reds (1876–80)
1876 – 1879
Succeeded by
Bank Street Grounds