Meiklejohn Stadium

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Meiklejohn Stadium
Former names Murphy Field (2000-2006)
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
Coordinates 39°56′37″N 75°11′38″W / 39.9437°N 75.1938°W / 39.9437; -75.1938Coordinates: 39°56′37″N 75°11′38″W / 39.9437°N 75.1938°W / 39.9437; -75.1938
Owner University of Pennsylvania
Capacity 850
Field size

Left - 330 ft.
Center - 380 ft.

Right - 330 ft.[1]
Surface Grass
Construction
Built 1999
Opened March 23, 2000
Construction cost USD $2,000,000
Tenants
Pennsylvania Quakers (Ivy League) (2000-present)

Meiklejohn Stadium is a ballpark in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is on the University of Pennsylvania campus and is the home field for the University of Pennsylvania Quakers varsity baseball team.

The field is about half a mile south-southeast of Franklin Field, along the eastern edge of the university's campus, along the Schuylkill River. The ballpark is tucked away near the intersection of the Schuylkill Expressway and University Avenue. The CSX railroad tracks run behind home plate and are still in use. I-76 (the Schuylkill Expressway) runs parallel to the outfield wall with exit 41 visible from home plate. The right field foul line is kept tight by a large power plant that has two rising cooling tanks and a fence around its perimeter.[2] River Field Drive, which fronts the railroad tracks to the nort, is so close that there are only a couple of rows of seats available on the third base side.

When it opened, the dimensions were reported to be 289 feet to the left field foul pole, 317 feet to the right field foul pole, and 385 feet to dead center field. The first game was played on March 23, 2000, against St. Joseph's University;[3] Penn beat St. Joe's 13-12.[4] The ballpark does not have lights, so all games are played during the day.

The stadium opened in 2000 and was originally called Murphy Field after the athletic fields on which the ballpark was built. The university referred it to as "Penn Stadium at Murphy Field" in Athletic Department publications.[5] These fields were named for Mike Murphy, an early Penn track coach (1896-1901 and 1905-1913) who won eight intercollegiate track championships at Penn.[6] It was renamed Meiklejohn Stadium in 2006 to honor Penn-donor William Meiklejohn, a 1942 graduate of the Wharton school and his wife, Louise. Their contributions to the University included $10 million in 2005 to help renovate the baseball field including the addition of a new scoreboard. The field was officially renamed on April 1, 2006, prior to a double-header against Brown University.[7]

Predecessors[edit]

From at least 1875 through the first few games of 1895, the team staged its home games at Penn's multi-purpose athletic grounds, aka University Grounds.[1][2] The field was on the block southeast of the 37th and Spruce intersection, a few blocks west of the eventual site of Franklin Field.[3] That site is now occupied by dormitories and a quadrangle. This is a photo of the baseball field.

Franklin Field served as Penn's home baseball field starting on April 22, 1895. Records show that the Penn varsity baseball team played at Franklin Field from 1895[8] until at least 1924[9] if not later. The diamond was tucked into the south corner, with left and center fields spacious and right field very close, possibly less than 250 feet. This is a photo of baseball at Franklin Field.

River Field, another campus multi-sports facility, opened a baseball diamond in 1940, allowing the baseball team to vacate Franklin Field.[Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb 14, 1940]

Bower Field, which opened in May of 1979, was Penn baseball's home field immediately prior to Meiklejohn. It was known to be a pitchers' ballpark. Bower was 330 feet down the line in left field, 340 feet down the line to right, 410 feet to dead-center, and had a 25-foot high fence extending from left-center to right-center.[10] The field site, across the railroad tracks east-southeast of Franklin Field, is now occupied by the Hamlin Tennis Center.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meiklejohn Stadium". University of Pennsylvania. 2004-07-01. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  2. ^ "Murphy field keeps dream alive for Temple baseball". The Temple News. 2000-04-20. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  3. ^ Kelly, Ryan (2000-03-09). "Taking to the field: Baseball welcomes the opening of Penn's new stadium at Murphy Field". The Daily Pennsylvanian. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  4. ^ Nagle, Jay (2000-03-24). "Quakers break in new park". Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  5. ^ "University of Pennsylvania: Athletic Facilities" (PDF). Ivy League Sports. 2003–2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 23, 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  6. ^ D.L. Reeves (sporting editor, Philadelphia Public Ledger) (1913-06-22). "Michael C. Murphy As Known By An Intimate Acquaintance". Anaconda Standard. 
  7. ^ Bernstein, David (2006-03-31). "Field to be renamed at ceremony tomorrow". The Daily Pennsylvanian. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  8. ^ Woods, Michael T. (August 2005). "Penn Baseball in the 1800s: 1895 Varsity Team". University of Pennsylvania: University Archives. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  9. ^ "PENN BEATS YALE IN STRAW HAT GAME; Ten Thousand Baseball Fans, Many in Summer Head Dress, See Favorites Win, 8-5.". New York Times. 1924-05-24. pp. S2. Retrieved 2009-04-17. 
  10. ^ Hynd, Noel (March 1999). "The Boys of Spring: Don't miss this year's baseball team". The Pennsylvania Gazette. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 

External links[edit]