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Monday, November 13, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - Philadelphia Phillies

Part 7: Philadelphia Phillies

And so we resume. We’re back in the National League East, visiting one of the oldest franchises in the sport.
Citizens Bank has been the sole title sponsor of the Phils’ home park since its opening in 2004. I never hear much about this one, so I’m guessing it’s just a generic new-style park, an improvement on the Vet but somewhat indistinguishable from the other parks of its era.

The Vet, of course, was almost entirely indistinguishable from many of the digs of fellow original NL franchises – the Pirates’ Three Rivers on the other side of the state, the Reds’ Riverfront along the Ohio River and the Cards in Busch 1.0. The most identifiable characteristic of Vet was its turf, a surface employed to cut diamonds in the offseason.

The Phillies have a long history, though most of it is pretty pathetic. But it’s in Philly, so finding a nice replacement name should be simple. On the other hand, the club has called Philadelphia home and itself the Phillies longer than any other North American sports franchise, so resistance to change runs deep.

We can subtitle this one The Gang Renames a Stadium.

Ballpark History
Built: 2004
Capacity: 43,651
Name: Citizen’s Bank Park 2004-present. 
Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Veteran’s Stadium, 1971-2003; Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium* 1938-1970; Baker Bowl/National League Park/Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds 1887-1938; Recreation Park 1883-1886.
Distinctive Features:Ashburn Alley, a pathway named in honor of Phils’ great and former broadcaster Richie Ashburn; a view of the downtown skyline; statues of Ashburn and other all-time Phils Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt and Robin Roberts; Home Team Success.

Ballpark Highlights:
In 2007, St. Louis handed the Phils a 10-2 loss, marking the 10,000th loss in franchise history. The setback made the Phillies the first pro sports team to reach quintuple digits in Ls.

In happier home team news, on the season’s final day the Phils knocked off the Washington Nationals 6-1. Coupled with a Mets loss moments earlier, it capped off a furious late-season charge to the division title, helping dim memories of their own collapse 43 years earlier.

Two days after the first pitch was thrown, Brad Lidge struck out World Series fixture Eric Hinske to wrap up the club’s second World Series title. The game had been suspended by rain two nights earlier in the top of the sixth with the score tied 2-2, though the Rays had entered the inning trailing 2-1. In the wake of the suspension, Bud Selig determined that postseason contests could not be stopped before nine innings had been played, an entirely sensible determination.

In 2010, in his first playoff appearance in his 13th big league season, Roy Halladay (RIP Doc) became the second pitcher to throw a postseason no-hitter when he blanked the Reds 4-0, fanning eight and walking just one. Earlier in the season, the future Hall of Famer tossed a perfect game in Miami.

* Shibe Park opened in 1909, though it was used exclusively by the Athletics until the clubs began a time-share arrangement from 1938-54.


TBtB Selections To Date:


San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park


Washington Nationals - Nationals Park

Tampa Bay Rays - Suncoast Dome

 

SoSH U at work Posted: November 13, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies, stadium names

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. SoSH U at work Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5574922)
Nominations are now open for the Phils.
   2. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:28 AM (#5574925)
Franklin Fie -- oh, wait.

Delaware River Park? Schuylkill Park? Liberty Bell Park? Founders Field?

These all suck. Name your field something else, Penn.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5574928)
Declaration Field.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:39 AM (#5574945)
Distinctive Features:
Secret tunnel to the Holiday Inn.
   5. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:46 AM (#5574955)
I have a list of discards -- i.e., literally every name I thought of during the past month -- ranging from the merely uninspired (Independence Park) to the bad and jokey (Preamble Park, Self-Evident Truths Stadium) that included Declaration Field. So, uh, I guess that one can't be all bad?
   6. BDC Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5574963)
I'd revive "Baker Bowl," or call the whole place "Ashburn Alley."

It would be nice if it could be named after its neighborhood, but "Arbitrarily Located Spread of Concrete Stadium" isn't very catchy.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5574984)
Only Slightly More Expensive Than Ryan Howard Field?
   8. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5574992)
yous jawnplace
   9. Baldrick Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5574999)
I could not have told you the current name of this park if you gave me 1000 guesses. I could, however, easily call to mind Veteran's Park, Shibe Park, and the Baker Bowl.

I continue to strongly resist naming parks after features of the park (i.e. - Ashburn Alley) and naming them after former players (i.e. - Ashburn Alley). So I'm probably not going to be voting for Ashburn Alley.
   10. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5575005)
The Wudder Park
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:46 AM (#5575023)
Boo Santa Stadium
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5575029)
The Vomitorium.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5575034)
Does "Ashburn Alley" refer to something real? Or was it coined this morning?
   14. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: November 13, 2017 at 12:45 PM (#5575089)
Ashburn Alley is the name of the outfield concourse.
   15. villageidiom Posted: November 13, 2017 at 12:57 PM (#5575106)
Phanatic Pfield.

EDIT: Seriously, if ever you were to pick a place to call Fanatic Field, this would seem to be the place. Phillies fans are notorious, and the mascot is named the Phanatic. I'll seriously suggest Fanatic Field, but I'd be OK with the more silly version I started with.
   16. QLE Posted: November 13, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5575155)
The obvious name, in my mind, is to honor a recently-deceased native son of Philadelphia, one who worked concessions as a young man at Shibe, one who made an effort to buy the team the last time they were for sale, and one whose life and career, in its many attributes, entirely fits the dignity, grace, and history of the Phillies, and in many respects is exactly what the city of Philadelphia and its sports fans deserve:

The Chuck Barris Memorial Stadium
   17. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 13, 2017 at 01:51 PM (#5575195)
The Chuck Barris Memorial Stadium


And if you believe he was a hit man like he said, there was plenty of that action in the 70s and 80s, so yeah, it fits. And the man was a hustler of first rank, and that's in the spirit of Philadelphia as well.

Seriously, Independence Stadium would be my choice. Can't use Independence Park, since that's the area around Independence Hall.

Boo Santa Stadium


That was football and 49 years ago and counting. And it would be Boo Drunk Santa Who Was Pulled Out Of The Stands Stadium because the totally inept Eagles management forgot to plan for it, alongside of forgetting to plan to acquire reasonably talented players. There are plenty of reasons to pan Philadephia fans, but the Santa incident really pales in comparison. Poor Drunk Santa was booed as a proxy for management.
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 13, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5575203)
Poor Drunk Santa was booed as a proxy for management.

And that little girl got barfed on because she symbolized every deal that Ed Wade made for a Proven Veteran Reliever?
   19. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 13, 2017 at 02:47 PM (#5575250)
Nope, did you read the sentence before?
There are plenty of reasons to pan Philadephia fans, but the Santa incident really pales in comparison.
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 13, 2017 at 02:51 PM (#5575259)
Yes, I was just kidding. Although who knows, maybe the fan was drunk enough that a little girl really did look like Ed Wade.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: November 13, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5575292)
Man, Philadelphia sucks, huh?
   22. Batman Posted: November 13, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5575296)
Schmidt Creek
   23. stevegamer Posted: November 13, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5575381)
Philadelphia born & raised, so this is right up my (not Ashburn's nor Elfreth's) Alley.

Citizens Bank Park is the current name. We have a prominent radio DJ who calls it Good Citizens Park, and I've heard Citizens Park used.

Old names:
Veterans Stadium is no longer there, and is frankly a name that it very hard to find fault with, other than the re-use.
None of the other stadiums were in remotely the same area, but Shibe Park, Baker Bowl, Connie Mack Stadium were good names for those venues.
If we were renaming the (insert bank name here) Arena where the Flyers, 76ers, Soul play - it would Spectrum 2 for me, and that would be it for the suggestions. I wouldn't want to use it for a baseball stadium.

Geography:
Neighborhoods nearby are: Navy Yard, Packer Park, and Whitman (kind of close), plus the generic "South Philadelphia". There hasn't been much residential there in over 50 years. The arena area was built on former industrial areas and parkland in large part.

The Delaware River is close by, and the Navy Yard has lots of mothballed ships that would exit to the Schuylkill River. Delaware Park is a horse track in Delaware, so don't want that. Philadelphia Park is a horse track in the Philly suburbs, so don't want that.

The area is a reclaimed island, Greenwich Island, or perhaps multiple with multiple names. League Island is the name of the island that the Navy Yard is on.

To get a look through time, check out this link of maps:

Philadelphia Geographic History


Using famous team figures is sort of tough.
Richie Ashburn is the most iconic Phillie of all time, and he's honored in the name of the pedestrian alley around the outfield. I think it's a great name for a feature.

Second, and perhaps already past him is the Phillie Phanatic. Yes, I'm serious. The Phanatic Park idea above is something I wouldn't have thought of, but it's pretty darn good.


So for my suggestions that are not the current name:

Citizens Park (if you could get this to work with the Bank's sponsorship, it's an awesome win)

New Veterans Stadium or Veterans Stadium 2 - I think I prefer the New.

Phanatic Field works for me. I don't really like the Pfield spelling, though. Park could also work.

League Island Park - this is the name of a park which encompassed the currently existing FDR Park (which was renamed for him) and a park on the the other side of Broad St where Philadelphia Municipal Stadium (later renamed JFK Stadium) was.


   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 13, 2017 at 04:49 PM (#5575401)
Richie Ashburn is the most iconic Phillie of all time,

Seriously? People got that pissed at Schmidt over the Odubel Herrera comment?
   25. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 13, 2017 at 05:38 PM (#5575434)
The Battery bowl

Cheesesteak Center
   26. Swoboda is freedom Posted: November 13, 2017 at 06:15 PM (#5575442)

The Philly Hippodrome.
Brotherly Love Ballpark.
   27. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 13, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5575453)
Ben Franklin Ballpark

Stadium of Brotherly Boos

We Never Heard of Ken Burns Either

Liberty Bell Ballpark

William Penn Pavallian

Frank Rizzo Field



   28. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 13, 2017 at 06:40 PM (#5575455)
Michael Jack Stadium

Independence Field
   29. AndrewJ Posted: November 13, 2017 at 07:05 PM (#5575477)
One of the suggested names for Veterans Stadium was The Philadium...
   30. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 13, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5575492)
Philly Cheese Stadium
   31. Tin Angel Posted: November 13, 2017 at 08:43 PM (#5575578)
Dykstra Park
   32. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 13, 2017 at 08:59 PM (#5575599)
Liberty Park sounds better than Liberty Bell Park to me. I don’t know why.
   33. stevegamer Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:26 PM (#5575679)
Richie Ashburn is the most iconic Phillie of all time,

Seriously? People got that pissed at Schmidt over the Odubel Herrera comment?


Most iconic does not equal greatest.

No, Schmidt actually has never held that tile. By the time Schmidt came up, Ashburn was one of the few Phillies with retired numbers, and had been a color broadcaster with the teams since the early 1960's.

Schmidt was a better player, but wasn't as beloved as Ashburn, who was a product of a gentler time, and a broadcaster of the great teams the Phillies had with Schmidt and without.

One of the suggested names for Veterans Stadium was The Philadium...


The Philadium is the name of a now-shuttered sports bar at roughly 20th & Packer. They had some legal troubles.

Liberty Park sounds better than Liberty Bell Park to me. I don’t know why.


Liberty Bell Park was the name of a Harness Racing track in Philly for a long time, but it's been torn down and replaced with shopping.
   34. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:34 PM (#5575681)
Citizens Bank Park

Because if we can't think of a good title that we really like, then we should seriously consider the actual ball park title.

I ain't generally a fan of corporate sponsored ballparks, but to be a corporate sponsor, you have to have a notable economic footprint in the community. That gives it some credence to being a legit ballpark name.
   35. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:40 PM (#5575686)
Most iconic does not equal greatest.

No, Schmidt actually has never held that tile. By the time Schmidt came up, Ashburn was one of the few Phillies with retired numbers, and had been a color broadcaster with the teams since the early 1960's.

Schmidt was a better player, but wasn't as beloved as Ashburn, who was a product of a gentler time, and a broadcaster of the great teams the Phillies had with Schmidt and without.


The Baker Bowl is a great name, rolls off the tongue. Can't quite figure out ho to make it relevant to modern times. The Richie Bowl. The Ashbowl. The Ashtray? The Howard Bowl would work if Ryan Howard were as great as people thought he was. Chase Field would work if Utley were a) A little bit better, and b) a lot more recognized.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:51 PM (#5575695)
Chase Field would work if Utley were a) A little bit better, and b) a lot more recognized.


And C) a member of the Diamondbacks.

   37. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 14, 2017 at 12:16 AM (#5575708)
Given the Phillies' uniquely sorry history**, the most appropriate name for their ballpark would probably be Mulcahy Field.

** 25th out of 30 teams in all time W-L%; 16th out of the 16 pre-expansion franchises; 34 last place finishes; a stretch of 30 losing seasons in 31 years; waited 97 years for first World Championship; Major League record for most consecutive games lost; last NL team to integrate; etc., etc.
   38. Rusty Priske Posted: November 14, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5576000)
Liberty Field
   39. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 14, 2017 at 01:46 PM (#5576020)
Dykstra Park

No, no, the goal is to come up with names that don't change all the time because of bankruptcies.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: November 14, 2017 at 02:02 PM (#5576043)
So for my suggestions that are not the current name:

Citizens Park
I like this. It has continuity with reality, but could potentially survive the future corporate name change.
   41. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 14, 2017 at 06:18 PM (#5576291)
Citizens Bank Park

Because if we can't think of a good title that we really like, then we should seriously consider the actual ball park title.

I ain't generally a fan of corporate sponsored ballparks, but to be a corporate sponsor, you have to have a notable economic footprint in the community. That gives it some credence to being a legit ballpark name.


Citizens Financial Group, the parent company, is headquartered in Rhode Island. There are plenty of CB branches around Philadelphia, but I wouldn't say that Citizens Financial has a large footprint in the area. PNC has a big office in center city, but one stadium in Pennsylvania is probably enough for them. I believe TD has an office in Philadelphia as well but they already have the Boston Garden.

Big footprint or no, I like the sound of Citizens Park. Short and sweet, and works with the historical angle. Plus you could keep the Citizens Bank sponsorship going. Nobody calls the Reds' home the Great American Insurance Conglomerate Ballpark, after all.


Distinctive Features:

Secret tunnel to the Holiday Inn.



Which should now be renamed the Halladay Inn.

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