This baseball trivia quiz has us thinking about ballparks

Baseball stadiums — past and present — are important to the history and fabric of the national pastime

SHARE This baseball trivia quiz has us thinking about ballparks
Wrigley Field

The Chicago Cubs mascot, Clark, cheers on the painters from National Decorating. The famed Wrigley Field Marquee will return to it’s 1930’s colors, mallard green and french quarter gold, thanks to the team’s partnership with Benjamin Moore Paints. The Marquee will be painted to match its mid-1930’s color scheme that followed its installation in 1934.

Sun-Times

I’ve been thinking about ballparks a lot recently. Here’s a question you’ll be glad I didn’t ask: What four major ballparks in which Babe Ruth played remain? Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Koshien Stadium in Kobe, Japan, and Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo. Meiji Jingu Stadium is where Ruth played in 1934 on a barnstorming tour with other U.S. stars that included Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez and Jimmie Foxx. Ruth homered several times before 60,000 fans in games at the stadium, which is still home to the Japanese League champion Yakult Swallows. How many Negro Leagues home parks remain? There are five, and the oldest is also the oldest ballpark in the United States: Rickwood Field, located in Birmingham, Alabama. Rickwood dates to 1910, making it older than Wrigley and Fenway. It was the home of Satchel Paige and Willie Mays. It continues to serve as a playing field for high school and college teams. Good stuff, huh? Today’s quiz probably has a lot of questions (and answers) you might miss. However, I know that you will have fun and learn a lot.

1. On April 29, 1953, Joe Adcock of the Milwaukee Braves became the first player in major-league history to blast a home run into the center-field bleachers at the Polo Grounds. The ball traveled an estimated 475 feet. What three teams at one time or another called the Polo Grounds home?

2. What is the third-oldest ballpark in use in the majors?

a. Wrigley Field c. Dodger Stadium

b. Fenway Park d. Camden Yards

3. On April 29, 1965, New York Mets broadcaster Lindsey Nelson delivered the play-by-play of a game from a gondola hanging 208 feet above second base. The owner called this new ballpark ‘‘the Eighth Wonder of the World.’’ Which ballpark was Nelson broadcasting from?

4. When the Angels were born, where did they initially play their games?

a. Dodger Stadium

b. Angel Stadium of Anaheim

c. Wrigley Field

d. The Rose Bowl

5. Which of the following items could you NOT find in the original Comiskey Park in Chicago (replaced in 1991)?

a. An exploding scoreboard

b. A shower in the bleachers to cool off fans

c. A clock resembling a deep-dish pizza

d. Andy the Clown

6. In which stadium can you find a 346-room hotel beyond the right-field wall?

a. Minute Maid Park c. Chase Field

b. Rogers Centre d. Camden Yards

7. Which Chicago team has drawn the most fans to their ballpark in a season?

a. The White Sox b. The Cubs

8. We all know Wrigley Field was the last ballpark to install lights. However, which American League ballpark was the last to install lights?

a. Yankee Stadium

b. Municipal Stadium (Cleveland)

c. Tiger Stadium

d. Fenway Park

9. Here’s our walk-off question: In 1960, Bill Mazeroski’s ninth-inning homer in Game 7 won his team the World Series. The ball flew over the ivy-covered wall in what ballpark?

a. Shibe Park c. Forbes Field

b. Wrigley Field d. Greenberg Gardens

The great Bill Veeck said, ‘‘The most beautiful thing in the world is a ballpark filled with people.’’ See you next week.

ANSWERS

1. The Polo Grounds was primarily the home field of the New York Giants. However, it was also the home field of the New York Yankees in 1913-22 and of the expansion New York Mets in their first two seasons (1962-63). 2. The third-oldest park is Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962. 3. The Houston Astrodome. The Mets decided that Lindsey Nelson should broadcast the game from a gondola suspended from the roof. Before the game, Nelson and a radio engineer were hoisted in the gondola up toward the ceiling. As the game was about to begin, Casey Stengel, the manager of the Mets, turned to the umpiring crew and said, ‘‘What about my man up there?’’ Tom Gorman, the crew chief, decided that because any ball that hit the dome was in play, any ball that hit Nelson also should be in play. Stengel was pleased. ‘‘Well, that’s the first time my man was ever a ground rule.’’

4. Angel Stadium of Anaheim is where the team plays now. In their first season, the Angels played their home games at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. They moved to Dodger Stadium in 1962 and played there until 1965. Wrigley Field was a ballpark in Los Angeles that hosted minor-league baseball teams for more than 30 years. It was the home park for the minor-league Los Angeles Angels during their run in the Pacific Coast League. The L.A. version of Wrigley was designed by Zachary Taylor Davis, who previously had designed both Chicago ballparks: Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field. 5. There was no clock that looked like deep-dish pizza. 6. The Renaissance Toronto Hotel at Rogers Centre is the only hotel in the world situated within a domed stadium. Seventy of the 346 rooms overlook the field.

7. In 2006 — the year after their World Series title — the White Sox drew 2,957,414 fabulous fans. The Cubs reached their high — and Chicago’s — in 2008, drawing 3,300,200 fans to the Friendly Confines. 8. In 1948, 13 years after Cincinnati’s Crosley Field hosted the first night game in the majors, the Detroit Tigers finally installed lights at Briggs Stadium. Former Tigers owner Walter O. Briggs had said, ‘‘Baseball belongs to the sun and the sun to baseball.’’ 9. From 1909 until June 28, 1970, Bill Mazeroski’s Pirates played at Forbes Field. It was also the Steelers’ home for three decades. Just to let you know, no no-hitter ever was thrown at Forbes Field.

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