1927 | PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – A section of the stands at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl collapsed on this date in 1927 causing a stampede which killed a fan and injured more than 50. The 50-foot section of the lower deck seats down the first base line gave way during a Philadelphia Phillies – St. Louis Cardinals game throwing some 300 fans out of their seats.
According to newspaper reports at the time, “The collapse threw the crowd into a panic and it swarmed on the field…” (The Charleston Gazette, West Virginia). The game was suspended with the Phillies ahead 12-3.
The ball park was officially named National League Park, but gained its moniker Baker Bowl or Baker Field as a reference to one-time owner William F. Baker.
“The collapse threw the crowd into a panic and it swarmed on the field…”
Since the ball park had to be squeezed into Philadelphia’s street grid there were some interesting dimensions. For example, the right field foul pole was just 275 feet from home plate. Right center was only 300 feet away. These softball-like distances required the erection of a wall 60 feet high in right field. By comparison, the “Green Monster” in Boston is 37 feet high.
The Pinstripe Press
The Baker Bowl
1938 | ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – The St. Louis Cardinals announced the signing of two-time All-American quarterback Sammy Baugh on this date in 1938. And, no, not the football Cardinals – they were still in Chicago –, the baseball Cardinals. Baugh had just graduated from Texas Christian University where he was an innovative quarterback who relied heavily on a seldom used offensive weapon – the forward pass. He earned the nickname Slingin Sammy.
Baugh also played third base for the Texas Christian baseball team. In fact, he was initially recruited for baseball. That was the sport he wanted to pursue. After signing with the Cardinals to play baseball Baugh was sent to the minor leagues. He didn’t excel as well in the minors as he hoped and never played a major league baseball game.
Baugh played sixteen years in the National Football League, eventually being elected to the NFL Hall of Fame.
Here are other noteworthy athletes who played more than one professional sport:
John Elway – New York Yankees/Denver Broncos
Danny Ainge – Toronto Blue Jays/Boston Celtics
Dave DeBusschere – Chicago White Sox/New York Knicks
Chuck Connors – Chicago Cubs/Boston Celtics (star of the TV show, The Rifleman)
Deion Sanders – Several NFL teams/several MLB teams
Herbert Perry – Florida Gators quarterback/MLB infielder for 7 different teams
United Press (UP), February 23, 1938, St. Louis Missouri