Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Stamps revisit baseball's classic fields

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Crosley Field delivered the first Major League Baseball game ever played at night.

        Now the classic Cincinnati Reds ballpark that used to stand at the corner of Findlay and Western avenues in the West End will deliver ... the mail.

[photo] Crosley Field is among the ballparks on stamps in a new commemorative series due out Thursday.
(U.S. Postal Service)
        Crosley is one of 11 old ballparks commemorated by the U.S. Postal Service on a new set of stamps called “Baseball's Legendary Playing Fields.” The stamps become available in the Tristate Thursday.

        Other ballparks in the collection include Brooklyn's Ebbets Field, Pittsburgh's Forbes Field, New York's Polo Grounds, Philadelphia's Shibe Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field and the original Comiskey Park.

        Retired Red Chuck Harmon played in most of them.

        Mr. Harmon, 77, of Golf Manor, said the first time he saw the inside of those parks was when he played in them.

        “It would just feel like a ball game until between innings, and I'd look up and then the shivers would start,” Mr. Harmon said. “Then the batter would step up and I'd be back in the game.”

        Phil Jordan, an art director for the Postal Service, said the pictures of each ballpark are taken from antique postcards. Mr. Jordan said Crosley Field helped dictate the rest of the collection.

        “I knew I wanted a night shot of Crosley, so it kind of dictated the whole sheet,” Mr. Jordan said, adding that he chose one other night shot — of Fenway Park — because it had the best view of the left field wall known as the “Green Monster.”

        Mr. Harmon said he understands the fascination with old ballparks.

        “People always talk about the good old days, whether they were good or not,” Mr. Harmon said. “But those ballparks were special places.”


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- Stamps revisit baseball's classic fields
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