Sunday, May 18, 2003

Ohio Moments

Reds open at Crosley Field

On May 18, 1912, the Reds played their first Opening Day game at Redland Field in Cincinnati's West End. It would be the home of the Reds for 58 years. Powel Crosley bought the Reds in 1934 and changed the name to Crosley Field.

Four World Series were played at the park - in 1919, 1938, 1940 and 1961. It also was the site of the first night game, an attempt by Crosley to boost attendance during the Great Depression. On May 24, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt turned on the lights with the flick of a switch in the White House.

In January 1937, during the worst flood in Ohio history, Crosley Field was submerged under 21 feet of water. Reds pitchers Gene Schott and Lee Grissom teamed with groundskeeper Marty Schwab to row a boat down Western Avenue and over the centerfield wall.

Perhaps the most famous nonbaseball event at Crosley was a concert by The Beatles in June 1966.

The ballpark closed June 24, 1970, and the home plate was moved to Riverfront Stadium. Crosley Field served as an auto impound lot until it was demolished two years later.

- Rebecca Goodman

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