Red Sox: American League East – the old ballparks
By Rick McNair
How did I ever find Memorial Stadium? Somehow I always managed to get to this monstrosity and that is exactly what it was. A decaying circular stadium used for baseball and football. Just look at the Oakland Coliseum to see an example of what use to proliferate in baseball.
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The field itself was horseshoe-shaped and the design of the exterior was a quite common one used for the first half of the 20th century – Greco-Roman style that one can still see today in places such as the Los Angeles Coliseum and even Harvard Stadium. The Memorial Stadium I remember also having a second deck that I understand was a later addition to the park and eventually extended. The seating capacity for baseball had to easily exceed 50,000.
The stadium was bland and the playing field did little to compensate for that. The dimensions were the typical boring equidistant, but even with that flaw was the intriguing short distances to right and left field (309’) for a shot down the line. The power alley’s checked it at 376’ with a fence listed at 14’ – a challenge, but not insurmountable.
My first visit to Memorial was in the late 1960s in the middle of summer. I soon discovered that my box seat was worthless unless I had a strange desire to be roasted like a pig on a grill spit. The interior was also typical of what was happening to many older parks and that was making cosmetic changes that simply hid the multitude of flaws.