This Day in Ballpark History: Braves Field site selected

December 1, 1912:

Months after the Red Sox begin play at Fenway Park, Boston Braves owner James Gaffney purchases Allston Golf Club. The site is transformed into Braves Field in 1915. Construction began in March, with the Braves playing a game there five months later!

Did you know?

A postcard of Braves Field, from the Boston Public Library collection.

*The Boston Braves won one World Series (1914.) Their home venue for the series? Fenway Park, which the Red Sox let them use free of charge. The Braves played at South End Grounds from 1871 until August 11, 1914. They were in third place at that time, six games behind the Giants. The Braves reeled off 16 wins on a 22-game road trip, returning to Fenway in a tie for first place. An amazing 21-4 stretch at Fenway followed, resulting in a commanding pennant win.

*The Braves hosted just one World Series at Braves Field, in 1948...however:

The first gameday at Braves Field, which was innovative in public transportation - a streetcar stop was incorporated. (Photo - Electric Railway Journal)

*The Red Sox opted to use a larger venue in place of Fenway, playing World Series games at Braves Field in 1915 and 1916. The Red Sox won both years, with 1916's clinching game at Braves Field. 21-year old Babe Ruth won Game 2 of the 1916 series in front of 47,373, pitching all 14 innings in a 2-1 triumph.

*Braves Field's capacity of 40,000 was the largest in baseball upon opening.

*Braves Field hosted the longest game in Major League history, a 26-inning, 1-1 tie between Boston and Brooklyn in 1920. Both starting pitchers went the distance! While long on innings, the game took only three hours and 50 before being called due to darkness.

Seating from Braves Field is used as part of Nickerson Field at Boston University.

*Gaffney's plan included an expansive outfield, with the original center field wall 550 feet from home plate. Right and left field walls were 402 feet away. No player homered out of the park until 1917, and the Giants' Frank Snyder was the first to homer to left field in 1925, nearly a decade after Braves Field opened. Fences were moved in multiple times.

*Brooklyn's Roy Campanella homered in the final game at Braves Field, an 8-2 Dodgers win on September 21, 1952.

*Most of Braves Field was demolished in the 1950s to make room for dorms at Boston University. Right field seating from Braves Field remains intact as part of Boston University's Nickerson Field. BU's lacrosse and soccer teams play there, and Nickerson hosted football until 1997.

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