July 28, 2014

1938 Cleveland Stadium Proposal

I’m not sure exactly where or when this stadium was purported to show up in time or geographic location, but the picture was taken in 1938.

This elderly gentleman seems taken with the design of what is clearly a venue for baseball only.  It is an interesting design for baseball.  I’m guessing it would have been hitter friendly.  Look how the foul lines are cut off by the seats in right and left.  There would have been two pesky poles in this stadium.  Also notice that there was quite obviously no protection from any elements in this design.  Finally, being 1938, can you spot what is missing?  There are no plans for lights.  I looked it up and the first night game in MLB history took place in 1935, but it was far from an overnight culture change where everyone erected stadium lights.

[CSU Digital Humanities Website - this could chew up your entire afternoon browsing the photos]

  • Anonymous

    I’m a little skeptical about the 1938 date. This photo looks to me like it was taken much later than that. Those chairs in the background don’t have that ’30s look, and the suit looks more 60s-ish.

    But I could be completely wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Also, if you enlarge the photo, the cars ringing the outside of the stadium look more modern and colorful (i.e., non-black) than the stereotypical ’30s cars.

    And maybe the lights are built into the upper ring of the stadium.

  • Anonymous

    Finally, if you blow up the photo even more, you can see that the guy walking around the stadium at approximately the 7 o’clock position has a Kiss tattoo, so I rest my case.

    (Goofing off today instead of working. Thanks for the diversion, Craig.)

  • Harv 21

    agree with MrCleave re wrong pic date, as Muni was already built in approx 1932, and League Park and the stadium were already sharing events. Or maybe it’s the right date and this pic had nothing to do with our pro sports teams.

    I once saw something fascinating re Municipal Stadium’s location: old photos of Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights in the late 1920s or early ’30s where almost every store had the name “Stadium” in it. Apparently, Cleveland Heights was in the running as the stadium’s site, around the location of the Severance Estate (now Severance Center) so the local stores were jumping on that by changing their names. In the 1980s there was still one store left with that name, Stadium Shoe Repair. Interesting to wonder how differently the area might have developed with an olympic-size stadium plopped down in the middle of it.

  • Anonymous

    Wait a minute. Municipal Stadium was already built in 1931, so the developer cannot be overlooking “the future of Cleveland Municipal”  or looking forward to witnessing its
    completion and opening in 1938.

  • Anonymous

    You beat me to it on the date, Harv.

  • Grif_E

    Yeah, there are details that just aren’t right.  But it is listed under “student projects.”  So, these things will happen.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z4NMAQ22NA64SPBCFSRYJDWPKA Aaron

    Where is the dugout and bullpen?

  • Nobody1231234

    Also, is it me, or does this kinda have the look of Dodgers stadium, which was completed I the 50′s ?

  • Anonymous

    This design is pretty odd. Since the horseshoe doesn’t curve inward at the ends, those seats in the third deck of Section 1 and Section 48 must be about a half a mile from home plate.

    And I wonder why someone blacked out the guy’s left hand.

  • Gentry Shane

    This photo is from the 1950s. Perhaps early 60s. Everything in it precludes late 30s.

    The suit the main is wearing. Some of the cars in the parking lot. The chairs in the background. The 4 deck circular design so prevalent in the 50s & 60s.

    Still cool to imagine what it would have been like to have a baseball only stadium in Cleveland that early.

  • Ansoncom

    Nobody could be right. That sure does look like an early design of Dodger Stadium. 

  • Ben

    There was a push in 1968 to get a new stadium. Given the look of the stadium model, it looks similar to Shea, which was only four years old at the time. My guess is late 1960′s.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Mystery solved. Good job, guys.

  • AOK

    Cleveland library lists this photo as 1968 (not 1938).

    This is possibly a Cleveland stadium renovation

  • Walbanger

    I get the impression this wasn’t a Baseball only Stadium. It looks to me to be a similar design to Aloha Stadium where the wing stands are on a swinging hinge system. Thus outfield seats would swing in with the stands pivoting from the dugout position (where the blacklines meet a circle on both stands which may indicate a hinge system on the model) for Football and out for Baseball.

    I don’t know the engineering involved or cost affectiveness making such massive stands fully moveable but Aloha used it for over 30 years as did Denver’s old Mile High Stadium.