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Boston Architectural Photos

  • 28 Roslin Street
    Photos of Boston buildings and neighborhoods. Click any photo to enlarge.

First Parish Church in Dorchester Steeple Removal

  • Airborne1
    Photos of the removal of the steeple lantern at First Parish Church in Dorchester, 24 November 2006

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JK.

Fascinating about the Congress St. Grounds. The link to the pdf at SABR is broken, so I'm hoping you could say a little more about the 1894 season -- how many games did the Beaneaters play on Congress St.? 1894 was the most insane year ever for offensive statistics -- Boston's Hugh Duffy set an all time record of .438 (or .442, depending on your source), and the team as a whole hit something like .340. Granted, the whole league hit above .300 that year, so offense was up everywhere. But I wonder how much of an impact Congress St. had on Boston's performance that year. Thanks.

alan e. foulds

First a disclaimer: I am author of "Boston's Ballparks and Arenas" (Feb. 2005, University Press of New England).

The Beaneaters played at the Congress St. Grounds for 12 weeks, while a new (3rd overall) version of the South Ends Grounds was built. On opening day at the temporary field the park was in very poor shape. It had gone unused for two full seasons and even the seating was gone. Following the first game, John Haggerty, the groundskeeper was able to make the place somewhat serviceable. By September The South End Grounds were re-opened as a smaller version of the previous structure. Insurance money was not sufficient to cover the loss.

The Congress Street field was initially built by the "Boston Baseball Club" of the Players League, which operated for only one year (1890). Boston won the only pennant. The next year, team owner secured a franchise in the American Association. The NL and AA were part of a national agreement, which gave Boston's National League team a certain amount of say in allowing the newcomers to join. The Beaneaters of the NL allowed their entry but demanded that they call themselves something other than just "Boston." To accomodate the restriction they adopted the name "Boston Reds" and proceeded to win the AA pennant.

Percentage-wise they are Boston's most successful team - two seasons, two leagues, two championships. The American Association, and its Boston representative, passed from existence following the 1891 season.

The Congress Street Grounds disappeared sometime before 1899. Boston Wharf Company, owners of the property, built mercantile structures there by 1901 and they still stand today in the Thomson and Stillings St. block. on Congress St.

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