Philadelphia, PA 19132
Baker Bowl is the best-known popular name of a baseball park that formerly stood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Its formal name, painted on its outer wall, was National League Park. It was also initially known as Philadelphia Park or Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds / Park.
Baker Bowl was located on a small city block bounded by N Broad St, W Huntingdon St, N 15th St, and W Lehigh Ave.
The ballpark was built in 1887. It was constructed by Phillies owners Al Reach and John Rogers. The ballpark cost $80,000 and had a capacity of 12,500. At that time the media praised it as state of the art. In the dead-ball era, the outfield was enclosed by a relatively low wall all around. Centerfield was fairly close, with the railroad tracks running behind it. Later, the tracks were lowered and the field was extended over them. Bleachers were built in leftfield, and various extensions were added to the originally low right field wall, resulting in the famous 60-foot (18 m) fence.
The ballpark's second incarnation opened in 1895. It was notable for having the first cantilevered upper deck in a sports stadium, and was the first ballpark to use steel and brick for the majority of its construction. It also took the rule book literally, as the sweeping curve behind the plate was about 60 feet (18 m), and instead of angling back toward the foul lines, the 60-foot (18 m) wide foul ground extended all the way to the wall in right, and well down the left field line. The spacious foul ground, while not fan-friendly, would have resulted in more foul flyouts than in most parks, and thus was probably the park's one saving grace in the minds of otherwise-frustrated pitchers.