This day in baseball: Baseball becomes business

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Union Grounds, a ballpark located in Brooklyn, New York, hosted its first contest on May 15, 1862.  Enclosed entirely by a fence, Union Grounds became the first ballpark to charge admission to watch the game.  Non-paying spectators, meanwhile, could watch the game from embankments outside of the grounds (although, I imagine the view wasn’t as good).  The Brooklyn Eagle described the ballpark:

The buildings occupied last winter are left standing, used pretty much for the same purposes as them.[sic] Near these a long wooden shed has been erected, capable of accommodating several hundred persons, and benches provided for the convenience of the fair sex… Several acres more have been added to the enclosure, which is fenced in with a board fence six or seven feet in height. On the southeast corner a large and commodious club house has been erected, containing accommodations for three clubs. The field is now almost a perfect level, covering at least some six acres of ground, all of which is well drained, rolled, and in a few weeks will be in splendid condition… Several flagstaffs have been put up, from which floated the banners of the clubs o’er shadowed by the nations’ ensign.

4 thoughts on “This day in baseball: Baseball becomes business

  1. and over 150 years later, an audio play by play subscription to is stil only 19.99 for the entire season…plus an internet connection. The MLB is my favorite monopoly.

    1. And if you want to *watch* your home team, it’s a bit more, but keep in mind that there are blackout restrictions — which is fairly annoying if you don’t happen to have cable TV. Ah, yes… gotta love it.

      1. I’m spoiled in canada. there are no restrictions because there are no teams except for the Jays and all those games are on tv.

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