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Robison Field

 

Robison Field is the best-known of several names given to a former Major League Baseball park in St. Louis, Missouri. It was the home of the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League from April 27, 1893 until June 6, 1920. Robison Field was home to the St. Louis Browns of the National League from 1893 to 1898 when it was named "New" Sportsman's Park,"the American League St. Louis Browns from 1902 to 1908, the National League St. Louis Perfectos in 1899, and the National League Cardinals from 1900 to June 6, 1920.

 

The ballpark was originally called New Sportsman's Park. It was located at the corner of Natural Bridge Avenue and Vandeventer Avenue, just a few blocks to the northwest of the "Old" Sportsman's Park at Grand and Dodier, which would ultimately outlive the "New" version by several decades.

An amusement park once stood at the edge of left field, as had been the case at the "Old" park. In mid-season 1920 the Cardinals abandoned this ballpark and moved back to Sportsman's Park, which had been rebuilt, owned and occupied by the American League version of the Browns in 1902.

The ballpark became simply League Park under new club owners Frank and Emmet Stanley Robison in 1899, a name it bore through 1910.

 

Until the late 1890s the team was still called the "Browns", as they had been during their heyday in the then-major American Association. Some sources say the team acquired the nickname "Perfectos" in 1899. It was around that time that the team abandoned the brown motif and switched to Cardinal red. Thus, a new and lasting nickname was born.

 

The name of the ballpark was changed to Robison Field by Helene Hathaway Britton, as a memorial to her father Frank Robison and uncle Stanley Robison, when she inherited the team and park from her uncle Stanley on his death in 1911. Brothers Frank and Stanley Robison, also owners of the Cleveland Spiders in 1899, acquired the St Louis Browns before that season. They stripped Cleveland of its best players, including Cy Young, and sent them to St. Louis. If this made the St. Louis club the "Perfectos", it also unfortunately made the Cleveland club the "Wanderers," as they became known when they were forced to play most of that season (their last) on the road.

 

During its last 2 or 3 seasons, after the Robison family was no longer associated with the team, the park was often called simply Cardinal Field. Beaumont High School was built on the site, opening in 1926, which coincidentally was the year of the Cardinals' first modern league and World Series championship.

 

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Tagged:
Ball Parks of Yesterday, Baseball History, Robison Field, St. Louis Cardinals

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