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Friday, September 01, 2006

Honoring Baseball History in Denver

Although work commitments precluded my attendance I wanted to mention that the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SABR and the Rockies held a ceremony earlier this week on Tuesday to commemorate Denver's baseball history. Led by chapter president Neal Williams and including Jim Burris and the son and grandson of Bob Howsam (who built Bears Stadium back in 1948) they unveiled a plaque near Invesco Field commemorating old Bears Stadium/Mile High Stadium, which housed professional baseball in Denver from 1948 to 1994. There were also representatives from the Rockies at the event including Paul Parker SABR member and Rockies club historian as well as Keli McGregor.

In addition, a home plate was placed in the exact spot that it occupied at the old ballpark. Apparently the home plate was a big hit and was located by local hisorians who worked with the city to obtain old photos and use GPS to pinpoint the spot.

From Thomas Harding's piece on

"Bears Stadium opened in 1948 with 17,000 seats, and it expanded on several occasions -- first to attempt to attract a Major League franchise, with football being added to the list of priorities in later years. The city of Denver bought the park and renamed it Mile High Stadium in 1968.

The Triple-A team was known as the Denver Zephyrs from 1985 to 1992. The Rockies fulfilled Colorado's Major League dreams and played at Mile High, which had grown to more than 76,000 seats, in 1993 and 1994 before moving into Coors Field in 1995."

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