It may not look like much today, marked with a simple sign on the outskirts of St. Louis. But more professional baseball was played at this site than anywhere else in the world. It hosted ball games for longer than any other ballpark, and, because St. Louis was home to two major league franchises that shared a field here for decades, the spot has seen the most pro baseball games of any single site.
Originally called the Grand Avenue Ball Grounds and later, Sportsman’s Park, the ballpark was opened as early as 1867. It was first used as an open lot for baseball in the 1860s, and as a result, many different parks have called this place home.
The site hosted the St. Louis Brown Stockings in the American League(later the St. Louis Browns, before the team moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles) and the Cardinals in the National League. For more than a half-century, the city of St. Louis was home to both professional baseball franchises, and they shared Sportsman’s Park for 33 seasons.
The Cardinals played at Sportsman’s Park, later renamed Busch Stadium, until the last game on May 8, 1966. The team moved into the new Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis days later, and Sportsman’s Park was demolished soon after. Today, it is site of the Herbert Hoover Boys’ Club, and a small sign is the only reminder of its long role in America’s favorite pastime.