Thursday, May 08, 2008
Dale, a co-worker who originally hails from the Bronx, is keeping me apprised of the progress on the new Yankee Stadium. She returned from the most recent visit to her old haunts with Part One of a Sunday series the Daily News is running on The House That Ruth Built. I’m getting more and more tempted to shell out the big bucks it’s going to take to secure seats to the final game on September 21st. Of course that then merits another consideration. If I go to the wake doesn’t that then obligate me to attend a christening next spring when the new park opens. Ah, the complexities that life presents to us; complexities that make us poorer for the experience.
I was looking at page five of the supplement and read this interesting little tidbit.
When the White Construction Co. finished its work in the Bronx in early 1923, it hadn’t merely built the biggest ballpark in the country, it had built the funkiest right-field wall in the annals of the game, one that caused injuries and mayhem. It was aptly called “The Bloody Angle.”
Named after a Civil War battlefield in Spotsylvania, Va., “The Bloody Angle” of the wooden right field fence jutted out 12 feet into fair territory, perpendicular to the right-field foul line…Then the 12-foot-high fence ran straight back to the wall.
The result was a triangular crapshoot for rightfielders in front of a fence that was just 257 feet from home plate…
The Bloody Angle was eliminated prior to the 1924 season…By then it had caused a season’s worth of agita for unsuspecting outfielders, and just as many bizarre caroms as balls would hit it and ricochet back toward the infield.
That someone saw fit to tie the New York Yankees to the Civil War got me to thinking about whether there were other connections. Afterall, it’s probable that some veterans and possibly a few who saw action at Spotsylvania actually attended games, cheering as the Babe stepped to the plate. With a little investigation I found one additional connection (no, not the name “Yankees"), which you can see for yourself by following this link. And, no, contrary to rumors circulating on the Internet, John Wilkes Booth did not survive Garrett’s Farm and sing the National Anthem on Opening Day in 1923.