Once upon a time the pro baseball and football teams in towns shared the same buildings.
Football teams played only 10 home games while baseball teams played 77 home games – so NFL teams were essentially playing in stadiums built for baseball. Lots of bad seats with bad site lines.
But there was a nostalgic vent to those old ballparks – Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Briggs Stadium…
We asked out Talk of Fame Network listeners and readers in last week’s poll to identify the best of the old ballparks for football – and RFK Stadium ran away with the vote. The home of baseball’s Senators and football’s Redskins received a whopping 70.2 percent of the vote to easily outdistance Detroit’s Briggs Stadium at eight percent.
Boston’s Fenway Park was next at 6.7 percent, and all other ballparks — Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, The Met in Minnesota, Municipal in Cleveland, Wrigley and Yankee — received scant support.
The three hosts of the Talk of Fame Network went in three different directions, with Ron Borges voting the Oakland Coliseum, Clark Judge Memorial Stadium and Rick Gosselin Briggs Stadium.
“RFK Stadium stunk,” Borges said. “I froze my ass off there many times in the open press box. Give me the OLD Oakland Coliseum where the dirt infield was in play, and Cliff Branch could run defenders into a wall at the edge of one end zone.”
Judge, who has a picture of Johnny Unitas in his home office, saw all others a distant second to his favorite.
“There’s no place I’d rather be on a Sunday than `The World’s Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum,’” Judge said. “The fans were crazy for their team, and for good reason — Unitas ran it.”
Gosselin, who has a picture of Briggs Stadium in his home office, voted his hometown stadium.
“I spent many a Sunday afternoon at Briggs Stadium, both in baseball and football season,” Gosselin said. “The old barn had character. Borges and Judge don’t know what they’re missing.”