Exposition Park, former home of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh, PA

Along the banks of the Allegheny River baseball has been played at multiple ballparks dating to the 1880s. In 1882 the Pittsburgh Alleghenys were established as members of American Association baseball league where they played at the first Exposition Park. A flood and fire destroyed this ballpark and a new Exposition Park was constructed upriver. The following season they moved to Recreation Park, a 17,000 seat ballpark. In 1890 the Pittsburgh Burghers were formed, joining the Players League. They built a new Exposition Park in an area today between Heinz Field and PNC Park. This ballpark featured a covered wooden grandstand with seating for 16,000 fans. Uncovered bleachers extended down both the first and third base lines. There was also standing room in right field, and additional seating was on top of the covered grandstand. Distances from homeplate to the outfield fences were 400 feet to left and right field and 450 feet to centerfield. After the 1890 season the Burghers folded and the Alleghenys who became the Pirates of the National League moved to Exposition Park the following season. The Pirates played their first game at Exposition Park on April 22, 1891. Because of its location along the banks of the Allegheny River, Exposition Park had the same issues as its predecessors, it flooded. This along with other issues led Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss to construct a new ballpark, Forbes Field. On June 29, 1909 the Pirates played their last game at Exposition Park against Chicago. Exposition Park was later demolished. Despite being the site of the Pirates for less than two decades, the team won three consecutive pennants at Exposition Park and it was the location of the first World Series game in 1903 against Boston. Today, a historical marker and homeplate marks the location of Exposition Park, adjacent to PNC Park, the current home of the Pirates.