BAHS Home | Photo Collection | Neighborhoods
Braves Field

1916 Map of Braves Field off Commonwealth Ave.  Now the site of Boston University's Nickerson Field

Braves Field was the home of baseball's National League's Boston Braves from 1915 to 1952.  Braves owner, James Gaffney abandoned the former ballpark in Boston's South End Grounds and in 1915 for $600,000 built Braves Field on the old Allston Golf Club <click here for more info>.  Braves Field was the last and largest of the first wave of concrete-and-steel ballparks built between 1909 and 1915 and seated 40,000 fans.  It was also known as The Bee Hive (or National League Park, formally) from 1936–1941, a period during which the owners changed the nickname of the team to the Boston Bees.   

The Red Sox played the 1915 and 1916 World Series at Braves Field since the seating capacity was larger than Fenway Park.  The Braves lost to the Cleveland Indians in the 1948 World Series.  The 1936 All Star game was played at Braves Field.  

In 1916, the distance to center field was 550 feet, while the distance to the foul poles were 402 feet to left and 375 feet to right.  The dimensions all but eliminated conventional home runs.  The only home runs hit here before 1925 were inside-the-park jobs.  After the advent of the lively ball, baseball became a game of over-the-fence home runs, and in 1928 the fences were moved in and subsequently tweaked for years thereafter.   

On May 1, 1920, the Braves played the Brooklyn Dodgers in a 26 inning game, the longest game in baseball history.  Casey Stengel managed the Braves from 1938 to 1943.  In 1935 the Boston Braves acquired Babe Ruth.  After playing mediocre baseball and realizing that his hopes for managing the Braves would not happen, Babe retired from baseball on June 2 after playing his last game at Braves Field.  

In 1948, there was hope in Boston of a streetcar series between the Red Sox and the Braves, but the Red Sox, tied with Cleveland at the end of the regular season, lost to the Indians in a one-game playoff at Fenway. The Braves made it to the World Series but lost to Cleveland, four games to two.

After years of declining attendance, the last game at Braves Field was played on Sept 21, 1952, an 8-2 loss to Brooklyn before only 8,822 fans.  The Braves moved to Milwaukee and then onto Atlanta.  Boston University bought the property on July 30, 1952 for $430,000 and converted it to Nickerson Field.  The newly formed Boston Patriots played football at Nickerson field from 1960 to 1962.  

Braves Field.  Note the Commonwealth National Guard Armory in the background and the Charles River to the left

Fans leaving Braves Field on Gaffney Street

The Boston Public Library has many pictures on Braves Field and the Boston Braves. <click here> to view them.

BAHS Home | Photo Collection