The Pennant Porch

I am not exactly a fan of baseball, truth be told I was hoping that the all star game would end in a tie. It’s strange, I like the history of the game and some of the stadium quirks, like the giant Coke bottle at Pac Bell SBC AT&T Park, but there’s a few things about the game that I don’t enjoy. For the purpose of brevity, I’ll focus on only one of my issues with the sport.

If you go to any NFL stadium, the football field will be 100 yards long. Hockey goals are uniform in size and the NBA 3-point line is the same at every pro arena. Baseball does not have the same eveness and uniformity in its’ parks. Sure, it’s always 90 feet between the bags, but the stadium can be any depth, well, as long as it’s over 325 feet according to a 1958 rule. This brings us to the strange tale of the Kansas City Pennant Porch.

In 1964, Charles Finley, owner of the Kansas City Athletics, overheard a conversation about the New York Yankees’ success being partially due to the small depth (295 feet) of Yankee Stadium’s  right field. So, Finley brought right field wall of K. C. Municipal Stadium in to the 295 mark. The K. C. Pennant Porch as he called it lasted two exhibition games until baseball officials told him it had to be undone because the 1958 rule said that no fence in new or refurbished parks could be closer than 325 feet. Yankee Stadium was allowed to keep its depth because of a grandfather clause. After moving the porch back to 325, the bare minimum, Finley had a white line painted at the sight of Pennant Porch. He also instructed his PA announcer to say “That would have been a home run in Yankee Stadium” whenever a ball was hit passed the line but not over the fence. The PA announcer stopped pointing this out when more would be homers were hit by opponents than the home team.

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About Michael Darling
Collector of the interesting and absurd.

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