Municipal Stadium (Muehlebach Field)
Backstory and Context
In 1869, George Muehlebach bought Main Street Brewery which was at the northwest corner of 18th and Main Street. By 1880, Muehlebach had expanded operations and became the largest brewery in the city. The company invested its profits in developing the stadium, a hotel, and several other commercial ventures until 1956, when the company was acquired by Schlitz.
In 1923, Muehlebach Field was built to be a home for the Kansas City Blues, a minor league American Association team. However, the ballpark did not just serve as the home of the Kansas City Blues. In addition, it also served as the home of the Kansas City Monarchs who were the longest operating franchise in Negro League history.
While housing the Negro League’s longest-running franchise makes Municipal Stadium historically important, the field is even more important in Negro League history because it house four Colored World Series. These four series came in 1925, 1926, 1942, and 1946. During its time, Municipal Stadium featured many hall of famers including some of the Negro League’s greatest pitchers, such as Bullet Rogan, José Méndez, and Hilton Smith. During the entire lifespan of the American Association, the only ever perfect game, which was thrown by Carl de Rose, came in 1947 at Municipal Stadium. In 1955, a major league baseball team, the Philadelphia Athletics, came to the field as well. Their arrival led to renovations that raised rent prices, which then forced the Kansas City Monarchs to leave the stadium after the 1955 season.
1960 was a big year for Municipal Stadium as it hosted both the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the final Negro Leagues East-West Game. However, the year 1960 was the last big year for Municipal Stadium, though it did remain the home of the Kansas City Athletics until their move to Oakland, California in 1968. Consequently, 1968 became the first year in its history that Municipal Stadium didn’t feature any professional baseball games. After that, it was the home of the Kansas City Royals from 1969-1972. Following the 1972 season, the Royals moved to a new stadium, and Municipal Stadium became empty. Today, part of it is used as a community garden, and part sits as an empty lot.
"Kansas City Municipal Stadium." Stadiums of Pro Football. Accessed July 1, 2014. http://www.stadiumsofprofootball.com/past/KCMunicipal.htm
Hecken, Phil. "There Used To Be A Ballpark Here." Uni Watch. August 25, 2010. http://www.uni-watch.com/2010/08/25/there-used-to-be-a-ballpark-here-part-i/