Palace of the Fans outfield
Though it was home to the
Cincinnati Reds from 1901-1911... Palace of the Fans really began back in 1884 when the Reds first moved to the corner of Findlay and Western in front of The Oliver Schlemmer Company building. Reds owner John Brush created a brand new ballpark called "League Park I" on these grounds which would be home to the Cincinnati Reds from 1884 until 1893. During that time period, the ballpark suffered a tragic breach in its construction which caused injuries and killed a fan. This caused the grandstand to be reworked down to a smaller and more simple looking facility with a covered grandstand behind home plate. (Which appears on the right side of the photo above). This left owner John Brush desiring an upgrade to a far more modern ballpark for Cincinnati. His problem wasn't just having the money to create a new stadium... but the time to demolish the old grandstand and still have the new "League Park II" ready in time for opening day. Brush came up with an ingenious plan... build the new grandstand in Left Field but keep the old "League Park I" standing (and that original grandstand could then serve as the RF bleachers). Upon its completion... John Brush then picked up home plate ... walked it across the field and put it in front of the new "League Park II" grandstand. The outfield now became the infield... and the old infield became the outfield. John Brush would have no idea how smart of a move this would be as this new "League Park II" burned to ground just 6 years later. Since League Park I was still standing in RF just as it had been when it was the Cincinnati Reds stadium from 1884 until 1893... Brush simply moved home plate back in front of the old League Park I grandstand again... and once again the infield became the outfield and the outfield became the infield just like it was back in "the old days". This gave the John Brush time to remove all the charred debris from League Park II and clear out room to build "League Park III" right on top of the ashes where League Park II had stood. "League Park III" however was going to build a far more intricate grandstand than anything anyone had ever seen before. In fact, it would perhaps be the most elaborate ballpark that Major League Baseball would ever see.