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With the exception of the newly built Shibe Park, baseball stadiums of the early 20th Century were built of wood. The Polo Grounds fit that bill and on the evening of April 13, 1911, a flash fire left the main grandstand and the right field bleachers in total ruin. The total destruction is presented in four graphic wire photos, the stands still smoldering. In two, both Giants and Athletics players survey the rubble in disbelief. The undamaged portions can be seen in the background. The last photo, taken months later, visits the rebuilding in progress with concrete and steel used in place of wood. Photo credits via Culver Pictures, Inc. In 1923, the remainder of the wooden structure would be replaced with steel. That configuration would last until 1964, when the famed stadium at Coogan’s burned Bluff was demolished. All EX, 5X7”.
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