FIM #11: Goodbye Vet

A brand new era deserves a brand new stadium. But with bringing in a newer, fresher experience for the fans and players comes the sacrifices of memories and traditions. Moment #11 is the destruction of our beloved Veterans Stadium.

Built in 1971, The Vet was home to the infamous “Boo Birds” (Eagles fans) and the rowdy Phillies fans in the 700 level. Whether it was fights, flashings, or pure vulgar banter, the 700 level was one of the most infamous group of fans in all of sports. The fans were so bad that a municipal court was installed in the stadium for fans who were ejected from the game.

The stadium was famous for it’s terrible field conditions such as a concrete like playing surface and poor draining. The AstroTurf would also act as an oven for baseball and football players, reaching up to 120 degrees on hot July, August, and September days.

The Vet was home to two MLB All Star games: the first in 1976 during the nations bicentennial and again in 1996. The Phillies won their first championship in 1980 there. Players like Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton to Lenny Dykstra and John Kruk to Jim Thome and Scott Rolen all played in this stadium.

There were so many great Phillies moments that occurred here. Game 6 of the 1980 World Series was won here when Tug McGraw struck out Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals in front of about 66,000 fans to win their first championship.

The latest game in MLB history was played their. The Phillies and Padres started a double header on July 2nd, 1993 and due to rain outs and delays all day, they didn’t complete the second game until 4:40 in the morning on July 3rd. Mitch Williams drove in Pete Incaviglia to win the game in the 10th.

Kevin Millwood and Terry Mulholland own the only 2 9-inning no-hitters in The Vet’s history. Mullholland did his in 1990 and Millwood did his in 2003. Both were ironically against the Sn Francisco Giants.
In 2004, Phillies fans threw D-cell batteries at St. Louis Cardinals outfielder J.D. Drew after when drafted by the Phillies, said he would never play for Philadelphia, re-entered the draft next year and was picked by the Cardinals.

After it’s demolition in 2004, Citizen Bank Park used the area where The Vet stood as an additional parking lot. Fans will never forget The Vet nor the memories left in it. But there are new ones to be made at CBP, including a World Championship and seeing guys like Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, and Chase Utley represent the new home of the Phillies.

The implosion

My ticket stubs throughout the years at The Vet

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