Major League Mission

Telstar Logistics. Laughing Squid. Burrito Justice. Mission Mission. What happens when they join forces? Mission Blog Force 2010! A veritable historical mapgasm ensues.

Laughing Squid and Telstar Logistics recently exposed us to the historical imagery feature in Google Earth.  San Francisco’s 1946 layer proved irresistible, especially concerning the old SF Seals baseball stadium, now home to the Potrero Safeway and Office Depot.

As is inevitable amongst map wonks, the Telstar Logistics and Burrito Justice mapping teams started to wonder exactly where in the stores the bases were located. The alignment of the 1947 photomap is a little wobbly in Google Earth (it’s off by 30-100 feet) so we turned to another favored source for greater precision, Sanborn maps overlaid in GE. Behold the diamond of history.

In the world’s first blogging simulcast, you can see the raw base photos of the Telstar Logistics Surveying Unit along with painfully detailed overlay maps by the Burrito Justice Research Department. Telstar Logistics historical analysis will be available on Laughing Squid posthaste.

For some perspective (because that’s how we roll) here’s opening day for the Giants in 1959, their first game against LA. That’s 16th on the top and Bryant on the right.

Note that history was made recording history: a blogger ACTUALLY LEFT HIS HOME and went on-site to determine that home plate and 1st are located in Office Depot, while 2nd and 3rd base in Safeway.

Below, blue tape marks third base, looking towards home plate.  (Torillas in front of you, and frozen pizzas behind you, as is so often the case when you’re trying to steal home.)

To make this post even more relevant to the Mission — Seals Stadium was also home to the Mission Reds (aka the Missions) before they moved down to Hollywood in 1938.

And prior to Seal Stadium’s construction in 1930, both teams played at 14th and Valencia at Recreation Park. Think of that next time you’re at Four Barrel.

More photos and maps at TL, LS, and BJ.

7 Responses to “Major League Mission”

  1. leah says:

    *awesome* use of sanborn maps and all-around very impressive research skills.

  2. olu says:

    this will easily be the best thing I read all day.

  3. jonathan says:

    I live at Guerrero and 14th and often think about Recreation Park. How amazing would it be if it were still there instead of Valencia Gardens? A few weeks ago i did some research online and found some interesting things about it.

    From Wikipedia:

    This final incarnation of Recreation Park was on a block bounded by 14th Street (north, right field); Valencia Street (east, first base); 15th Street (south, third base); and Guerrero Street (west, left field). The stands were an unusual design, with a small lower deck topped directly above (thus protected from the weather) by a large upper deck, much of which was unroofed and open to the sunshine and the elements. The stands were also made of wood. A new, concrete ballpark, Seals Stadium, a mile east of Recreation Park, opened in 1931 as the new home of both the Seals and the Missions. Recreation Park was demolished and the site was converted into a housing project.

    Here’s a pic of the stadium: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/FindingAids/dynaweb/calher/graves/figures/I0030403A.jpg

    And some awesome stuff from FoundSF:

    1906–After the Great Earthquake a new ball park, Recreation Park was built in the Mission on Valencia between 14th and 15th streets. A section of the bleachers, roped off with chicken wire became known as the “booze cage.” Admission price entitled the patron to a choice of either a sandwich or a shot of whiskey. Spectators who frequented the “cage” were said to be knowledgeable, loud and abusive. The team name was changed to the San Francisco Seals. The Seals featured a “reversed battery” of Nick Williams and Orval Overall–one would pitch, the other catch, then the roles would reverse for the following game. Overall eventually became a 20-game winner in the National League.

    • publicfrenemy says:

      “How amazing would it be if it were still there instead of Valencia Gardens?”

      …if it was still here it would probably be surrounded by sports bars. No thanks.

      Thanks for passing along the research, though.

  4. Andrew Sarkarati says:

    a tour de force

  5. Ian says:

    great post, thanks for sharing that info.

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