Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Baseball Ground was a stadium in Derby, UK. It was first used for baseball as the home of Derby County Baseball Club from 1890 until 1898 and then for football (soccer) as the home of Derby County F.C. from 1895 until 1997.
As the name suggests, the stadium was originally used for baseball. It was originally called Ley's Baseball Ground an was part of a complex of sports grounds built and owned by businessman Sir Francis Ley for workers at his foundry, Ley's Malleable Castings Vulcan Ironworks . The stadium was the focus point of the complex and was part of a personal quest by Ley to introduce baseball to the UK.
The stadium was home to Derby County Baseball Club, which was aligned to the more famous football club. The club ran away with the first championship after the National Baseball League of Great Britain and Ireland was established in 1890. However, pressure from other teams in league over the number of American players Derby used forced them resign at the end of the league's first season, though the baseball club itself lasted until 1898.
The Derby County football club had occassionally used the stadium for their home matches and, with their partner baseball club in decline, made it their permanent home in 1895 and renamed the it The Baseball Ground.
At its height, the Baseball Ground could accommodate around 42,000 spectators (all standing). The record attendance was 41,826 for a match against Tottenham Hotspur in 1969. Later, the stadium was slowly converted to become all-seater and the capacity eventually dropped to 18,300.
Derby County moved to the brand new Pride Park Stadium in 1997. The last league match to be played there was against Arsenal, though the stadium continued to be used for reserve team games for a few seasons afterwards. In 2003, the Baseball Ground was demolished to make way for housing.
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