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Oakland: Work at the New Park Under Way

Panoramic view of the pre-construction site of Forbes Field.


Big Steam Shovel Gets Busy on the Oakland Field and Rapid Progress is Being Made.
Busy Week for the Baseball Moguls.

From The Pittsburg Press, 3 January 1909.

The big steam shovel which is to level the new field of the Pittsburg Baseball club at the entrance to Schenley Park, Oakland, in 60 days was set up New Year's day, but did not begin actual work until yesterday.
The improvement of a new street through the property, which is independent of the baseball enterprise, has been going on for nearly a month and the contractors in charge of that job have permission to dump on the land owned by Barney Dreyfuss, so that much progress has been made towards filling the big hole at the Joncaire street end of the new park, but the machinery which started yesterday will do the work much quicker. The shovel began on the Boquet street side and in two weeks will be out of the way of the Nicola Building Co., which has the contract for the erection of the stands.
In addition to the grading machinery, there was set up yesterday all of the machinery needed for the concrete work and tomorrow the building of the massive retaining wall from Joncaire street north to Boquet street will be under way. The permit for this part of the improvement was granted Thursday.

With the graders at work on the new ball park, the street makers busy, a large force employed by the city on improvements in Schenley Park, and skilled workmen erecting the University of Pittsburgh, the new Memorial Hall and additions to the Carnegie Technical schools, Oakland was the busiest section of the city yesterday. The ball park improvement alone furnished work for more than 100 men.
C. E. Marshall, representing Charles W. Leavitt, Jr., the engineer who is in charge of the work, will arrive tomorrow morning from New York to supervise the construction of the retaining walls and the sewer system. He is an expert in that line, having served for two years on the United States corps at Panama. While an extensive system of drainage will be established at the new park, the best feature is that the natural drainage is nearly perfect. At Exposition Park the field is in a basin and catches all of the surface water from the surrounding streets and property while at the new park the pitcher's plate will be the highest point and the field will shed water on all sides.

The Nicola Building Co. is erecting a temporary office for the use of the employees and the engineers. This building is not on the ball park property and will not be removed until the entire improvement is completed. This building will be finished this week.
Last week, before the contractors took possession, the Pittsburg Baseball Club had a photograph taken of the property. Views were obtained from all four sides and it is the intention to keep a photographic record of the improvement, showing how much has been accomplished in a stated period. The photograph from which the cut on this page was made shows the northern end of the site. What will be left and center fields, the site for the left wing of the grandstand and the left field bleachers are in the foreground. Prominent in the background is the Schenley Hotel. The small buildings now on the Forbes street side are next and to the extreme left is the Oakland Methodist Episcopal Church.

President Dreyfuss, who went South with his family for the holidays, will return this week. He is due in Cincinnati on Monday to attend the meeting of the joint schedule committee of the American and National Leagues. This is only one of several important gatherings at Cincinnati this week. The National Commission holds its annual meeting tomorrow and will re-elect Garry Herrmann chairman. The conference with the Eastern League and the American Association with the commission about minor league affairs will follow. There are rumors of deals and there is some foundation for the talk, as President Ebbets, of the Brooklyn Club, who will be in Cincinnati tomorrow, expects to name his manager this week.

M. S. Robison, president of the St. Louis Club, will come to Pittsburg as soon as President Dreyfuss returns to furnish information about the folding chair which he has designed. The new samples have arrived at headquarters. President Robison is also interested in the baseball improvements here. He owns the land on which the Cardinals play now at St. Louis, and is only waiting until he braces up his team to improve the new park. C. H. Ebbets, of Brooklyn, and George B. Dovey, of Boston, will pass through this city. President Ebbets is chairman of the ticket committee, and as Pittsburg is represented by Secretary W. H. Locke, he will stop for a conference [if] possible.
The National League will in all probability take some action towards eliminating the pass evil next season. The American League and the American Association have already legislated against the nuisance. Most of the players are in hearty accord with the reform, as it will save them from annoying attention from the professional pass-hunters.

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