Becoming a Lively Place - 2
Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium
The Hiroshima Carp were formed in 1950 and calls for a baseball stadium in the center of town soon rose up from the Carp organization and citizens. From 1953 to 1954, momentum for the construction of a baseball stadium where night games could be held grew and in 1954 an organization promoting the creation of a municipal stadium consisting of representatives from various industries was created. A 20 million yen donation from the Hiroshima Electric Railway Co., Ltd. in December 1954 provided a spark and plans for its construction materialized, even being debated by the Hiroshima City Council.
Moto-machi was selected as the spot of the new stadium, but it took a lot of time to decide the exact location. Possible locations included the north side of the Children’s Culture Center, the area where public housing stood, the ruins of Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine within the old Western Drill Ground site, and the proposed location of the Hiroshima Joint Government Building, but demonstrations against the displacement of citizens and negotiations with the national government caused difficulties.
In July of 1956, the southeast corner of the Children’s Park in front of the Children’s Culture Center was finally chosen as the construction site for the new ballpark. Unable to meet costs since the plan had called for constructing the stadium without city taxes, construction of the ballpark was once again halted. Eventually, the problem was resolved when 160 million yen was donated by the financial sector. In July 1957, Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium was completed.
Not only was Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium the home field for the Hiroshima Carp, but it was also used as a recreation facility by the people of Hiroshima.
*Although Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium currently refers to a new baseball stadium that opened in 2009 in the Minami Ward of the city, in this exhibition it indicates the former stadium which was built in 1957 in Moto-machi.
The completed stadium
Baseball stadium construction diagram
Planned Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium site
One ticket comes from a minor league game held on July 22, 1957, the same day as the ceremony marking the completion of construction. The other ticket is from a game on July 30, which was part of a special series celebrating the completion of construction.
Winning ball from the first night game
The first night game was held on July 24, 1957 against Hanshin, which the Hiroshima Carp lost by a wide margin, 1-15.
Professional wrestling matches were also held. A banner advertising a match between Lou Thesz and Rikidozan can be seen.