Veterans Stadium was the outdoor sports and concert capital of Philadelphia from 1971 until its televised demolition in 2004. At its best, \u0022The Vet\u0022 spawned two of the greatest moments in the city's sports history-Tug McGraw's 1980 strikeout of Willie Wilson to win the World Series and the Eagles thrashing of the Dallas Cowboys to clinch their first Super Bowl bid. At its worst, it saw fans pelt Santa Claus with snowballs and the opening of an in-stadium branch of Philadelphia municipal court to deal with rowdy Eagles fans.
Part of a look-alike generation of all-purpose stadiums erected around the country, the Vet took on its own personality over the years. For all its deficiencies, it left fans loving it in the way they loved their own families-warts and all. Almost 100 photographs and Rich Westcott's yarns make Veterans Stadium the one book that will help Philadelphians-and Philadelphia visitors-remember thirty years of their history.
Rich Westcott is a baseball writer, a historian and a veteran of more than 40 years as a working journalist. He is a leading authority on the Phillies, and for 14 years was editor and publisher of Phillies Report. He is the author of 17 books, including Philadelphia's Old Ballparks and The Phillies Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (with Frank Bilovsky), both published by Temple.
Foreword - Darren DaultonAcknowledgmentsPhoto CreditsIntroduction1. The Long Trip to CompletionIt took nearly 20 years to get a new stadium2. It's Finally Opening DayState-of-the-art facility draws rave reviews3. Fair or Foul?The Vet had both its supporters and its detractors4. Phillies' FinestThe team's best 25 players at the Vet5. The Greatest MomentNothing tops the last game of the 1980 World Series6. Special OccasionsOver the years, there were many memorable games7. Rarely a Dull MomentGames were often accompanied by grand promotions8. Ballpark PersonalitiesThere were a number of familiar figures at Phillies games9. Hitter FriendlyA good park for the long ball10. Flying High, Flying LowThe Eagles had their ups and downs at the Vet11. Last Stop Before the Super BowlEagles beat Dallas in a memorable Vet game12. Flaws in the FieldArtificial turf was a controversial subject13. Behind the ScenesThe lowest level was one of the most important areas14. Rooting for the Home TeamsThere's no fan like a Philly sports fan15. Best Seat in the HouseThe press box had both assets and liabilities16. Multiple UsesThe Vet had Army-Navy games and many other events17. The Final YearA memorable era comes to an end18. One Last LookFirsts, lasts, and a few other facts and figuresName Index