A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 31, 2009
Bandbox (Bronx Bandbox=New Yankee Stadium)

The new Yankee Stadium (opened in 2009) quickly gained a reputation for being home-run-friendly. The Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field has allowed the most home runs in a single season, and the new Yankee Stadium was nicknamed “Coors Field East” or “Coors East” The new Yankee Stadium has also been called a “launching pad.”
The nickname “Bronx bandbox” (or simply “bandbox” or “band box”) is cited in print by April 19, 2009. The term “bandbox” (or “band box”) was popular in the 19th century for a small cardboard box to hold hats, ties, collars, caps or other items. The term “bandbox’ was applied to a Minneapolis baseball park in 1894 amd 1896—perhaps the first uses of the “bandbox” term to small athletic fields where easy home runs can be hit.
Other Yankee Stadium nicknames include “Big Ball Orchard in the South Bronx,” “Bronx Toilet,” “Cathedral of Baseball,” “Coors Field East,” “Home Office of Baseball,” “Launching Pad” and “The House That Ruth Built.”
Wikipedia: Bandbox
Bandbox may refer to:
. The Band Box or bandbox, a nick name for the Baker Bowl and subsequently also for other small baseball fields
Wikipedia: List of baseball jargon
A ballpark with small dimensions that encourages offense, especially home runs. A crackerbox.
Q: What is the etymology of the baseball slang ‘bandbox’?
A: Answer
The earliest reference I have found to a small ball park being a called a bandbox is from John Updike, who wrote in New Yorker magazine in 1960:
“Fenway Park is a little lyrical bandbox of a ballpark. Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus like the inside of an old fashioned Easter Egg. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1934 and offers, as do most Boston artifacts, a compromise between man’s Euclidean determinations and nature’s beguiling irregularities.”
The Dickson Baseball Dictionary
By Paul Dickson
Third Edition
New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Co.
Pp. 54-55:
bandbox A ballpark whose small dimensions make it easier to hit home runs; e.g., Baker Bowl in Philadelphia in the early 1930s and Ebbets Field in Brooklyn in the 1950s. Today the term is most likely to attach itself to Fenway Park (which John Updike, quoted in Yankee [June 1985], a “lyric little green bandbox”) in Boston and Chicago’s Wrigley Field (also known as the “friendly confines”), and Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
1ST USE. 1899. “32 of Boston’s 37 home runs were made in their bandbox at South End” (Cincinnati Post, reprinted in The Sporting Life, Nov. 11; Peter Morris).
ETYMOLOGY. The term dates to the 17th century for a cylindrical box used to carry light, fragile items such as hats.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: band·box
Pronunciation: \ˈban(d)-ˌbäks\
Function: noun
Date: 1631
1 : a usually cylindrical box of cardboard or thin wood for holding light articles of attire
2 : a structure (as a baseball park) having relatively small interior dimensions
(Oxford English Dictionary)
A slight box of card-board or very thin chip covered with paper, for collars, caps, hats, and millinery; originally made for the ‘bands’ or ruffs of the 17th c. Also fig., a fragile or flimsy structure or one in which the accommodation is restricted.
1631 T. POWELL Tom All Trades 173 Carrying the Bandbox under their apron.
1633 ROWLEY Match at Midn. IV. in Dodsl. (1780) VII. 413 Enter Maid with a band-box. Constable. How, now! where ha’ you been?.. Maid. For my mistress’s ruff, at her sempstress’.
1712 ADDISON Spect. No. 311 1, I..do not suffer a Ban-box to be carried into her Room before it has been searched.
1720 GAY Poems (1745) I. 189 With empty ban-box she delights to range.
1758 J. S. Le Dran’s Observ. Surg. (1771) 340 Such Wood as they make Bandboxes..with.
Wikipedia: Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium is a stadium located in the The Bronx, a borough of New York City. It serves as the home ballpark for the New York Yankees, replacing the previous Yankee Stadium, built in 1923. The new ballpark was constructed across the street, north-northeast of the 1923 Yankee Stadium, on the former site of Macombs Dam Park. The first game at the new Yankee Stadium was a preseason exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs played on April 3, 2009, which the Yankees won 7–4. The first regular season game was played on April 16, 2009, when the Yankees lost 10–2 to the Cleveland Indians.
Much of the stadium incorporates design elements from the previous Yankee Stadium, paying homage to the Yankees’ history. Although stadium construction began in August 2006, the project of building a new stadium for the Yankees is one that spanned many years and faced many controversies. Financing for the stadium has been a very divisive issue, with New York City citizens criticizing the city’s decision to use funds to build the sports venue, instead of using it for other pressing issues. The projected total cost of the stadium is $1.5 billion, making it the second most expensive stadium in the world after Wembley Stadium.
Home run haven
Yankee Stadium has quickly acquired a reputation as a “bandbox” and a “launching pad” due to the high number of home runs hit at the new ballpark. Through its first 23 games, 87 home runs have been hit at the venue, easily besting Enron Field’s previous record set in 2000.[44] Yankee Stadium is also on pace to challenge Coors Field’s 1999 single-season record of 303 home runs allowed, and the hometown Daily News has taken to publishing a daily graphic comparing each stadium’s home run totals through a similar number of games.
The proliferation of home runs has led ESPN’s Peter Gammons to denounce the new facility as “one of the biggest jokes in baseball” and conclude that “[it] was not a very well-planned ballpark.”[40] Likewise, Gammons’ ESPN colleague Buster Olney has described the stadium as being “on steroids” and likened it to his childhood Wiffle-ball park. Newsday columnist Wallace Matthews joined in the chorus, labeling the stadium “ridiculous” and decrying its cheapening of the home run. In the same column, Yankee great Reggie Jackson termed the park “too small” to contain Alex Rodriguez and suggested it might enable the third baseman to hit 75 home runs in a season.
A variety of theories have been posited to account for the dramatic increase in home runs at the new Yankee Stadium over the original stadium, foremost among these the sharper angles of the outfield walls and the speculated presence of a wind tunnel. During construction of the new ballpark, engineers commissioned a wind study, the results of which indicated there would be no noticeable difference between the two stadiums. The franchise is planning to conduct a second study, but major league rules prohibit it from making any changes to the playing field until the off-season.
Wikipedia: Baker Bowl
Baker Bowl is the best-known popular name of a baseball park that formerly stood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its formal name, painted on its outer wall, was National League Park. It was also initially known as Philadelphia Park or Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds.
It was on a small city block bounded by N. Broad St., W. Huntingdon St., N. 15th St. and W. Lehigh Avenue. The ballpark, shoehorned as it was into the Philadelphia city grid, acquired a number of nicknames over the years.
. Huntingdon Street Grounds was a nickname for a while, as it was a side street running behind the first base line that intersected Broad Street, a major thoroughfare.
. Baker Bowl, also called Baker Field in the baseball guides, referred to one-time Phillies owner William F. Baker. The use of “Baker Field” was perhaps confusing, since Columbia University’s athletic facility in New York City was also called “Baker Field”. How it acquired the unique suffix “Bowl” is subject to conjecture. It may have referred to the banked bicycle track that was there for a time, or it may have been used derisively, suggesting non-existent luxuriousness.
. The Hump referred to a hill in center field covering a partially submerged railroad tunnel in the street beyond right field that extended through into center field.
. The Cigar Box and The Band Box referred to the tiny size of the playing field. After the demise of the Baker Bowl, the terms “cigar box” and “bandbox” were subsequently applied to any “intimate” ballpark (like Boston’s Fenway Park or Detroit’s Tiger Stadium) whose configurations were conducive to players hitting home runs.
Chronicling America
10 September 1894, St. Paul (MN) Daily Globe, pg. 5, col. 3:
Minneapolis, 12; Detroit, 8.
Yesterday was a good day to test the supposed advantage of the bandbox grounds at Minnehaha park.
LA84 Foundation Digital Library
4 April 1896, Sporting Life, pg. 6, col. 2:
Will After All Play Another Season in the Band-Box.
Minneapolis, Minn., March 31.—The lease for the Athletic Park was signed Saturday night by the Minneapolis Club magnates, and it is now settled that the grounds will remain as they were last year, except for the repairs and alterations to be made in the grand stand and at the entrance.
24 May 1896, Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, IL), pg. 10, col. 2:
Minneapolis, Minn., May 23.—Special Telegram.—The last game on the bandbox grounds in Minneapolis was played today.
19 July 1899, Minneapolis (MN) Journal, pg. 12: 
This was on the old bandbox grounds, and he played both second base and right field.
25 April 1904, Trenton (NJ) Times, pg. 11, col. 2:
More than 1,500 persons gathered in “Con” Nolan’s band box Saturday to witness the opening game of the season between the Morrisvilles and Murray Hill.
19 June 1904, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 4, col. 2:
A bandbox field, rivaling Galveston for cramped quarters, is what the fans will look upon when the team returns next Thursday.
12 May 1905. San Antonio (TX) Gazette, pg. 3, col. 5:
Roy Clark of Toldeo got the second four-base swat. Both were made on the Toldeo bandbox grounds.
19 January 1906, Elyria (OH) Reporter, pg. 4, col. 1:
The Warren grounds was a little band box and a short fly ball would clear the fence.
3 June 1910, New Castle (PA) News, pg. 15, col. 3:
The week will be finished in the McKeesport band box, where Durham makes his home runs over the short field fence.
NBC Sports - Circling the Bases blog
Is Yankee Stadium a bandbox?
Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:04 PM EDT
Craig Calcaterra
Yesterday I speculated that New Yankee Stadium may be Coors East. Today lots of people are wondering the same thing. The former link relays an email from Greg Rybarczyk of the Hit Tracker website, who thinks it’s not just the Stadium:
The River City Sports Blog
April 19, 2009
The New Yankee Stadium: A Band Box Joke.   
Albany (NY) Times-Union - 2nd & Short blog 
The Bronx Bandbox
April 21, 2009 at 1:19 am by Mark McGuire
OK, what is the deal with the new Yankee Stadium launching more bombs than World War II?
Is the ballpark too small?
Is it the wind?
Is the Yankees relief pitching — oh, and Chien-Ming Wang — that bad?
22 April 2009, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Pettitte Pitches Yankees Past A’s”:
It wasn’t surprising that the A’s didn’t join the home run party at the Bronx Bandbox.   
Newsday (NY) - The Final Score blog
Bronx Bandbox continues on its home run happy pace
Posted by Jim Baumbach on April 23, 2009 8:47 AM
The Yankees Bandbox
Baseball | Bandbox - New Yankee Stadium - New York Yankees
by Memphis Bengal on Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 06:53am
The Yankee Universe
The Bandbox: Do We Care?
By Moshe Mandel, on May 22nd, 2009
Good ole’ Wally Matthews chimes in with his take on the New Yankee Stadium:...
CBS Sports.com Messag Boards
Crappy little $1.5 billion bandbox
May 22, 2009 9:58 pm
Johnny Damon on pace for 28 homeruns at home this year.
Melky on pace for 20 homeruns at home.
What a freaking joke, embarrassment and all around black eye for baseball coming from what is supposed to be baseball’s ‘flagship’ franchise.
The new Yankee stadium is a bigger joke than Jeter’s gold gloves.
Bleacher Report
A Quick Fix to The Home Run Problem in The Bronx Bandbox
by SportsLifer (Contributor)
May 27, 2009
The new Yankee Stadium has opened to a plethora of empty seats, walk-off wins and long home runs.
The new house has become a launching pad, a homer-happy haven for hitters. The Bronx Bandbox has yielded 87 homers in the first 23 games, just off the all-time pace set in the mile-high homer haven at Coors Field in Denver in 1999, where 303 home runs were hit.
FOX Sports - Fantasy Baseball
Halpin’ hand: Effect of Bronx Bandbox
by John Halpin
Updated: May 28, 2009, 5:34 PM EDT
A few weeks ago, I was one of the people who thought we didn’t have a large enough sample size to judge whether or not the new Yankee Stadium was the homer haven it was said to be.
Then the homers kept piling up — there have been an astounding 3.78 per game so far.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, May 31, 2009 • Permalink

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