May 14, 1956
May 14, 1956

Table of Contents
May 14, 1956

A Day To Remember
The Derby
  • May 5 brought Derby Day and the heart-gripping charge of the 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs. Novelist John P. Marquand took leave of absence from Happy Knoll to be there for SI—and his reflections on the day and its deeds start on page 29. Here, from SI's turf editor, the race itself:

The Wonderful World Of Sport
Events & Discoveries
The X-Ray Box
The Outdoor Week
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back


The center field fence in Baltimore's Memorial Stadium came closer to home plate between the time SI's special baseball issue of April 9 went to press and the opening of the season. This change, in which SPORTS ILLUSTRATED figured importantly as a visual aid, was one that Manager and General Manager Paul Richards had wanted since he came to the Orioles in 1955.

This is an article from the May 14, 1956 issue Original Layout

As is not often the case with this kind of fence-moving, Richards' reasons involved fielding more than hitting. "I hoped to provide more interesting baseball," he told SI. "Balls hit between outfielders were stand-up triples before. Now they're sliding triples—or doubles. Long fly balls used to be caught, while short flies dropped in for singles behind the infielders, none of which added to the excitement of the game."

During his preliminary discussions with Oriole officials, as well as at the final meeting in the Oriole board room on April 14, when he asked Baltimore Park Board President James C. Anderson for permission to bring the fence in, Richards used the diagrams in SI's April 9 issue to show that his field, which SI called "a slugger's nightmare," was a little larger than others in the major leagues. "Just a little bit too large," Richards said. "The diagrams were most helpful in discussing this point."

Now that the Orioles' energetic manager has made his point and the carpenters have done their work, here is the updated diagram of Memorial Stadium:

SI shares with Paul Richards the hope that the new dimensions will provide more interesting baseball in Baltimore—just as his excellent book, Modern Baseball Strategy, which SI serialized last year, has already provided more interesting baseball everywhere to those who read it.

ILLUSTRATIONMemorial Stadium, Baltimore
WALL 11 ft. 4 in. HIGH
WALL 11 ft. 4 in. HIGH
Left Field Foul Line 309 ft.
Right Field Foul Line 309 ft.
405 FT.
425 FT.
405 FT.