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Hiram Bithorn Stadium

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Hiram Bithorn Stadium

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Date Posted:July 19th, 2007
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Description: The Hiram Bithorn Stadium (Estadio Hiram Bithorn in Spanish) is a baseball stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, operated by the municipal government of the city of San Juan. Its name honors the first Puerto Rican to play in the major leagues, Hiram Bithorn, who first entered played with the Chicago Cubs in 1942. Built in 1962 under the mayoral administration of Felisa Rincˇn de Gautier, replacing Sixto Escobar Stadium the stadium was home to the Santurce Crabbers and the San Juan Senators of the LBPPR.

The stadium hosted Major League Baseball's Opening Day Game in 2001, in which the Toronto Blue Jays faced the Texas Rangers. However, 4,000 who bought tickets were turned away despite having bought tickets when the police determined the safe capacity of the park had been vastly exceeded.

It was the object of a major overhaul under the mayoral administration of Jorge Santini, before becoming the part-time home of the Montreal Expos of the National League in 2003 and 2004 prior to their move to Washington, D.C. as the Washington Nationals. The Expos played 22 "home" games in each season as a result of poor attendance at their home Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Prior to Major League Baseball's announcement of the Montreal Expos move to Washington, Puerto Rico and San Juan made an effort to lure the Expos franchise to the island territory permanently.

Hiram Bithorn Stadium hosted parts of the first two rounds of the World Baseball Classic. Pool C, which includes the teams of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama, and the Netherlands, was played there. It also hosted Pool 2 of the second round of the Classic which featured Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela, the top two finishers from Pools C and D.

The stadium has approximately 18,000 seats, with field dimensions of 325 feet (99 m) down the left field line, 325 feet (99 m) down the right field line and 404 feet (123 m) to center field. The fences are 8 feet (2.5 m) high.


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