Movieland Mystery Photo – Baseball Edition [Updated]

Movieland Mystery Photo


I was watching this movie recently and got to wondering what ballparks were used as locations. In some scenes, the movie intercuts stock footage with shots that were presumably done in Los Angeles (and no, they don’t match at all. Continuity was obviously not a concern). The first one is a small field that I suspect was out in the San Fernando Valley. Some of the shots appear to show homes under construction.

[Update: This is the 1932 film “Fireman, Save My Child.” Thanks to everybody who contributed to the discussion!]

Mystery Photo

The pitcher’s mound.

Mystery Photo

Mystery first base.

Mystery Photo
Mystery third base. Looks like homes are under construction in the background.

Mystery Photo
Who’s on second?

Mystery Photo

Our mystery batter is not really holding two bats. The screen capture blurred it.

"Fireman, Save My Child"

Our mystery pitcher is Joe E. Brown.

Mystery Photo

Here’s an overall shot of our second mystery ballpark.

Mystery Photo

The view from home.

Mystery Photo

I know! Let’s put a catcher’s mask over the camera!

Mystery Photo

Our mystery ballpark has a metal tower beyond the wall. Possibly lights for night games.

Mystery Photo

Another view of our mystery ballpark. Any ideas?

About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo, Photography, Sports and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo – Baseball Edition [Updated]

  1. Robert Howe says:

    The bottom photos appear to be Wrigley Field which is where the “Hollywood Stars” baseball team played. They also filmed the series “Home Run Derby” there in 1959-60. “Pride of the Yankees” was also shot there.

  2. Coto says:

    Ballpark #2 is Wrigley Field, 42nd and Avalon in L.A. Attended many games there, ’twas a great ballpark. The Dodgers coming to town changed all of this.

  3. In the first photograph, the promontory in the background looks suspiciously like the north slope of Mt. Lee meaning Universal and Warner Bros would be at the base on this side. If true that places this diamond a few miles north and west, perhaps around North Hollywood Park at Magnolia and Tujunga. The last four (and maybe the last five) are, I think, our own Wrigley Field (before the ivy), in southcentral Los Angeles (no longer there, of course, now Gilbert Lindsay Park) at S. San Pedro and 42nd.

  4. James Curtis says:

    I wonder if the second ballpark could be Wrigley Field? It was used a lot for filming (most notably in “Pride of the Yankees”) but it often gave filmmakers fits because it faced northeast, making the position of the sun a big problem. Note how the baselines are cast in deep shadow in these captures.

  5. Hi Larry, I remember we did a few Daily Mirror posts on the end of Wrigley Field in LA and found a great foto from when it was being torn down that looked really staged. There were two kids who just happened to be “playing” baseball in front of the camera. Anyhow, this movie must have been early in the ballpark’s life. If you look at “Home Run Derby” the neighborhood around the ballpark looks much more developed–and these fotos are missing ivy on the outfield fences, as a previous reader noted. And just a point of clarification, Wrigley was mainly the home of the Los Angeles Angels until 1957. The Hollywood Stars mostly played at Gilmore Field, although I think they spent some time at Wrigley before Gilmore was built.

  6. Duane Laible says:

    The #2 park is definitely Wrigley Field at 42nd & Avalon. This was the home of the Los Angeles Angels of the old Pacific Coast League, not the Hollywood Stars. The Stars played at Gilmore Field, very near Farmers Market. When the Dodgers came to LA, they took over ownership of Wrigley Field and traded it to the City for Chavez Ravine. (Some trade for the City!). In the first 2 years or so of the expansion California Angels, 61& 62 I think, they played at Wrigley Field. When Dodger Stadium opened, both teams played there, the LAD called it Dodger Stadium, the Angels called it Chavez Ravine. Wrigley Field was somewhat of a miniature of Chicago’s ballpark, ivy covered walls, etc. The PCL Angels were not a farm team of the Cubs, but had some type of working agreement with them. Many time as a kid I would take the bus from Downey to 42nd & Avalon to see the old PCL Angels play, admission was I think 25 or 50 cents. All home games of the Stars and Angels were televised locally, on Channel 9. Chuck Connors played, for a few years, first base for the Angels.

    • Coto says:

      Duane, good memories, huh. Remember the old white house that sat beyond left field and the residents used to sit on the second floor balcony and watch the games. Or was it the roof-top? Searching google maps I don’t think it’s there anymore. And if you’re going to mention Conners, you have to include Novakoff, Garriott, Schuster, and Bilko too. All local legends.

      • Duane Laible says:

        Coto, you can see the house in the last picture, they sat on the balcony. Also, in the last few years of the PCL game, there was a woman who let out a long loud cheer whenever the Angels made a good play, the LA announcer on Channel 9 nicknamed her “Angel Annie.” I can’t remember the announcers name, Bill something. He or his family opened a chain of auto glass shops in the LA & OC areas in the 60’s or 70’s. A bit of trivia, who was the announcer on Channel 9 for the Hollywood Stars? If someone wants to guess first, I’ll put it in a reply, so don’t peek!

      • Duane Laible says:

        The Stars TV announcer was Tom Harmon. Also, was the park on Avalon or San Pedro, I don’t recall.

  7. Interestingly, our Wrigley Field is the ‘real’ Wrigley Field having been named ‘Wrigley’ a full year before Cubs Field in Chicago was renamed. On a personal note, when I was quite young, we would frequently take advantage of the fact many homeowners in the surrounding neighborhood would, on game days, allow folks to park on their front yards for a small fee (I think a dollar or less). Typically, our car would be several blocks from the ball park and, when my parents were satisfied the traffic was safe enough, my brother and I would race to the car and get in waiting for our parents who might be a block or more behind us. It never seemed strange to me then, that our car had been unlocked for several hours.

  8. at least on game days.

  9. Great comments. Thanks for the living history lessons. My mom shared tales of growing up in a baseball-fan family divided by the Stars and Angels. I didn’t start going to games until the mid-1960s and I’ve always wondered what those times were really like–particularly after the war and before the Dodgers.

  10. Coto says:

    Definitely Avalon. Angel Annie, I remember her. The glass man: Bill Brundige. And the announcers after Fred Haney and Bob Kelly…. I had forgotten Harman. And you’re right about the house. Wow, many moons ago.
    And to Larry Harnisch, for photo #1 try Burbank. It was the St Louis Browns’ Spring training home 1949-1951. The old wooden stands seem familiar but I don’t remember the name of the park.

  11. Robert Dudnick says:

    I grew up near North Hollywood Park. I’d say Photo 1 is in Burbank because the mountains are closer than in N.H.

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