The scene is Capilano Stadium, home of the Vancouver Mounties. Once it could seat over 9000 fans, filling the grandstands and the bleachers, the latter which can be seen extending outward along right and left field. And even then they occasionally had to rope off an area for fans in the outfield, to accommodate the overflow. The crowds came to watch the Mounties play legendary Triple 'A' Pacific Coast League teams such as the Los Angeles Angels, Hollywood Stars, San Francisco Seals, Seattle Rainers, Tacoma Giants, and the San Diego Padres--to name a few. In those days the PCL enjoyed near-major league status.

The view is from Little Mountain where at one time many "freeloading" fans could sprawl out on the grassy slopes and, from a distance, enjoy a view of the game while listening to the play-by-play on the radio.

The person sprawled out in the 1959 Corvette is none other than Bruce Stewart, the painter of this image. Bruce has taken some artistic liberties here, the foremost being that, in reality, he would have only been about nine years old during the time period of this image. Bruce writes: "I do recall sitting up there with the trusty Philips transistor radio, or listening on the car radio to Jim Robson's "play-by-play" broadcasts, and the bottom of the seventh "stretch inning" when "Take me out to the ballgame" could be heard all the way along Ontario, from Cap. Stadium to our back yard on West 40th. In fact, at home you might hear "the windup . . the pitch! Pop fly to center field!!" on the radio, followed a few seconds later by the actual crack of the bat carried on the wind! Yes, beyond the Stadium in that painting are the houses of Riley Park, Main Street just beyond and Capitol Hill in Burnaby in the background."

Today it is Nat Bailey stadium, renamed in honour of the man whose efforts helped bring us Vancouver Mounties. Triple 'A' baseball in this city is now but a memory. Also gone are the bleachers, leaving just the grandstands. The park today is a smaller venue and the view from the slopes as seen here is completely obscured by a much denser growth of trees.

But what does this all have to do with "Top Forty" Radio? Well the connection may be a bit tenuous but CKWX was, for many years, both a strong "sports" station, and a "top forty" station. And it could be argued that it wasn't the happiest marriage of two formats on the same station. To the Top Forty DJ, who enjoyed his broadcast time in the WX studio spinning those 45s, the constant pre-emption or truncation of his daily program, was a constant frustration, which meant spending idle hours standing by, waiting to go on the air. Just ask Red Robinson.

But if indeed Top Forty and Sports formats aren't compatible then that perhaps leaves only one remaining common connection--and that is the beauty of Vancouver itself, which this image so wonderfully encapsulates. Bruce may be listening to the ball game while enjoying the view, but is it possible that between innnings he's tuning the dial over to the city's "other" rock and roll station? So whether it's sports or top 40, this atmospheric scene lends itself nicely to either. And besides who could resist including such an incomparable vista here on this site for all to enjoy.

J.B.
VANCOUVER "TOP FORTY" RADIO