All posts tagged: Baseball Stadiums

Main Streets, Baseball, and Rhubarb Crisp (?)

Main Streets and baseball. What could be more American? More  importantly, can you have a bad day when these two things converge?  Not in my book. But how did the Rhubarb Crisp replace apple pie?  Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out. We began our first Tuesday – Day 5 on the Not All Who Wander Are Lost cross-country tour – in tiny Spring Green, Wisconsin. For a town of 1400 (I love town signs that post the population), Spring Green had much to offer.  The downtown has a variety of interesting shops and services, and my friend Oakley Pearson – who drives through this area each year on his way home to Minnesota – recommended the Spring Green General Store for breakfast.  Claire and I took him up on that recommendation, and after a great bowl of oatmeal (see, we can eat healthy food), we’re glad we did. Business was hopping with a great mix of patrons. I stopped by one table to tell the guy wearing the 1952 Vincent Black …

Baseball Pilgrimages (Continued)

It was a night when you wondered if Noah was nearby, putting the finishing touches on his ark. Lightening and thunder in rapid succession. Rain that lashed at the body if you were unfortunate enough to be outside. Howling winds. Waves lapping at the shore. And I was in Tampa, not to help rewrite the Republican national platform, but for something much more consequential: to catch a baseball game. In most cities it would have been a wasted opportunity. But the Tampa Bay Rays play in St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field, one of the few remaining domes still hosting major league baseball on a daily basis. And for this night, I was glad to have a roof over my head when Ray’s ace David Price threw that first pitch right on schedule. Tampa Bay was #14 on my journey to visit all 30 major league ballparks.  It promised to be a special night.  The Rays were on a hot streak, winning five games to close the gap with the first-place Yankees to four games. Their ace …

Baseball Pilgrimages

Say Hey!  Check another ballpark off the list!! About five years ago I made it a life goal to take in a game at all the Major League Baseball stadiums across America.  I wanted to achieve this goal by 2015 – when I reach the big 6-0.  It may be tough to meet that timetable, but what are goals for and I have hit a bit of a jackpot in the past six weeks. It is time for an update. I do have some rules for this quest. First of all, I have to actually see a game.  I can’t just drive by, or I could put the Ballpark in Arlington, among others, in my checked off category. I use to buy a hat of the local team to prove I’d been there, but Candice thinks I have enough caps – and she’s probably right.  So that’s no longer necessary.  Finally, demolitions have wrecked havoc with these plans. I decided – in a totally arbitrary way, since I am the umpire – that if I’ve …

What’s Wrong With Sports

Sports Illustrated had an online article this Friday that in one sentence encapsulates what’s wrong with the modern sports-entertainment complex. In writing that “It’s time to get rid of Wrigley,” Richard Rothschild quotes a Chicago Sun-Times columnist who says the following: “There’s still rust, the concourses still resemble dark alleys and people still have to elbow their way to their seats. … It’s a great park when you look at the field from your seat. It’s not so great on the way to and from your seat.” Isn’t the purpose of the ballpark to look at the field from your seat!?  Can I tell you how many BAD ballparks I’ve sat in where the view of the field was lousy; but hey, we have an arcade to distract the kids (they shouldn’t have to suffer and watch an entire game!), we offer a wide variety of sushi, and we have television screens in the bathrooms and team stores so you don’t really have to go sit in your seat. Jeez! Wrigley Field doesn’t need to …

Modernism and Baseball Stadiums

My colleague Dolores recently pointed me towards a springtime blog rant by long-time preservationist – and baseball fan – Clem Labine.  Entitled Hey Nick – Get REAL, the blog goes after New York Times architectural critic Nicolai Ouroussoff for panning the two new baseball stadiums in New York City by saying that “American stadium design has been stuck in a nostalgic funk, with sports franchises recycling the same old images year after year.”  Read it for the writing, if nothing else.  (Clem was the founder of The Old House Journal eons ago and you’ll see his way with the written word.) Camden Yards in Baltimore (photo at the top of the post) began the trend toward throwback stadiums. Having attended many a ballgame there (and in other similarly inspired parks), I agree with Clem that these ballparks work AND give the fans what they want. But my recent trip to Kansas City gave me the chance to visit one of the first of the good modernist sports venues – Kauffman Stadium.  The architects here show …

Stadium Memories

Some people read 1000 Places to Visit Before You Die and think about how many they can check off in a year.  My quest is more modest:  to visit all the major league baseball stadiums in the next ten years.  I’m about 1/3 of the way through my list, but I have to admit that given stadium demolitions, I’ve had to make up my own rules about what counts.  Essentially, I’m just trying to get to at least one stadium  per team. So along that line, I wanted to let you know there’s a great online story – accompanying a magazine feature in Preservation – of Yankee Stadium memories on PreservationNation.org.  If you like baseball stadiums and/or baseball stories, check it out. FYI, this has been a good year in my quest.  So far I’ve visited three new (for me) parks this year:  Oakland (with Anthea and all the folks from the Trust’s Western Office), Coors Field in Denver (with Mountains/Plains Office Director Barb and Dolores), and – of course – the new Nationals Park …