Captain, the white and red spheroid is heading straight for this quadrant at Warp 9.9!

First off, I will take you on a brief but highly-opinionated tour of the major league ballparks.  This page is still being built, but may be finished before Miller Park?  Afterward, time/space/desire permitting, I will include some deeper articles on specific baseball topics.  You are welcome to add your own, easily done by clicking this.  Will be adding links to the teams, and to any good photos or sites for individual ballparks, as I go along.  Muchas Gracias to the "Ballparks by Munsey & Suppes" Web-site for links to info and photos of the defunct parks.

ANAHEIM STADIUM, Anaheim Angels, Anaheim CA
It WAS Anaheim Stadium, and the tenants were the California Angels, when I first attended a game here in September, 1993.  As of may, 2000 it became my nearest major league park, so have gotten to [oversized local electric utility] Field of Anaheim a few times since.  This despite my indifference towards both the team, and this huge suburban stadium.  Yes, it was made more baseball-friendly after the Rams left for Saint Louis, including a waterfall/fountain set-up behind the center field fence.  Unfortunately, the Angel fans remain the least attentive I have come across, with more cheers for a beach ball in the stands, and boos when it lands on the field.
[The Angels played their first 4 seasons in Los 1961 at the former minor-league Wrigley Field (still need to track down that site), and 1962-65 at Chavez Ravine Stadium (you'd know it better as Dodger Stadium)]
BALLPARK AT ARLINGTON, Texas Rangers, Arlington TX
Have so far seen only the outside of the new place, while dashing back to DFW from the Oklahoma trip of 1/95…the facade makes it look like it's really the Texas Cattle Co. HQ, or certainly some office building, not a ballpark?  (Not a complain, mind you…Fenway's outside has that same weird charm, though with less parking around it, ha!!)
Was obviously a modified minor league park while it lasted, with no real upper deck and an oversized bleacher section, and it was 93 degrees at game time for my 9/92 visit.  However, had a decent time here.
TURNER FIELD, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta GA
This was only the early stages of a hole in the ground my last trip to Atlanta.  From pix and WGN-TV, looks more like a ballpark than that former salad bowl?
I was only down to Atlanta once during baseball season, and then the Braves were sold out the entire weekend.  The look of the park (typical 60's cookie-cutter) would not have been a draw for me, but hey Hank hit #715 there!
CAMDEN YARDS, Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore MD
I could see what all the crowing was about!  What New Comiskey coulda been, had they cared about baseball fans or aesthetics.  An awkward, beautiful place, visited in April '94.  Seemed to be good fans, at least where I was sitting.
One of the first deliberate "multi-purpose" (read compromise) parks, or it least it seemed so. Was probably a better football stadium, what with the bleacher type seats even in fair territory, and lack of upper deck roof was brutal on a hot day in May '91.
FENWAY PARK, Boston Red Sox, Boston MA
Neat old band box, fun so long as you don't insist on driving there or on a comfortable seat, or on holding off dinner 'til you get there.  Have now been there twice…on my own in June '93, and with north shore pal Rac Cooney in May of 1998.  Keep hearing low mumblings of a replacement park, but the strongest advocates strongly insist it be in the same area as the current park (neighborhood businesses be damned), and they haven't quite figured out who'll pay for it, so yes there is strong objection to the plan.  Commentary from Rac Cooney later in this broadcast.
OK, so the Braves moved to Milwaukee 6½ years before I was even born, but pieces still exist…the ticket office is a Boston University police station, and the right field line bleacher section is the grandstand for Boston University's Nickerson football field, gate open for me to walk in, in 6/93.
WRIGLEY FIELD, Chicago Cubs, Chicago IL
Not THAT small…hey, it's 354 down the lines, though those little inward curves make the power alleys a bit short.  The ivy-covered brick wall is what, 12 feet high?  The Cubs have a great old park, and when the Cubs are in the midst of seasons such as  '83 or '97 that's about ALL they have!  Usually the park's enough for frequent sell-outs, even when folks even dare to think of boycotting the team until the Tribune multimegaCorp finally wakes up!
LAKEFRONT PARK, Chicago White Stockings, Chicago IL
Long as I'm starting to add defunct locations…People visiting the Chicago Cultural Center, the former main library on Michigan between Randolph and Washington, could look across Michigan Ave, and have trouble imagining that the narrow strip between the street and the railroad tracks used to be a ballpark.  Well, this was the original home of the White Stockings (now Cubs), for their first season in 1876.  Photos I've seen do show a wacky bowling-alley of a field squeezed into the site.
[D'oh!  Several times I had been around where their "West Side Grounds", approximately Polk & Wood Sts., but not since I found out that was where they played during their 2 World Series wins (1907-08)]
COMISKEY PARK dah second, Chicago White Sox, Chicago IL
A bland, suburban-type stadium, built on the ruins of a tavern in 1991, across the street from the former Baseball Palace of the World.  Much of the upper deck is higher than the uppermost seats at the old place.  If you build it, they will yawn.  The lower deck food and shopping court has inspired more than one reference to "Comiskey Mall".  I will say this though, it gets a undeserved bad rep for being in a "bad" neighborhood.
A functional enough concrete & steel ballpark, built in 1910 by the namesake guy who inspired Eight Men Out [which was actually filmed in Indianapolis], and torn down in 1991 for a parking lot by the guy who re-popularized the term "dork".
RIVERFRONT STADIUM, Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati OH
One of those round, multi-purpose urban-renewal parks (which I often call "ash-trays" or "salad bowls") from the late 60s & early 70s.  Was the first stop on our May '91 Ballpark Tour, and was of course the least interesting stop, unless you count my visit to Gold Star chili parlor en route (yum).  Has some corporate-sponsorship name now.  Also, supposed to be replaced eventually, though this has been delayed as the city is building the NFL Bengals a new pen first.
JACOBS FIELD, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland OH
Got to this new/old park in June 1994…after this and Camden, I could only mutter all the more about the schlock spot White Sox fans got stuck with.
Last stop on the May '91 ballpark tour, and if I remember right our only home-team win on that trip?  The stories were mostly true, a cold, cavernous stadium on the gray lakefront, built for the '32 Olympics which wound up being held in Los Angeles.
COORS FIELD, Colorado Rockies, Denver CO
Have so far only been outside the place, while still under construction in July of ‘94.  Built into the side of the Platte river bluff, so is much bigger than it looks from the Blake St. entrance!
Was hard to tell from the layout in July '94, but Mile High really was a baseball stadium first, only to be expanded mercilessly for football.  71,500 easily the biggest crowd ever at a baseball game I've attended, and that was not even a sell-out?  Lots of runs as expected, but many were thanks to a near-record number of walks by Cardinal pitchers. Where every seat was a nose-bleed seat, if you come from a place only 600 feet above sea level.  Remained open for several more NFL Bronco seasons, though I guess it has or will be disappearing soon.
COMERICA PARK, Detroit Tigers, Detroit MI
Have not yet seen the new, rent-a-name stadium on the northeast side of downtown.
Fans of the old Comiskey would find this place felt almost like home…until it got replaced in time for Opening Day 2000, the Tigers’ first one ever away from “the Corner” of Michigan & Trumbull. Had been to Tiger twice, in July 1991 I think, and again just this May, and it rained both occasions.
JOE ROBBIE STADIUM, Florida Marlins, far northern Dade county, FL
Have only driven by and flown over this football stadium with the baseball field squeezed in.  Has some corporate-sponsor name now.
ENRON FIELD, Houston Astros, Houston TX
The Astros’ new (2000) home was not even a dream last time I would have been near it (Labor Day ’92).  Supposed to have one of those retractable roofs so fashionable amongst team owners these days.
…where they have this dance they call the Tighten-Up! First of the domes, and to blame for the scourge they call Astroturf. Considering the inside has not been exposed to the outside elements since the roof was finished in '64, sure looked like the inside concrete needed a sand-blast job. Small crowd for a holiday day game, Labor Day '92, where I first heard news of the firing of baseball's last commissioner (on the Astros' Spanish station, KXYZ).  The Astrodome was replaced by a new downtown park at the start of the 2000 campaign.
KAUFMANN STADIUM, Kansas City Royals, Kansas City MO
I deliberately waited for the turf to be replaced with real grass before my first inside visit.  Well tended grass, at that!  Feels too much like New Comiskey, though with a slightly more fan-friendly design. Was there 7/97, way out by the far edge of right field, over-looking the fountains, a near sell-out thanks to it being Jackie Robinson Night. (Darn, I forgot to track down Municipal Stadium when I had the chance, and have to go back for the new Negro Leagues museum!!)
DODGER STADIUM, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles CA
The epitome of modren suburban ballparks…and by 2001 will be the National League's 2nd-oldest.  Which reminds me, did I not just hear some low rumblings of possible replacement?  Would be for the usual scourge, the dreaded skybox addiction.  Such talk may have been put off awhile by the addition of suites and a private club at ground level, behind home plate?!  Was here the first time just after Labor Day of 1993.  Swell views from the upper deck, and from the south parking lot while waiting for the post-game traffic to filter down the hill.  Because of it being on top of a hill, despite Dodger Stadium being near downtown it still feels very isolated, just like a suburban park.  Heck, there’s not even any bus service!  I live just a county away now so am stuck with going here more often (though I got to San Diego twice for NL games first!)
Have so far been only outside this huge shallow bowl of an arena, the awkward first home of the LA Bums (1958 to what, 1960?)
When finished, one odd looking, expensive ballpark for opening day 2001!  Was maybe half-finished last time I was by it, just before the construction-delaying roof collapse of 7/99.
COUNTY STADIUM, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee WI
First of the suburban-style setups, near nothing but a couple of freeways and a large parking lot.  Would have been better off downtown, but they make do…fun tailgate parties before games, best ballpark bratwurst, large grandstand.  A chunk of parking lot is now being filled in with Miller Park, scheduled to be ready for Opening Day 2001, maybe.  Got here a number of times during my Chicago days, most recently for McGwire’s 65th (and shoulda-been-66th) homer of 1998.
HHH METRODOME, Minnesota Twins, Minneapolis MN
My vote for goofiest ballpark, the logical first location if they started an “Arena Baseball” league.  I can say no more, though at least the elements outside the day I attended in April '92 (40 & rain) made me happy for a roof overhead.  Faint smell of "lame duck" in the air, as moving the franchise (again, being the former Washington Senators the First) seems more practical than funding a 3rd new park since 1960?!
Never did see the Twins' first Minnesota home.  Closest I've come was to spot the red seat hanging high in the rafters of the Mall of America, supposedly marking the exact spot where the longest Metropolitan home-run blast landed.  Off the bat of Harmon Killebrew, natch.
STADE OLYMPIQUE, Montréal Expos, Montréal QC
An oversized track stadium with a tarp for a roof…not quite the Humptydome, but nearly as goofy!  Kinda musty on a hot summer night in June of ‘94, too.  Was also there 7/89, when they still opened the hole-in-the-ceiling every so often…so of course there was a mid-game rain delay!  Dreams of a new downtown ballpark, but the price-tag on their current place is still hurting the city.  Parlez-vous Québecois?
The Expos' first home, only slightly expanded from its days as a AAA park.  Still exists, though unfortunately fenced up in such a way that one can see little of the inside, aargh.  {Will they need a minor league ball park again soon?  Stay Tuned!}
SHEA STADIUM, New York Mets, Flushing NY
Not as bad as expected…Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy upgraded it to "Mostly Harmless" :).  Visited 4/94.  Weird factoid--if they filled in the outfield hole with the same seat layout as in the grandstand, the plane noise would be heard from 90,000 seats?!?
YANKEE STADIUM, New York Yankees, the Bronx NY
Nice place actually, though I regret not getting there before the mid-70s refurbishment.  Did get there on a nice night in May '91, on the Baseball Tour of course, hosting the Red Sox so the crowd was, shall we say, really into the game?  Yet they were razzing Steinbrenner as loudly as they were Boston.
I moved to Oakland in 1981, but did not attend a game here until 1984.  In '81 I was still in my avoiding-baseball period, but would snap out of it in '82.  After that, just thought the Coliseum was another concrete bowl.  In many ways, yes it is, but once I started going I enjoyed the rest of the atmosphere for my many visits between 1984 and ‘87.  Not sure I want to see it after the lure-back-the-Raiders desecration of the outfield stands, never mind the current rent-a-name, but I do have a visit scheduled for late Sept. 2000.
VETERANS STADIUM, Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia PA
I hate "turf", and the cookie-cutter/ashtray/soup-bowls, though at least this one is more like a rounded rectangle.  Went during a dismal losing streak in 5/91, part of the Baseball Tour, and only the Phanatic and the Expos were entertaining that night.  Another team hoping for a new ballpark.
BANK ONE BALLPARK, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix AZ
From the outside it looks like a large downtown mall, but surprisingly it looks almost like a ballpark on the inside…my favorite of the roofed parks so far.  Right before game time, the sectioned roof was opened with a spooky background song, so we got a patch of open air on a comfortable April evening in 2000.
More on my Phoenix visit in the travel section.
THREE RIVERS STADIUM, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh PA
They tore down Forbes for this?  Yep, another multi-purpose stadium with a concrete floor.  At least there was a big crowd the night I went (10/9/92, NL playoff), and they sell Iron City beer!  A new baseball-only park is being built after all, to be ready for 2001 already!
All that's left is home plate, inside one of the U. of Pittsburgh buildings now on the site, and a chunk of the outfield wall where Maz's drive beat the Yankees in 1960.
BUSCH STADIUM, Saint Louis Cardinals, Saint Louis MO
Eek, another cookie-cutter 60s stadium, but at least the Cardinals have good fans, the grass is back (gotta get back to see it myself!) and they've monkeyed around with the field layout now that football is played in its own indoor heated building.  Have been to Busch 5 times total (4 vs the Cubs), in 1969, 71, 73 and 93.
TROPICANA DOME, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Saint Petersburg FL
It only looks like the roof is caving in.  Haven't been inside yet, but was outside it in January, 1992, or at least 2 names ago?  "Built It, And They Will Come…Eventually!"
JACK MURPHY STADIUM, San Diego Padres, San Diego CA
Now just one county away, and have been here twice since my move west (June and August of 2000).  Has been expanded over the years for football, to the point where the place felt empty despite both games drawing over 40k!  Has some corporate-rented name these days, which I neither know nor care to know.  Starting to build a baseball-only place on the waterfront downtown, ETA 2003?
San Diego adventures in the Travel section.
PACIFIC BELL PARK, San Francisco Giants, San Francisco CA
In a much more sensible location than the Stick, just south of downtown. Better weather, nearer to transportation, and if there's a corporate name at least they're paying for part of the actual construction costs.  Opened in April 2000, and no weekend tickets were left by the time I thought to order in February.  Will try to check out the outside anyway if/when I get back up to the Bay area.
Went here often while I lived in SF.  Yes, a cold windy place…what were they thinking when they picked this location??  One time, my first day back from a hot, sweaty midwest trip in 1987, we were at times able to pick out a game going on in the fog here?!
The site of the former AAA park, used by the Giants in 1958-59, sensibly located at about 16th and Bryant.  Had long ago been replaced by an auto mall. Walked by the site one afternoon on my way to a Giants game…70s and sunny here, 58 and light fog at the 'Stick.
SAFECO FIELD, Seattle Mariners, Seattle WA
I hadn’t thought to look for the construction site on my 9/97 Kingdome visit…was it even started by then?  Was already open for business by July ’99.
Hardly the grey, grim insides I was expecting (and had actually gotten to see before, though for a soccer game only, in 1980).  Of course I missed the grey, grim pre-Junior years.  Lots of fun here on Labour Day, 1997.
SKYDOME, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto ON
Like being inside a giant pinball machine, especially when the crowd is "on" (as they were until Lance Johnson shut them up for one evening in October, 1993).  I hate domes of course, so would like to go back to SkyDome one summer afternoon, but at least the roof is too high to affect too many pop-ups.  Also, that night it was about 35º (2º celsius) outside.  And, the Blue Jays' former home was no great shakes...
In May, 1979 the Blue Jays were still deep in 100-loss-a-season mode, still no beer allowed, and still this place that looked a bit awkward even for its originally intended (football) use?!
RFK STADIUM, Washington DC
OK, so the Senators (version 2.0) were about 17 seasons gone before I even saw the outside of this place.  From the outside, another of those 60s-era soup bowls, but photos of the inside show a melted-looking overhang.



Growing up, I was definitely a "Cubs fan", except too many bum moves by Cubs manglement, uh management would scare me away.  Now, I just follow baseball as a sport, with as much interest in the minors as in the majors.

Corporate Names and Red Sox – Rac Cooney

The new stadium for the New England Patriots will be named after an internet-related firm, CMGI (it will be CMGI Field and will open in a couple of years). It's the latest corporate selling-of-the name to a new stadium.

At least it helps to get the thing built ($8 Million [a year] over 15 years…)  No doubt Red Sox will have to go same route—and whatever it winds up being, it won't be the same as calling it "Fenway Park" or "New Fenway".  Then again, opposition by local residents and the Boston City Council may kill the plan for a new stadium anyway.

In some ways, Red Sox plan makes sense: have it right across from where the current stadium is, and help the neighborhood.  But it will also mean a lot more (car) traffic to the neighborhood, etc.  (Also a lot of "foot traffic" buying things, though!!)  And the Sox plan to shoehorn a stadium into a very small piece of land (and keep the weird dimensions of the old park--why not put extra seats in left field instead of building a replica of the "Green Monster" left field wall?  The only reason that wall exists is because there's no room for seats--there's a street!)

And the Sox could have had a site right on the Waterfront, lots of room, scenic place--but the residents of South Boston said no to more car traffic.  Not many other places the Sox can go…into the suburbs, maybe?  Could be, but you want a ballpark IN THE CITY--for easy access plus it doesn't feel right to have a park in the suburbs; you want it an active part of the city.

The Red Sox problem is this: they can't afford good talent until they get an owner with "deep pockets".  Right now they're run by a trust and the trust won't sell the team till a new stadium is built.  And if a new stadium isn't built, there will be many, many more years without championships--and maybe the Sox wouldn't even be competitive.

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