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Stadium Names Newsbeat

Monday, July 17, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - San Francisco Giants

Welcome to the initial nominating thread of Taking Back the Ballparks, where today’s palatial, taxpayer-funded ballyards will be reclaimed from Fortune 500 companies, in-pocket politicians and onerous owners, and returned to the fans who fill them. Over the course of however long this takes, we’re going to select new, distinct and appropriate names for each of the 30 major league ballparks instead of the corporate-sponsored monstrosities they currently call themselves. And, in some cases, we might determine the old sobriquet was just fine.

To get this series started correctly, we’re going right to the stadium in most need of a permanent moniker makeover: AT&T Park, a ballpark that’s already had more legal name changes than a member of the extended Kardashian Klan.

One of the absolute gems* of the HOK era, the stadium has been an upgrade over the Giants previous home in every way but one. Candlestick was a glorious name for a ballpark, either in its full or nicknamed version (the Stick). AT&T will never be anything but the name of a phone company.

Now, you can fix that. In this thread, suggest a replacement for the Giants stadium, and make a case why this new name is preferable. Given the source material (San Francisco and the Bay Area and a history-rich franchise), there should be no shortage of potentially evocative names just waiting to be tapped.

In two weeks, we’ll close nominations here, at my blog and anywhere else that might piggyback onto this exercise. With the help of a few other Primates, we’ll select up to four finalists from the nominees and we’ll begin a full vote to be taken exclusively here at BTF.

* By all other accounts. As with the case with most of the parks, I haven’t been there, so I can only go on the reports of others. The baseball writing staff at the Washington Post just slotted it No. 1 among the MLB 30, for instance.


Ballpark History
Name: AT&T Park (previously Pacific Bell Park, SBC Park)
Built: 2000
Capacity: 41,915
Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Candlestick (aka 3Com Park), 1960-1999, Seals Stadium 1958-1959)
Distinctive Features: As many as you’ll find anywhere. The Coke Bottle and Glove in Left; 24-foot high brick wall in right; McCovey Cove.

Ballpark Highlights:
Giants have played in four World Series since park opened in 2000, winning three. However, none of the title-clinching games took place there, nor was the Game 7 loss to Anaheim in the 2002 Fall Classic.
Matt Cain threw baseball’s 22nd perfect game there in 2012.
Neifi Perez scored on an infield fly.
Ruben Rivera engaged in “the worst baserunning in the history of the game.”
Barry Bonds played a lot of games at the place.

SoSH U at work Posted: July 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 184 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, stadium names

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks

In two years, the Seattle Mariners will have a new stadium to call home, without changing their address. The ballpark to be formerly known as Safeco Field is undergoing a corporate name change. In 2019, King Felix, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager will be playing in Boeing Park, or Microsoft Yards or Starbucks Lot. Whatever the new moniker, chances are it will be a downgrade.

As corporate names go, Safeco isn’t bad, much closer to Citi Field than Guaranteed Rate Field. But even if the new name is truly representative of Seattle, Poppy Fields, for instance, we still lose. Names really aren’t made for the name holder, but for the rest of us. My name (whether that’s the one on my birth certificate or my handle here at BTF) is primarily used by others, as a means to identify me. Changing it regularly would be a disservice to those who know me. It’s no different for stadia.

The question is, why do we go along with it? That some well-heeled corporate sugar daddy is willing to fork over big bucks to the local extortionist baseball owner for naming rights doesn’t mean we have to play along. Why should we be forced to follow all the latest merger and acquisition activity to keep up with the name outside that limestone and steel ode to corporate welfare?

Truth is, we shouldn’t. Until Delta Airlines or T-Mobile or Geico wants to cut us a check, we ought to just pick a name for the local ballpark and stick with it. No longer should we be required to know which telecommunications company is out front in the Bay Area or, which banking institution has bundled its way to supremacy in the Midwest to know where our favorite team is playing this weekend.

Starting next week, we’re going to change that. Through this effort, BTF is going to establish new names, or at least validate the old ones, for all 30 ballparks. If you think Houston can do better than Minute Maid Park (and who doesn’t?), then let’s find a better name for the joint. Or, if you think the park at Clark and Addison can be known as nothing but Wrigley, that’s cool too.

Every few weeks, I’ll introduce a different team, and solicit suggestions for a new name for the team’s ballpark. Perhaps the park is located adjacent to an interesting geographic feature of its host city, or near the site of an important event in history. Maybe there’s an interesting baseball connection, either with the home team or a ballplayer from the past. A significant local industry might have called that area of the city home at one point in time. I’m looking for the kind of name that will be unique to its home city, and one that can stand the test of time.

I’ll open up a new page at BTF, at my newly created, still-unvisited blog here, and maybe a few other places on the tubes, for nominations. At the end of the nomination period, I’ll hash out the best options among the nominees with a few like-minded Primates and we’ll offer a choice of three or four to vote on the following week.* Voting will take place exclusively here.

Ideally, when we’re done, and this project hasn’t suffered the same fate as the Count The Rings Great 28 Unfinished Symphony, we’ll have a nice collection of distinct names that online baseball fans can use for each major league ballpark. And there’s not a damn thing MLB, the owners, the players, the media and anyone else can do about it. Taco Bell’s chief execs can toss a bunch of cash at some poor beleaguered billionaire owner, but they can’t force us to use Gordita Supreme Stadium in everyday conversation.

* Yeah, we’re picking the finalists. Boaty McBoatface was marginally funny. Once.

SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: history, stadium names

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Marlins in ‘fourth inning’ of sale talks, table pursuit of naming-rights deal for ballpark - Sun Sentinel

What’s the worst possible stadium name option for the Marlins? (Guaranteed Rate Field is already taken.)

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2017 at 08:47 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, stadium names

 

 

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