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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

KMOV: Bailey: Wrigley Field is the treasure that never was

My kind of stadium, Wrigley ain’t
My kind of freeloaders, too
Toothless ushers who smile at you

There is something ghastly about watching the St. Louis Cardinals play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field akin to watching the prom queen dance with Quasimodo in a fetid alley.

Busch Stadium is a modern, clean facility with excellent views of the playing field, wide inner corridors, easy access to vendors, large restrooms, plentiful parking and compelling views of a vibrant downtown.

The Busch Stadium field announcer unashamedly welcomes fans to “Baseball Heaven.” Ushers smile, vendors have a full set of teeth, and the field is immaculate. 

If Busch is baseball heaven, then Wrigley Field is that other place, a sort of baseball hell where fans can purchase a ticket only to find their seat obstructed by a support beam, or located so far under the upper deck that fly balls are not visible, like watching the game from a tunnel. So distant is the upper deck, the game is just a rumor.

...Perhaps the most curious aspect of Wrigley Field are the freeloaders who squat on various neighboring rooftops in seats only marginally less distant than Voyager II. They don’t just pilfer the game as they once did, years ago, when they put out a few lawn chairs and watched a couple of innings from across the street. Building owners have erected stadium seating – large metal bleachers onto which dozens of people sit, often paying large sums of money to sit across the street, at least 200 feet further than the farthest outfield seat. Literally hundreds of fans cram into these steep bleachers in full view of fire inspectors and building code enforcement, convinced that they are enjoying a unique experience.

The worst seat at Busch Stadium is a field box compared to these, yet they are more coveted that the handful of decent seats inside Wrigley itself.

They have another tradition, that of singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the 7th inning, led off-key by some minor celebrity dragged in to aver his undying allegiance to a team whose moniker is “The Lovable Losers.”

And they are, in more ways than one.

Repoz Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:56 AM | 123 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cards, cubs

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:08 AM (#4436043)
The Busch Stadium field announcer unashamedly welcomes fans to “Baseball Heaven.” Ushers smile, vendors have a full set of teeth, and the field is immaculate.


I wonder where they import them from.
   2. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:20 AM (#4436045)
Stay classy, Cardinal fan.
   3. AndrewJ Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:58 AM (#4436048)
Stay classy, Cardinal fan.

Maybe he was just communicating with the family of the manager of the 1915 Phillies and 1919 Reds. Or Joanie Cunningham's real-life parents.
   4. john_halfz Posted: May 07, 2013 at 06:58 AM (#4436054)
This article reflects well on its author.

Seriously, though, I've been to Busch once and Wrigley twice. I found it pretty easy to avoid obstructed views at Wrigley, and didn't really feel that far from the action. Busch is pretty banal, though the fans are pretty enthusiastic.

Wrigley wins, though, because when I was there in 2001, Chicago Police, including the guy who was watching Kane Davis warm up, suddenly opened the door in the right field fence and burst out onto Waveland Avenue. Don't know whom they were chasing or why the game wasn't interrupted.
   5. Flynn Posted: May 07, 2013 at 07:01 AM (#4436055)
Busch Stadium is a rather boring ballpark. It's one of the worst examples of a park where HOK/Populus just recycled some previous designs and took the fat fee without creating anything new or particularly interesting. It's certainly not in the Camden/AT&T/PNC tier of new ballparks.

Like Fenway, Wrigley's traditions and imperfections have become commodified in order to sell ridiculously expensive tickets. 40$ for the "Bud" bleachers? How much to sit on the wall at Fenway, where you can't even see most of left field from your barstool? Ridiculous. But they still have more authentic personality than almost all of the new parks with only a handful of exceptions. And if Fenway's renovations tell us anything, it's that a couple hundred million can take decades off of a ballpark. I predict people will be happy with Wrigley in five years if these renovations ever come off.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 07, 2013 at 07:35 AM (#4436058)
The nicest thing I can say about Busch is that it's better than the stadium it replaced. What a dump!
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2013 at 07:59 AM (#4436069)
I am beginning to think that part of the cardinal brand marketing is to be the most despised team in the nl. nobody could push this image from so many directions (players, fans, local media) without it being a coordinated effort

   8. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 07, 2013 at 08:30 AM (#4436083)
New Busch is nice and delightfully forgettable. It's got the amenities and the newness that make it nice enough but there is nothing about it that makes you leave there thinking "wow, that was fantastic."

   9. zonk Posted: May 07, 2013 at 08:50 AM (#4436091)
I am beginning to think that part of the cardinal brand marketing is to be the most despised team in the nl. nobody could push this image from so many directions (players, fans, local media) without it being a coordinated effort


Seriously... I guess I can understand getting bored with the Cubs rivalry and feeling the need to become the arch-enemies of every other team in the division, but one at a time, eh fellas?

I'm going to tonight's game -- and I gotta say, this is just what I needed. Even rooting for a .500 season is pretty much a fool's errand at this point, but this helps me remember what's really important in life: hating the ####### Cardinals.
   10. Styles P. Deadball Posted: May 07, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4436101)
At least the Cardinals' true colors are showing. The "plucky, American-made, baseball-the-way-it-should-be" farce of Cardinal Nation can kiss my @$$.
   11. zack Posted: May 07, 2013 at 09:19 AM (#4436104)
I hate when people complain about parking, especially after they demand a downtown stadium. Wrigley is right on a L stop, park wherever the hell you want. This isn't football. I've never been to Busch, but the (out of date?) overhead imagery shows it half-surrounded by a sea of freeways and parking lots.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2013 at 09:21 AM (#4436108)
Anyone who doesn't like Wrigley Field doesn't really like baseball.
   13. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 07, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4436110)
I think Wrigley is pretty great, but this article is a pretty good rant. I give it a 6--it's got a beat and you can hate to it. Stadiums surrounded by an actual vibrant neighborhood are the best stadiums.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: May 07, 2013 at 09:26 AM (#4436111)
I wonder if this guy is really that dimwitted, or if it's all just shtick.
Being St. Louis, I suspect the former.

Of course, that famously classy fan base presumably will demand this guy be fired for his lack of ClassinessTM.

agree with snapper.

   15. JRVJ Posted: May 07, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4436123)
What a douchey article.

Just that.
   16. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: May 07, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4436131)
PROBLEM?
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4436132)
for the record over the weekend a cardinal fan was tweeting how when he sees brewers right fielder aoki he thinks of pearl harbor. the wording was such that it came across as overtly racist. (would provide link but can't find it)

it was quite the tweet
   18. DA Baracus Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4436145)
(would provide link but can't find it)


Without looking I'm sure @BestFansStLouis reweeted it.
   19. Bob Tufts Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4436152)
The process of morphing into a level of obnoxiousness reached by Red Sox fans will be complete when they sell pink Cardinals hats.

   20. Shredder Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4436155)
Anyone who doesn't like Wrigley Field doesn't really like baseball.
I think Wrigley is just OK. I like it more now than I did a few years ago, and less than I did after my first visit about 15 years ago. If I'm just sitting down and watching a game, I'd rather be in Anaheim or what I remember Dodger Stadium being (haven't been there in 15 years probably), or even at the Cell. But if I'm spending a day going to the game and hanging out before and after, Wrigley is great. It's also nice that I can walk to it in 10 minutes. But for actually sitting down and watching a game, it's a bit meh.

In other words, if you consider, for example, Angels Stadium to be the entirety of the grounds from the train tracks to Katella, to State College, to Orangewood, etc., and you consider Wrigley to be Clark down to Sheffield, up to Grace, and back over to Clark, which is about 3x smaller than the dimensions described for Angels Stadium, than Wrigley is clearly better. But if all I'm doing is showing up, watching the game, and leaving, there are many better stadiums than Wrigley.
   21. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4436158)
Oh, Bob Tufts, we can do better than just pink...

TBF, those don't look officially licensed...
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4436160)
Anyone who doesn't like Wrigley Field doesn't really like baseball.


I didn't care for it all that much. I suppose I've been spoiled by the new parks, but the cramped quarters, disgusting bathrooms, obstructed viewing, etc. didn't charm me. I'll take PNC in a heartbeat.

Hell, I'm kind of hesitant to return to Fenway because I'm afraid that many of the flaws that didn't catch my attention as a 12-year-old kid will not be so easy to avoid now. But, gotta get the youngest boy there someday.
   23. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4436164)
The upper deck is too distant? That's an odd complaint. The reason the back end of the lower deck gets a tunnel view is because the upper deck is exceptionally close.
   24. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4436165)
The headline to this piece is particularly misleading: Wrigley Field isn't "a treasure that never was." I haven't been there in several years, but it used to be a treasure indeed; most of the things the author complains about are recent innovations.

The rooftops, as we discussed a week or so ago, used to be free and sparsely populated. The overhang from the upper deck, obstructing the view from the back of the lower deck, arrived about 25 years ago with the advent of the luxury boxes. Before that, the view from the entire lower deck was fine. They started having a celebrity sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in what, 1998? I think that was when Harry died.

The upper deck, of course, hasn't moved, and has always been reasonably close to the action.
   25. BDC Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4436177)
The upper deck is too distant? That's an odd complaint. The reason the back end of the lower deck gets a tunnel view is because the upper deck is exceptionally close.

Exactly. The rule of thumb is that the front row of the upper deck in a cantilevered park (as virtually all of every park is nowadays) is further from the field than the back row of a pillar-supported upper deck.

Pillars have become complete anathema, but obviously a seat is rarely smack in back of a pillar. The typical pillar-obstructed view means a vertical line across your field of vision, more or less far away. And when you think of it, there's hardly a seat in any stadium that has a totally unobstructed view. Even without pillars, you can be under an overhang that cuts off high popups, or on a sightline (particularly from the upper deck) that cuts off part of the outfield. Rails and walkways often mean some craning of the neck, in any part of a park. And it's rarely mentioned, but the best seats in the house are behind a screen: you filter out the screen fairly quickly, but it typically has edges that draw vertical lines across your vision.

Heck, when I used to be relegated to the third row of the Ballpark press box BITD, I couldn't see home plate. I don't know who incorporated that brilliant design function, but the writers lower in the pecking order learned to deal with it. There was a lot of standing on tiptoe when something interesting was happening.

{/rant
   26. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4436178)
As new parks go, Busch is largely pretty vanilla, but I do like that you can see most of the field of play from one of the adjacent sidewalks. Otherwise, there's few things in this world I'd rather do than watch a game at Wrigley from the 500 section. And I say that as a Cardinals fan.
   27. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4436180)
The upper deck is too distant? That's an odd complaint. The reason the back end of the lower deck gets a tunnel view is because the upper deck is exceptionally close.

Its a completely false complaint. I bet the guy has never been in the upper deck.
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4436201)
I'm sure people like this author were touting Three Rivers, The Astrodome, The Vet etc at one point, too.
   29. Spahn Insane Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4436202)
Its a completely false complaint. I bet the guy has never been in the upper deck.

Word. Wrigley's upper deck seats are closer to the action than any of the dozen or so major league parks I've been to.**

And sorry, but a guy writing on behalf of hilljack nation probably doesn't want to wade too far into the "full set of teeth" waters...

**As noted below, Tiger Stadium excepted. But Wrigley's got the best views, due to the placement of Tiger Stadium's poles.
   30. Spahn Insane Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4436204)
I will acknowledge the validity of any complaints about the view from the back of the 200 level, which is obscured by the mezzanine suites. It makes you feel as if you're watching the game on letterbox.

Fortunately, the 500 level seats, which afford a better view and are much cheaper, are readily available.
   31. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4436216)
The only UD which I recall being closer to the field was Tiger Stadium.

There are plenty of valid rips on Wrigley, this (upper deck) isn't one of them. However, some of the high seats in the UD are blocked by poles which can conceal your view of the battery.
   32. Spahn Insane Posted: May 07, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4436221)
Even rooting for a .500 season is pretty much a fool's errand at this point, but this helps me remember what's really important in life: hating the ####### Cardinals.

The wife proposed a trip to Pittsburgh over Labor Day weekend, as Southwest was offering dirt cheap fares, she's never been to the Steel City before, and I have roots there. I was hesitant until I saw who the Pirates were playing. Cheap trip to Pittsburgh plus the opportunity to boo the Cardinals from a box seat? Hell yes.
   33. Spahn Insane Posted: May 07, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4436225)
The only UD which I recall being closer to the field was Tiger Stadium.

Correct--and Tiger Stadium's obstructed view problem was far, far worse than Wrigley's.
   34. beer on a stick Posted: May 07, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4436238)
Anyone who doesn't like Wrigley Field doesn't really like baseball.


Sorry Snap, but I love baseball and I think Wrigley is a dump. I haven't been there in a couple years, but I'm reasonably sure the place hasn't improved since my last visit. Also, I know people that work in the park and they feel the same way.

Obviously the team does too or they wouldn't be pushing to tear the place apart and rebuild it.

   35. Shredder Posted: May 07, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4436243)
The only UD which I recall being closer to the field was Tiger Stadium.
I saw Tiger Stadium once about a month before its last game. We were just about even with first base in the second to last row of the upper deck. Those seats were closer to the field than the front row of the upper decks at Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium. Very glad I got the opportunity to see it before it was gone.
   36. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4436245)
I make a distinction between the ballpark and the experience.

Wrigley as an experience is excellent.

Wrigley as a ballpark assessed by absolute standards has some gaps

I always enjoy a game at wrigley
   37. beer on a stick Posted: May 07, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4436253)
Correct--and Tiger Stadium's obstructed view problem was far, far worse than Wrigley's.


Tiger Stadium actually had seats directly behind girders.
   38. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 07, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4436316)
I hate when people complain about parking, especially after they demand a downtown stadium. Wrigley is right on a L stop, park wherever the hell you want. This isn't football. I've never been to Busch, but the (out of date?) overhead imagery shows it half-surrounded by a sea of freeways and parking lots.

Yeppers, and I would much rather park at a downtown stadium than a place like Dodger Stadium (which is a downtown stadium more or less, but you almost have to have a car to get there). I've been to Petco more than a few times and parking in one of the downtown lots is always easy. As a bonus, Petco has a trolley stop really close to it. A couple of years ago, I took my boys (they were 3 and 1) to an afternoon game at Petco while my wife was at a conference. We were able to catch the trolley from the Fashion Island area to the park and it was awesome with my boys (mostly because my oldest is obsessed with trains). I've also caught the trolley from Qualcomm and rode it to Petco. Parking downtown or riding the trolley has always been easier than parking at Dodger Stadium*

* though, I must say that i took my oldest (almost 5) to opening day this year and we parked in Pasadena, rode the Gold Line (light rail) to Union Station, took the DS express (a bus) to the stadium and it was a fantastic experience and only in part because again, my son loves trains. He was also excited to ride a bus. He is really just a mass transit junkie! But it was nice to not have to worry about parking or getting out the stadium.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4436336)
Sorry Snap, but I love baseball and I think Wrigley is a dump. I haven't been there in a couple years, but I'm reasonably sure the place hasn't improved since my last visit. Also, I know people that work in the park and they feel the same way.

Obviously the team does too or they wouldn't be pushing to tear the place apart and rebuild it.


If it's become a dump, it's the team's fault. Spend a little money on maintenance.
   40. Eddo Posted: May 07, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4436338)
I think Wrigley is just OK. I like it more now than I did a few years ago, and less than I did after my first visit about 15 years ago. If I'm just sitting down and watching a game, I'd rather be in Anaheim or what I remember Dodger Stadium being (haven't been there in 15 years probably), or even at the Cell. But if I'm spending a day going to the game and hanging out before and after, Wrigley is great. It's also nice that I can walk to it in 10 minutes. But for actually sitting down and watching a game, it's a bit meh.

In other words, if you consider, for example, Angels Stadium to be the entirety of the grounds from the train tracks to Katella, to State College, to Orangewood, etc., and you consider Wrigley to be Clark down to Sheffield, up to Grace, and back over to Clark, which is about 3x smaller than the dimensions described for Angels Stadium, than Wrigley is clearly better. But if all I'm doing is showing up, watching the game, and leaving, there are many better stadiums than Wrigley.

This is a great summary of my view. I'll add that the food is one part of the "experience" (as opposed to just watching a game) that Wrigley doesn't really do well (U.S. Cellular, for example, is orders of magnitude better in the food department).
   41. greenback calls it soccer Posted: May 07, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4436339)
The building was built over a hundred years ago, with all the technological limitations that come with that. I have enjoyed my visits there, but it's still a dump, and it will only get worse with time.
   42. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4436347)
greenback

technically Wrigley is at 99 years. everything I have read has it being built in 1914

if you want to gripe about me being picky I understand
   43. villageidiom Posted: May 07, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4436352)
Hell, I'm kind of hesitant to return to Fenway because I'm afraid that many of the flaws that didn't catch my attention as a 12-year-old kid will not be so easy to avoid now. But, gotta get the youngest boy there someday.
The Fenway flaws that likely didn't catch your attention when you were twelve that still exist are (a) the lack of leg room and (b) concession prices. (For some there's a third: (c) the Red Sox play there.)

Flaws that have gotten worse: the poles supporting the upper deck are a little wider. The quality of sausages available in the park has dropped. And both Sherm Feller and Carl Beane are dead.

The things that have gotten better number as the stars in the sky. Restrooms (both in number and quality), concession availability and choice and (non-sausage) quality, space to move around, standing room options, upper deck seating (not to mention the monster seats), scoreboard/stats, video replay, the PA system, etc.
   44. villageidiom Posted: May 07, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4436354)
technically Wrigley is at 99 years. everything I have read has it being built in 1914
To Cubs fans it feels like over 100 years.
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4436357)
For some there's a third: (c) the Red Sox play there.)


That's obviously not a problem for me, the 2001 club excepted.

   46. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4436366)
sosh

the brewer team of recent years I disliked watching was 2007. it was awful defensively, the offense was prone to prolonged outages and the manager did a terrible job of managing the bullpen.

every game was excruciating to watch as the team would give the opponent 2,3,4,5 extra outs

just painful.

that and dave bush. nice guy. but awful to watch play baseball. phew
   47. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: May 07, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4436374)
Wrigley and Fenway are pretty similar in my mind; great, wonderful experiences, but not the best place to watch a game. Wrigley was a little better, IMHO.
   48. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: May 07, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4436407)
Yeppers, and I would much rather park at a downtown stadium than a place like Dodger Stadium (which is a downtown stadium more or less, but you almost have to have a car to get there). I've been to Petco more than a few times and parking in one of the downtown lots is always easy. As a bonus, Petco has a trolley stop really close to it. A couple of years ago, I took my boys (they were 3 and 1) to an afternoon game at Petco while my wife was at a conference. We were able to catch the trolley from the Fashion Island area to the park and it was awesome with my boys (mostly because my oldest is obsessed with trains). I've also caught the trolley from Qualcomm and rode it to Petco. Parking downtown or riding the trolley has always been easier than parking at Dodger Stadium*


Petco struck me as the kind of new construction you see at a new public high school. For some reason it just didn't seem like a baseball stadium. This is in contrast to a new place like Salt River Fields in Arizona, which is new and *feels* like a baseball stadium.

Dodger Stadium is nearly inaccessible.
   49. salvomania Posted: May 07, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4436516)
I am beginning to think that part of the cardinal brand marketing is to be the most despised team in the nl. nobody could push this image from so many directions (players, fans, local media) without it being a coordinated effort


Harv's, here's what I think it is. St. Louis is a small town, and it seems even smaller since when I lived there as a kid and have gotten around in the world. There's not a whole hell of a lot to do there---obviously, in a city of several hundred thousand people there are actually things to do---when compared to other cities with real downtowns that are open after 5pm and on weekends, or towns that have vibrant, distinctive neighborhood after vibrant, distinctive neighborhood or beautiful coasts and mountains and natural resources literally minutes away.

Most people who can get out of St. Louis before they get bogged down with marriage/job/kids/mortgage do so, and those left behind with any---and I mean any---level of ability to string together a subject and a verb combined with a little ambition can find themselves with a soapbox. Intelligence, wit, perspective, and clarity of thought are not prerequisites.

The one big, nationally recognized thing (well, besides the arch and that guy with the morans sign) they have is the Cardinals baseball team, and so a lot of people who have zero personal stake in the team still seem to take it upon themselves to speak for the team, or the fan base, while being not particularly bright or articulate, and the result is article after article such as this.

The last game I saw at Wrigley was Cardinals-Cubs in July of 2010. My girlfriend (her first visit to Wrigley) and I started the evening at a bar across the street drinking pints, we had great seats along the third-base line on a beautiful evening, and the Birds won in extra innings on a Felipe Lopez home run. She loved the experience, we had a blast, and we didn't care too much about the width of the concourses.

Also, from the article:
to sit across the street, at least 200 feet further than the farthest outfield seat.


Just measured off a Google aerial, and there are rooftop seats less than 75 feet from the left-field bleacher seats, and at a similar distance from the right-field seating.
   50. Steve Treder Posted: May 07, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4436565)
I'm sure people like this author were touting Three Rivers, The Astrodome, The Vet etc at one point, too.

Saw a terrific presentation at the NINE conference a couple years ago (or was it at SABR?) on the "cookie cutter" multi-purpose stadia of the 1960s/70s, and it made particular note of the fact that at the time they opened, they were big hits. Virtually everyone raved about how wonderful they were.

Public opinion on them didn't shift until the 1980s. But when it did, of course, it shifted thoroughly.

The one and only big new ballpark of that era that was considered a stinkbomb from the day it opened was Candlestick.
   51. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4436575)
salvo

I have been to st Louis many times. I hear what you are saying.

I just find it weird that everyone around the team seems bent on picking 'fights' with other teams. cripes, their radio team regularly denounces the brewers as some group of rag tag, no class clowns unworthy of taking the field with the cardinals. now, last weekend somewhat justifies that view but do you really need to say it publicly?

it seems tony has infused the organization with some systemic need for a grudge and if it doesn't develop naturally to create one
   52. McCoy Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4436602)
But if all I'm doing is showing up, watching the game, and leaving, there are many better stadiums than Wrigley.

If that is all you want to do then almost every single stadium in the country is identical to each other. Sure some have more shvttier seats than others but if all you're going to do is sit in the "200 level" as they would say in the Vet days then they are all practically the same.
   53. salvomania Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4436609)
I think it's the insecure, chip-on-the-shoulder syndrome of a provincial town that has to keep stroking itself, and tearing down others to make itself feel worthwhile.

An example is St. Louis's treatment of Brandon Phillips, who seems to be one of the more likeable players out there: he's good, he's smart, he's funny, he plays the game hard, and he seems to really enjoy himself on the field. Yet ever since Phillips called out the Cardinals as "whiny little b!tches"---which, let's face it, they are (were)---the city acts like he's the biggest jerk in the game. The lack of perspective and self awareness of the fans and media would be funny if it wasn't so tiresome and predictable.

I think pretty much every thinking fan agrees that Cardinal fans, as a group, aren't qualitatively better than any other fan base. Do they applaud good plays by the other team? Sometimes they do, but not always. Do they cheer like insane maniacs during big moments of a game (other than two outs in the 9th)? Not really, at least not like they do in Fenway, where the fans, as a group, seem far more into the importance of what's happening on the field at any given moment.

Are they more knowledgeable than other fans? Who the hell knows??? Are they more smug and deluded by their own self perception? Yes.

   54. Flynn Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4436617)
The one and only big new ballpark of that era that was considered a stinkbomb from the day it opened was Candlestick.


Hah! I was going to make a snark about the Stick opening with a day game, considering days at the Stick are often quite pleasant, but even then people knew the ballpark was in a crappy part of town and that it got viciously cold at night. That the city fathers doubled down by forcing the 49ers to go there seems perverse, although the Stick found the closest thing it had to a calling as a football stadium.

My favorite Candlestick fact: Keith Hernandez hated the place so much he had a no-trade clause to San Francisco. Keith Hernandez is from San Francisco.

By the way, I don't know if the presentation mentioned this, but would you believe people in Montreal were actually happy to leave Jarry Park for the Olympic Stadium? Expos fans will deny it now, as Jarry Park has been hyperbolized as the Canadian Ebbets Field, but fans were tired of the cutesy ramshackle country-fair nature of Jarry, and Olympic Stadium was big league. That might be crazier than any positive reception to Busch/Three Rivers/Riverfront.
   55. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4436628)
salvo

I am just disappointed because the cards as a team are fun to watch. it's a solid team. they do a lot of things well.

if it was packaged even a minor bit differently I think they would be received in a wildly different manner.

meaning positively.

   56. Steve Treder Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4436634)
My favorite Candlestick fact: Keith Hernandez hated the place so much he had a no-trade clause to San Francisco. Keith Hernandez is from San Francisco.

Not even San Francisco: Hernandez is from Pacifica. If anyone knows all about fog, wind, and generally rotten weather, it's someone from Pacifica.
   57. salvomania Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4436644)
I am just disappointed because the cards as a team are fun to watch. it's a solid team. they do a lot of things well.


Harvs, as a Cardinal fan, I agree.

If people have a choice between being classy, or being jerks, for the life of me, I have no idea why they wouldn't choose to be classy. Unless, of course, they're just jerks.

I find much of the "Cardinal Nation" behavior just plain embarrassing, including any reference to "BFIB."

That said, they are fun to watch. And more so with Matheny at the helm than with his predecessor. Once the bullpen clicks and Craig actually gets hot and Freese and Jay perform the way they have the past three years, they could be a juggernaut.
   58. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4436646)
Wrigley and Fenway are pretty similar in my mind; great, wonderful experiences, but not the best place to watch a game. Wrigley was a little better, IMHO.


You'll certainly find a handful of seats like this in Fenway, but for the most part the sightlines are great.
   59. Flynn Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4436654)
The biggest problem at Fenway is the gently curving right field means there are a lot of 'outfield' seats that technically face center field. Wrigley doesn't have that, as far as I know.
   60. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:56 PM (#4436664)
salvo

I would be careful on counting on freese and jay. guys who develop later also tend to crash/burn sooner. seen that a lot

your window with those guys is 'right now'

by age 31/32 both could be struggling to stay on a roster
   61. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 07, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4436666)
I believe Wrigley Field is the last ballpark where the fans can go urinal diving. For some, that's a feature not a bug, but I prefer more modern plumbing. YMMV.
   62. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4436674)
I'm in the tank for Wrigley, as I consider it the best place to watch a baseball game. And I'm a local. That said, I understand different strokes for different folks.

But criticizing the upper deck is absurd. The 500 level at Wrigley is still a good place to watch a game. You're practically on top of the action compared to modern parks.
   63. Steve Treder Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4436679)
guys who develop later also tend to crash/burn sooner. seen that a lot

your window with those guys is 'right now'


Yes, and yes.
   64. Esoteric Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4436702)
I believe Wrigley Field is the last ballpark where the fans can go urinal diving.
I've seen this clip before, but I'm still every bit as aghast at watching it again as I was back then. How someone could this is literally beyond comprehension, unless there was a serious payday on the other end. Even with that, the thought of how you would get home is a deal-breaker in and of itself.
   65. Shredder Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4436729)
Speaking of the restrooms, I know that they used to play football there, but based on my experience at the Illinois-Northwestern game a couple years ago, Wrigley and its restrooms were NOT designed for a sport with a half time.
   66. Steve Treder Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4436734)
I'm still every bit as aghast at watching it again as I was back then. How someone could this is literally beyond comprehension, unless there was a serious payday on the other end. Even with that, the thought of how you would get home is a deal-breaker in and of itself.

Yeah, I suppose I'd do it for, say, a billion dollars, but anything short of that and it's like, are you f-ing kidding me?

Proof, as though any more was needed, that very drunk and very stupid is a very bad combination.
   67. salvomania Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4436738)
guys who develop later also tend to crash/burn sooner. seen that a lot

your window with those guys is 'right now'


I hear you, but I don't think the crash and burn is upon us just yet.

I'm less worried about Jay than Freese, who has always scared me a little because he goes so cold for stretches, and looks so clueless, that you forget he ever knew how to hit. Last year he had three separate two-week stretches in which he hit .143/.196/.238; .149/.231/.234; and .174/.204/.370. Those stretches accounted for more than 25% of his season's PA, yet he still finished at .293/.372/.467.

Currently he's at .215/.292/.262 in 72 PA after starting the year on the DL, but he's had multi-hit games in three of the last four games.

Jay seems to have emerged from his early funk and I expect he'll be around his career on-base-heavy 112 OPS+.
   68. Nasty Nate Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4436746)
I'm less worried about Jay than Freese, who has always scared me a little because he goes so cold for stretches, and looks so clueless, that you forget he ever knew how to hit.


Shouldn't that make you less worried about Freese?
   69. philphan Posted: May 07, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4436750)
Correct--and Tiger Stadium's obstructed view problem was far, far worse than Wrigley's.

Tiger Stadium actually had seats directly behind girders.


Yeah, I sat behind a gigantic pillar at dear old Connie Mack many long years ago. After going to that stadium, the Vet seemed fabulous. Now, I wonder--if CM/Shibe Park had been better cared for, could it have achieved Wrigley/Fenway status? Or was it just the dump I seem to remember? Or did we have to destroy most of the old ballparks in order to fully appreciate the few survivors from that era?
   70. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: May 07, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4436753)
A few posters have mentioned the poles at Tiger Stadium. When ownership was complaining about needing a new ballpark, the claim was that there were 10,000 obstructed-view seats. What they didn't mention is that this left about 42,000 clear-view seats, or about what Comerica has--and the upper-deck seats at Tiger Stadium were obviously closer.
   71. Steve Treder Posted: May 07, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4436764)
if CM/Shibe Park had been better cared for, could it have achieved Wrigley/Fenway status? Or was it just the dump I seem to remember? Or did we have to destroy most of the old ballparks in order to fully appreciate the few survivors from that era?

Bill James wrote a great essay in his original Historical Abstract titled something like, "The '50s nobody wants to remember," detailing the many ways MLB truly did have serious problems in those days. And among them was the state of those old ballparks, that were outmoded and falling apart and located in bad neighborhoods with zilch parking. It's one of the reasons why the '60s/'70s circular ashtray parks were welcomed with such open arms.
   72. salvomania Posted: May 07, 2013 at 06:14 PM (#4436770)
Shouldn't that make you less worried about Freese?


Rationally, perhaps yes.

But when he's in a funk and you're witnessing it, you think maybe the last three years have been a fluke and it's all catching up to him now.
   73. Spahn Insane Posted: May 07, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4436772)
Speaking of the restrooms, I know that they used to play football there, but based on my experience at the Illinois-Northwestern game a couple years ago, Wrigley and its restrooms were NOT designed for a sport with a half time.

It can't possibly be any worse in that regard than Northwestern's own stadium. My experience there is that it's impossible (literally) to leave your seat as soon as halftime starts, get to the can and get back to your seat before at least 3 minutes of the third quarter's ticked away. To say that stadium's outdated is an insult to outdated stadia.
   74. greenback calls it soccer Posted: May 07, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4436775)
Yet ever since Phillips called out the Cardinals as "whiny little b!tches"---which, let's face it, they are (were)---the city acts like he's the biggest jerk in the game.

This isn't fair to Cardinals fans. Phillips was a central player in an ugly brawl between the two teams immediately after those remarks. No, I don't think he meant to start the fight, but, yes, 'tapping' Yadier Molina a second time right after he called him a whiny little ##### was not helpful.
   75. salvomania Posted: May 07, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4436782)
You're right, Greenback, that was, at best, poor judgment by Phillips. Even if it was a friendly "hey how's it going" tap---something he said he does every game---the fact that 40,000 fans are focusing on you and booing you and then they see you hit their catcher, well, it wasn't going to play well given the background.

For some reason I was remembering Johnny Cueto and I forgot it was the shin-guard tapping that set the whole thing off.
   76. musial6 Posted: May 07, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4436815)
Don't feed the trolls.

I'm pretty sure the worst non-obstructed seat in Wrigley is better than 80% of the Busch Stadium upper deck.

Wrigley > Busch Stadium 1966-2005 > Busch Stadium 2006-present
   77. SouthSideRyan Posted: May 07, 2013 at 10:57 PM (#4437043)
The troughs aren't the reason Wrigley's bathroom capacity sucks, there just aren't enough bathrooms. Troughs are more efficient than urinals, and if you've navigated them before (and know to walk to the exit and pee there) it's much quicker...of course you have to actually be able to get in the door first.
   78. smileyy Posted: May 08, 2013 at 12:33 AM (#4437106)
[49] I was under the impression (from the cut of ribs) that St. Louis style bbq was an appeal...but now that I read about in (and its more grilling + sauce, rather than smoking)....maybe not?
   79. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: May 08, 2013 at 01:13 AM (#4437121)
I worry about Jay because of that weird little hitch in his swing (which, admittedly, doesn't seem as prominent this season). I can see his having trouble making contact the minute his bat starts to slow down.
   80. Walt Davis Posted: May 08, 2013 at 01:27 AM (#4437131)
Olympic Stadium was big league

Well, it did have a roof which had a certain appeal in Montreal at certain times of the year.

And my memories of Jarry Park ("How do you say it in French Jim?" "C'est Parc Zhaarrrreeee, Jack") are vague but as a kid I thought it looked pretty minor league.

I've only been in Wrigley I think once in the last 20-25 years ... the bathrooms were pretty horrible when I was a kid, in college, after college ... add 20-25 years and, yes, I can imagine they are a very unattractive part of the experience. On the other hand, I have spent zero moments of my life ranking sporting facilities by their bathrooms.
   81. bigglou115 Posted: May 08, 2013 at 01:59 AM (#4437143)
This isn't fair to Cardinals fans. Phillips was a central player in an ugly brawl between the two teams immediately after those remarks. No, I don't think he meant to start the fight, but, yes, 'tapping' Yadier Molina a second time right after he called him a whiny little ##### was not helpful.


Didn't that fight pretty much end LaRue's career?

I've only been in Wrigley I think once in the last 20-25 years ... the bathrooms were pretty horrible when I was a kid, in college, after college ... add 20-25 years and, yes, I can imagine they are a very unattractive part of the experience. On the other hand, I have spent zero moments of my life ranking sporting facilities by their bathrooms.


Anybody who gets up in arms about bathrooms a) isn't paying attention, and b) should be required to go on a tour of minor league facilities. Wrigley's bathrooms are demonstrably better than any of a dozen MiLB stadiums I've seen.

a) is a reference to the fact that walking into any public restroom anywhere is an invitation to other people's waste to lodge itself in your lungs. The cleanest bathrooms in the world are covered in the stuff. I pretty much don't touch anything, anywhere besides my home. I cannot stress this enough, there is poo on every single surface everywhere you go that isn't constantly sterilized.
   82. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 08, 2013 at 08:22 AM (#4437185)
And my memories of Jarry Park ("How do you say it in French Jim?" "C'est Parc Zhaarrrreeee, Jack") are vague but as a kid I thought it looked pretty minor league.

The only time I ever went to Jarry Park was in July of 1969, and it was one of the best ballpark experiences I've ever had, out of the 25-30 I've been to. It was like Kezar Stadium, in that it was in the middle of a large public park, which in this case meant that when Willie Stargell hit a mammoth home run over the right field wall, it landed in a public swimming pool. The only real problem with Jarry was its low seating capacity, but OTOH that meant that nearly every seat had a close-in view.
   83. BDC Posted: May 08, 2013 at 08:46 AM (#4437202)
the state of those old ballparks, that were outmoded and falling apart and located in bad neighborhoods

Connie Mack Stadium, where I went to ballgames in the last few years of its existence, was in an extremely scary neighborhood. It was scary in 1968, and I drove through there again recently, and it hasn't gotten much less scary. For one of those old ballparks to flourish, it had to serve as an anchor, frankly, for gentrification, and it's just hard to imagine the needed changes occurring in that part of North Philly. In this respect, both the Wrigley and Fenway neighborhoods had advantages somewhat independent of whatever the teams did with the ballparks.

Ebbets Field is an interesting case: the site is a low-income but pretty lively neighborhood these days, not very far from the wave of gentrification that has washed over Prospect Park in the past 30 years, and one can only imagine the money that could have been made from sticking it out there and renewing the park. But the decade 1965-75 were a really desperate time in much of Brooklyn, and the odds of the park getting to the other side in terms of riding the wave were probably always minimal. Still less was the Polo Grounds site viable – though like Yankee Stadium on the other side of the river, it's somewhat hemmed in and cut off from its own surroundings, and a brand-new PG there in the mid-60s might have made a perfectly good go of it. The relative isolation from its neighborhood, the drive- or subway-in and leave-immediately quality that sustained Yankee Stadium even through a hellish time in the Bronx in the 60s and 70s, is another possible model that Connie Mack didn't have going for it. Not for nothing did the Philly city fathers decide to locate the new (and still current) stadium district in the utter middle of nowhere.
   84. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 08, 2013 at 09:08 AM (#4437212)
Connie Mack Stadium, where I went to ballgames in the last few years of its existence, was in an extremely scary neighborhood. It was scary in 1968, and I drove through there again recently, and it hasn't gotten much less scary. For one of those old ballparks to flourish, it had to serve as an anchor, frankly, for gentrification, and it's just hard to imagine the needed changes occurring in that part of North Philly. In this respect, both the Wrigley and Fenway neighborhoods had advantages somewhat independent of whatever the teams did with the ballparks.

That's a good point, although the one time (in 1966) I went to Connie Mack, I took the train up from DC and got deposited within a few blocks of the stadium, and never felt the slightest bit of danger walking between the train station and the park. Although given that it was a Sunday afternoon with a big crowd on hand, it might not have been too representative an experience.

Not for nothing did the Philly city fathers decide to locate the new (and still current) stadium district in the utter middle of nowhere.

If Citizens Bank Park is in the same district as the Vet, that has to be one of the most travel-friendly locations in baseball for out-of-town fans using public transportation.

   85. BDC Posted: May 08, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4437214)
If Citizens Bank Park is in the same district as the Vet

It is. And you're right: it's a straight shot out from Center City on the SEPTA train line, and it's not only convenient to I-95 and the Walt Whitman Bridge, it's actually pretty handy to the airport if you choose to fly to the game :) I know the area pretty well, but even so I was objectively impressed with the convenience of getting to CBP when I drove there from South Jersey last spring. One is supposed to disapprove of soulless concreted-over entertainment districts, but I'll rank this one higher than most.
   86. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 08, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4437220)
This is how easy the Vet was for me. I woke up in Adams-Morgan (DC) on the day of Game 5 of the 1983 World Series, called a friend in Virginia and asked him if he wanted to go to the game, took the Metro down to DC's Union Station to meet him, got the 1:00 train to Philly, got the Broad Street line at the Philly train station, and made it into the 4:05 game with a front row upper deck seat ticket behind the plate, bought at face value at about 3:45 from a disgusted Phillies fan who'd given up on his team. My friend got a similar bargain for a seat just a few sections over.
   87. Esoteric Posted: May 08, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4437244)
I love how this thread has turned into the Primer geezers reminiscing about stadiums long-since gone. Seriously -- Parc Jarry! Shibe Park! It's great to read about these places that I barely even knew existed...Jarry sounds like a place I would've loved to see a game. The only now-defunct ballparks I've ever been to are RFK (which I honestly enjoyed a lot more than its standard rep would have you believe...nice sightlines and views even from the upper deck, though the amenities were of course third-rate), Memorial Stadium, and Marlins Park.

Wait, what do you mean they're still playing baseball in Marlins Park? Could've fooled me.
   88. Esoteric Posted: May 08, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4437249)
Incidentally, I've been to about 11 currently operating ballparks, and PNC Park in Pittsburgh just blows them all away in terms of overall experience...even the Pirates were putting up a fight that day! Wrigley is nice enough -- the throwback charm and old-school neighborhood location really do add something to the experience, plus I had bleacher seats and got to watch the Nats win when Neifi Perez bunted for the final out of the game -- but PNC and Safeco rank at the top for me. Nats Park was okay (great fans, but then my first experience was w/the playoffs last year), but I may be permanently scarred by Game 5.
   89. SoSH U at work Posted: May 08, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4437254)
Didn't that fight pretty much end LaRue's career?


Only in the sense that the last 0-4, 3K game will end Adam Dunn's. LaRue had suffered well over a dozen concussions, and was on his last legs. That just hastened the fast-approaching end.

   90. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 08, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4437255)
The only now-defunct ballparks I've ever been to are RFK (which I honestly enjoyed a lot more than its standard rep would have you believe...nice sightlines and views even from the upper deck, though the amenities were of course third-rate), Memorial Stadium, and Marlins Park.


Really? You don't have to be all that old to have been to a lot of defunct parks, given how much new stadium building we've seen in the past 20 years. Just off the top of my head, I went to Old Comiskey, Old Yankee Stadium, Shea, Three Rivers, Riverfront, the Vet, Atlanta Fulton-County, Milwaukee County Stadium, the Astrodome... All now gone.
   91. SoSH U at work Posted: May 08, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4437259)
Really? You don't have to be all that old to have been to a lot of defunct parks, given how much new stadium building we've seen in the past 20 years. Just off the top of my head, I went to Old Comiskey, Old Yankee Stadium, Shea, Three Rivers, Riverfront, the Vet, Atlanta Fulton-County, Milwaukee County Stadium, the Astrodome... All now gone.


No Mile High?

   92. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 08, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4437262)
No Mile High?


Nope. My first game in Denver was in 1996, and Coors opened in 1995.
   93. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 08, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4437270)
I love how this thread has turned into the Primer geezers reminiscing about stadiums long-since gone. Seriously -- Parc Jarry! Shibe Park! It's great to read about these places that I barely even knew existed...Jarry sounds like a place I would've loved to see a game.

Well, if what you mainly look for in a ballpark is plenty of close-to-the-field seats at low prices, that pre-WWI generation of stadiums** had it all over their successors in the multiplex and retropark eras, with their upper decks that are located somewhere between Venus and Mercury. Those boogeyman poles in the pre-WWI parks only came into play during rare sellouts, and even then were only sold after all other seats had been taken.

**plus Jarry, which was one level only
   94. Shredder Posted: May 08, 2013 at 10:41 AM (#4437287)
I think the only defunct stadiums I've been to are the Murph in San Diego and Tiger Stadium. And of course, you'd never recognize Angel Stadium in its current form if you were there in the '80s, or probably the '70s. It's in the same place, but it's not really the same stadium.
   95. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: May 08, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4437298)
Harv's, here's what I think it is. St. Louis is a small town, and it seems even smaller since when I lived there as a kid and have gotten around in the world. There's not a whole hell of a lot to do there---obviously, in a city of several hundred thousand people there are actually things to do---when compared to other cities with real downtowns that are open after 5pm and on weekends, or towns that have vibrant, distinctive neighborhood after vibrant, distinctive neighborhood or beautiful coasts and mountains and natural resources literally minutes away.


I'm not sure if I agree with you. I grew up in Southern California and went to law school in St. Louis and really enjoyed my time there. To be clear, I'm talking about the actual city of St. Louis, not the surrounding suburbs that claim they're "St. Louis". I agree that St. Louis is a small town, but I don't think it's the cultural wasteland you make it out to be.
   96. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: May 08, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4437308)
Defunct stadiums I've been to: Mile High, Astrodome, Arlington, Tiger Stadium, Busch II, Metrodome, County, Vet, Riverfront, Dolphins, Comiskey, Three Rivers, Olympic, Yankee Stadium, Shea
   97. BDC Posted: May 08, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4437313)
Till I got to CBP last year, I'd been to twice as many defunct parks as active ones (6 vs. 3). I hope to go to NYS next month and almost right the balance.

Part of it is that I just don't get around much in the summer. Academic travel tends to happen in the academic year, so I've seen a lot more active ballparks from the outside than I've ever been in. My summer travel is usually to Europe.

EDIT: I've been to Connie Mack, the Vet, the O, OYS, Shea, and Arlington; also Wrigley, Fenway, the Ballpark, and CBP. Lots of minor-league and college parks, however.
   98. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 08, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4437316)
I'm 28 and I've been to old Comiskey Park, Busch Stadium, the Metrodome, Milwaukee County Stadium, Tiger Stadium, and the non-new Yankee Stadium.

I was pretty young at the time but remember loving Tiger Stadium.
   99. Shredder Posted: May 08, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4437317)
I grew up in Southern California and went to law school in St. Louis and really enjoyed my time there. To be clear, I'm talking about the actual city of St. Louis, not the surrounding suburbs that claim they're "St. Louis". I agree that St. Louis is a small town
The first time I visited, or at least drove through, a lot of Midwestern cities was on a road trip with a friend in 1997, when we were 24. I'd always known LA was huge, but still thought of places like Denver, Kansas City, and St. Louis as "big cities" because they had baseball, football, hockey, etc., and cities with multiple professional sports teams always seemed "big" to me. I was shocked at how quickly we were in and out of each one. It was like a half hour from one side of greater St. Louis to the other (maybe it's more, but that was my perception at the time). In LA, you can drive for three or four hours (without traffic) and you're still in greater Southern California. Really made me realize how big LA is.
   100. zonk Posted: May 08, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4437372)
Hmmmm...

Closed parks for me would be old comiskey, tiger, vet, old yankee, county stadium in milwaukee and shea.

I think I liked Tiger the most purely for purposes of watching baseball. Our seats weren't that good - but just like Wrigley and Fenway, even bad seats in those old parks seemed right on the field. County was fun - but that was more a function of the tailgating and company. Old Yankee was cool to be at - but I don't remember being all that impressed by the park itself. Shea was the worst by a wide margin.
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