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Monday, September 11, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - Washington Nationals

Part 5: Nationals Park

The rare modern stadium without a corporate sponsor. Alas, Nationals Park doesn’t exactly ring out as requiring a lot of deep thought, though it is a nod to the place that predated old Griffith Stadium.

One would think the club’s D.C. location would offer ample naming opportunities for the ballpark. Then again, one would think the club’s D.C. location offered the architects ample opportunities for exciting backdrops, and they failed miserably in what’s an otherwise OK park, as I recall from my one visit there.

If nothing else, can we try to keep this thread from going all OTP: Politics, please?

Ballpark History


Built: 2008

Capacity: 41,339

Name: Nationals Park (2008-present)

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: RFK Stadium 2005-07. Previous DC teams played at Griffith Stadium, 1911-1965, Boundary/Nationals Field, 1895-1911

Distinctive Features: A sliver of the crowd can get a glimpse of the Capitol. Cherry blossoms line the leftfield pavilion.

Ballpark Highlights: Randy Johnson beat the Nats 5-1 to win his 300th career game while pitching for the Giants.

President Barack Obama threw out the first pitch to kick off the 2010 season, a toss that proved conclusively that baseball was not his sport.

In 2010, top pick Stephen Strasburg was absurdly dominant in his closely watched Major League debut, striking out 14 Pirates* and walking none in seven innings. 

In 2012, after almost seven full seasons of futility that bore striking similarities to another famous Washington outfit, the Generals, Teddy Roosevelt won the President’s Race.

Jayson Werth’s ninth-inning home run off Lance Lynn gave the Nats a 2-1 victory in Game 4 of the NLDS, the first time Washingtonians had seen the home nine win a postseason game in 79 years.

*At the time, the equivalent of fanning 11 major league hitters.


TBtB Selections To Date:


San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2017 at 10:28 AM | 97 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: stadium names, washington nationals

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2017 at 11:49 AM (#5529621)
We are now accepting nominations for the Nationals.
   2. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: September 11, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5529625)
Nationals Park is terrible; too close to "national park."

Capitol Street Grounds
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: September 11, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5529632)
I will formally nominate "Nationals Park," even though incumbency seems to be its biggest strength.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 11, 2017 at 11:56 AM (#5529634)
Are you folks going to rename the ballplayers, too?
   5. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 11, 2017 at 11:58 AM (#5529637)
Nationals Park is a perfectly cromulent name. It doesn't embiggen the soul, but it's perfectly cromulent.

I can't think of anything better myself.

Nationale Parc, in honor of the French roots. Nah.

Griffith Stadium. It has historical resonance, but the Senators weren't much of a franchise, and Griffith was a solid baseball guy, but I can't imagine there's much pining for him.

The Capitol Street Grounds idea in #2 sounds nice. Maybe that one.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5529644)
Navy Yard or Yards seems like an obvious possibility.

   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:12 PM (#5529650)
Gentrification Grounds wouldn't be inaccurate.

Walter Johnson Park would be a nice tribute to Washington's greatest ballplayer, except that it'd take about 30 minutes for ESPN to rename it "The Johnson".
   8. BDC Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:13 PM (#5529651)
Griffith Stadium. It has historical resonance, but the Senators weren't much of a franchise

The Homestead Grays played there too, of course. But we can't call the current park "Homestead" because that was actually in Pennsylvania, and we can't call it Grays Field because we'd have to rename the team too (and it's not the most thrilling of names anyway).
   9. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:14 PM (#5529652)
Dusty Baker Bowl.

Weird Wuss Park.
   10. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5529654)
Navy Yard or Yards seems like an obvious possibility.


Why not just "The Yard"? Short and to the point.
   11. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5529656)
Gentrification Grounds wouldn't be inaccurate.

True, but that's most stadiums. May work best for New Yankee Stadium, with their moat.
   12. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:16 PM (#5529657)
That's a Clown Stadium, Bro.
   13. villageidiom Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5529673)
The Swamp

Capitol Grounds (although I prefer Capitol Street Grounds)

Two Rivers Stadium

Smithsonian Museum of Professional Baseball

The Washington Mallpark

Ballpark, DC


Are you folks going to rename the ballplayers, too?
Yes, but only using names of their other teammates. Derek Jeter will thus be renamed Farnsworth Bellinger.
   14. Adam Starblind Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:57 PM (#5529690)
Nationals Park is a bad name only because "the Nationals" is a stupid name for the team. It should have been the Greys.

Somebody mentioned Navy Yard, which is a good thought. The country's oldest (and quite lovely) Marine Barracks is not far from there either--how about The Barracks?

   15. DCA Posted: September 11, 2017 at 01:02 PM (#5529694)
I always thought the District should have demanded it be called "Taxation without Representation Stadium" in exchange for all the public money they put into it.
   16. JJ1986 Posted: September 11, 2017 at 01:03 PM (#5529696)
Wil Nieves Yard.
   17. aberg Posted: September 11, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5529701)
Capitol Grounds


Sounds like a coffee shop.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: September 11, 2017 at 01:12 PM (#5529704)
I will probably be voting for Nationals Park, boring as it may be. Good for them to resist the corporate naming moolah.
   19. BDC Posted: September 11, 2017 at 01:14 PM (#5529711)
Harper's Bazaar.
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 11, 2017 at 01:45 PM (#5529743)
Harper's Bazaar.

Which would be kind of fitting, given all of the styling many current players engage in.
   21. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 11, 2017 at 02:32 PM (#5529773)
Then again, one would think the club’s D.C. location offered the architects ample opportunities for exciting backdrops, and they failed miserably in what’s an otherwise OK park, as I recall from my one visit there.
Wholeheartedly agree, this has been my biggest complaint with the park since day 1.

If we imagine an alternative universe where they didn't make that mistake, you could easily go with Monument Field. ("Park" would be better but the Yankees kinda have dibs on that).
   22. TDF, FCL Posted: September 11, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5529781)
It's right there in front of us:

Otherwise OK Park
   23. Adam Starblind Posted: September 11, 2017 at 02:41 PM (#5529784)
Wholeheartedly agree, this has been my biggest complaint with the park since day 1.


That can't be. On day 1 you had an unobstructed view of the Capitol from the whole stadium. The obstructions were built later.
   24. OsunaSakata Posted: September 11, 2017 at 02:52 PM (#5529791)
The Swamp


There was a field used by the 1880s Senators called the Swampoodle Grounds. It's location now contains Union Station and the National Postal Museum.
   25. Baldrick Posted: September 11, 2017 at 02:52 PM (#5529793)
Definitely like something along the lines of Navy Yard or even just "The Yard."

Capitol Street Grounds also has a nice ring to it.
   26. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 11, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5529796)
I honestly don't recall if you could see it from the entire stadium, but regardless given the distance I don't think it ever qualified as an "exciting backdrop." YMMV.

And of course it's as much about the site selection as anything else.
   27. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 11, 2017 at 03:00 PM (#5529800)
Capitol Chambers? (I have much less polite names for the team that plays there...)
   28. Adam Starblind Posted: September 11, 2017 at 03:13 PM (#5529816)
I honestly don't recall if you could see it from the entire stadium,


So why not disagree with me just to be on the safe side?
   29. Lassus Posted: September 11, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5529830)
So why not disagree with me just to be on the safe side?

I would simply based on the fact that there seems to be no way physically you could see one building from everywhere in a stadium.
   30. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 11, 2017 at 03:44 PM (#5529837)
So why not disagree with me just to be on the safe side?
How about if I disagree with you because I don't have to accept your apparent opinion that the original view of the Capitol afforded by the park qualified as "an exciting backdrop"?

If I'd said that you couldn't see any D.C. landmark at all you'd have a better point.
   31. QLE Posted: September 11, 2017 at 04:11 PM (#5529851)
I'd like to second the Smithsonian Museum of Professional Baseball.
   32. Adam Starblind Posted: September 11, 2017 at 04:22 PM (#5529857)
I would simply based on the fact that there seems to be no way physically you could see one building from everywhere in a stadium.


This is why I don't usually engage you in conversation.

How about if I disagree with you because I don't have to accept your apparent opinion that the original view of the Capitol afforded by the park qualified as "an exciting backdrop"?


Then I wouldn't have responded, because you're entitled to your opinion.
   33. JH (in DC) Posted: September 11, 2017 at 10:08 PM (#5529972)
Wil Nieves Yard.


Who?
   34. stevegamer Posted: September 12, 2017 at 02:17 AM (#5530009)
Looking at the area on Google maps, gives me the following thoughts that haven't been mentioned.

The other geographic features nearby, other than Capitol street:
- Potomac Street
- Anacostia River
- Navy Yard

There is already a Potomac Park and a Anacostia Park. I think that trying to use any local geographic feature will need a word following it that isn't Park, Stadium would be fine, Grounds, etc. Using "Yard" as a moniker works well to bring in the Navy part.

I'm not sure what I'd call it, but we'll see what the options are.
   35. ajnrules Posted: September 12, 2017 at 04:09 AM (#5530013)
They have so many GEICO ads around the places I'm surprised the place isn't called GEICO Field.

Wil Nieves Yard.

Who?

Wil Nieves the backup catcher 2008-10. He was the final out in Randy Johnson's 300th win that was the first ballpark highlight.
   36. jmurph Posted: September 12, 2017 at 09:20 AM (#5530052)
He was the final out in Randy Johnson's 300th win that was the first ballpark highlight.

Obviously this is more common than a 300th win, but Zimmerman did hit a walk-off home run in the very first game at Nationals Park.
   37. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 12, 2017 at 09:31 AM (#5530057)
I'll propose Capital Field but I think Nationals Park is going to be tough to top.
   38. Rusty Priske Posted: September 12, 2017 at 09:42 AM (#5530059)
Capital Field (but absolutely not anything with 'CapitOl').

My actual favourite but I know nobody will agree: New Olympique
   39. Rusty Priske Posted: September 12, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5530060)
Or maybe Carter Park
   40. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: September 12, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5530079)
Fillmore Field
Either Roosevelt Park

Or heck, this is in DC, give it some huge acronym. National's Park at Fillmore Field by the Navy Yard in Washington DC = NPFFNYWDC
   41. Greg Pope Posted: September 12, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5530091)
In the spirit of OPACY, I say we add "on the Potomac" to whatever name is chosen. I can see from Google maps that the park isn't technically on the Potomac, but it's close enough and I can't pronounce Anacostia. I doubt that too many people outside the region have ever heard of Anacostia.

Nationals Park on the Potomac
Capitol Grounds on the Potomac
Navy Yard on the Potomac
   42. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:11 AM (#5530113)
Changing of ballpark names is far more annoying than any ugly corporate name that might exist. My permanently sanctioned names for all ballparks (starting with Candlestick, I refuse to acknowledge any ballpark name changes):

Fenway Park: Boston
Yankee Stadium: New York Yankees
Camden Yards: Baltimore
Tropicana Field: Tampa Bay
Skydome: Toronto
Jacobs Field: Cleveland
Target Field: Minnesota
Kaufmann Stadium: Kansas City
Comerica Park: Detroit
Comiskey Park: Chicago White Sox
Enron Field: Houston
Anaheim Stadium: Los Angeles Angels
Ballpark at Arlington: Texas
Safeco Field: Seattle
Oakland-Alameda County Stadium: Oakland

Nationals Park: Washington
Marlins Park: Miami
SunTrust Park: Atlanta
Citi Field: New York Mets
Citizen's Bank Park: Philadelphia
Wrigley Field: Chicago Cubs
Busch Stadium: St. Louis
Miller Park: Milwaukee
PNC Park: Pittsburgh
Great American Ballpark: Cincinnati
Dodger Stadium: Los Angeles Dodgers
Bank One Ballpark: Arizona
Coors Field: Colorado
Petco Field: San Diego
Pacific Bell Park: San Francisco

I encourage everyone to refuse to recognize any new ballpark name changes, whether they are official or not. And in this case, why would you want to change the name Nationals Park? I can understand it with the stupid bank names, but Nationals Park is fine, and it's descriptive.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5530121)
Changing of ballpark names is far more annoying than any ugly corporate name that might exist.
Then why are several of your suggestions the changing of ballpark names?
   44. Lassus Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:25 AM (#5530122)
Shut up, that's why!
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5530126)
I encourage everyone to refuse to recognize any new ballpark name changes, whether they are official or not. And in this case, why would you want to change the name Nationals Park?


The reason the project exists is because of name changes, rather than simple corporate names. But if we're going there, I thought we might as well find the best name possible, rather than just the name they happened to carry on the nameplate when it opened. Nationals Park is perfectly acceptable, but far short of good.

And, for what it's worth, none of these are binding.


(starting with Candlestick, I refuse to acknowledge any ballpark name changes


So why are Weeghman, the Florida Suncoast Dome and Royals Stadium exempt?

   46. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:42 AM (#5530129)
You'll never see that ball again: better stay off ol' man Richtingen's lawn, fellas...
   47. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5530130)
The Killing Fields.

I may have a different idea of a good time at Nationals Park than you.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:48 AM (#5530137)
The reason the project exists is because of name changes, rather than simple corporate names. But if we're going there, I thought we might as well find the best name possible, rather than just the name they happened to carry on the nameplate when it opened. Nationals Park is perfectly acceptable, but far short of good.
Given all this, it's a balance between accepting the negative of a name change and the benefit of a name upgrade (or put another way, it's a balance between the benefit of enacting no change and the negative of having a bland name).

Personally, if a name doesn't have a stupid corporate name which will be silly to keep once the owners inevitably change it to some other stupid corporate name, I will always vote to stand pat.
   49. Baldrick Posted: September 12, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5530212)
In the spirit of OPACY, I say we add "on the Potomac" to whatever name is chosen. I can see from Google maps that the park isn't technically on the Potomac, but it's close enough and I can't pronounce Anacostia. I doubt that too many people outside the region have ever heard of Anacostia.

I dunno, I think "it's not on the Potomac" is a pretty big problem for this suggestion.
   50. Greg Pope Posted: September 12, 2017 at 02:15 PM (#5530221)
I dunno, I think "it's not on the Potomac" is a pretty big problem for this suggestion.

It's close enough.
   51. jmurph Posted: September 12, 2017 at 02:30 PM (#5530232)
I can't pronounce Anacostia. I doubt that too many people outside the region have ever heard of Anacostia.

I kind of like the idea of incorporating the Anacostia into the name. And it's not like Camden Yards or the Fenway neighborhood or even a place like Arlington, Texas are/were well known outside of their various locales.

(Also it's very phonetic, sounds exactly like it looks.)
   52. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 12, 2017 at 03:36 PM (#5530285)
I dunno, I think "it's not on the Potomac" is a pretty big problem for this suggestion.
"...at Navy Yard" actually sounds better to my ears as a tag-on if you were going that route. ("Nationals Park at Navy Yard" having a strong similarity to OPACY)
   53. Omineca Greg Posted: September 12, 2017 at 04:03 PM (#5530311)
And it's not like Camden Yards or the Fenway neighborhood or even a place like Arlington, Texas are/were well known outside of their various locales.

That was my initial objection to China Basin, I worried that nobody outside the area would know what it was. After a couple of days and a chance to familiarise myself with it, it seemed like an easy thing to get over, and I ended up voting for it. We're going to get a set of very generic names if we don't go at least a little bit in that direction.
   54. Bote Man Posted: September 12, 2017 at 04:48 PM (#5530362)
I remember one time as a small kid my mother called it The Anaconda, but demurred when I asked what that meant. (To be sure, she was a Good Catholic Girl, so none of that funny business.)

There have been murmurs from time to time about a naming deal getting close, but obviously none ever has. GEICo has been the most commonly thought sponsor. During the inaugural game in D.C. at RFK there was talk on the radio broadcast that a new name would be announced DURING that game, that's how close that got back in 2005 for the old place.

I always thought Oriole Park at Camden Yards was a bit pretentious in the same way as the Angels team renaming. I got shot down pretty badly last time I brought that up here. I'm a railfan and know full well that the B&O Railroad was the first carrier to establish commercial rail service in this country, from Camden Yards no less, so I don't need an education in that department. I'd just like to avoid that linguistic complexity, so no need to tack on "at the Navy Yard" or "by the Anacostia" or any of that nonsense. There is already a Tydings on the Bay near Annapolis, so that should be enough to sate that desire. Not to mention that thoughts of anything with "Anacostia" in it are generally unpleasant for long-time Washingtonians, it's just not a nice area.

Nationals Park will do just fine. It highlights the name of the team that plays there and is not beholden to any corporate interest other than the Lerner Group.
   55. Adam Starblind Posted: September 12, 2017 at 04:54 PM (#5530367)
is not beholden to any corporate interest other than the Lerner Group


Perfect! Lerner Group Park on the Anacostia River!
   56. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 12, 2017 at 09:00 PM (#5530458)
I always thought Oriole Park at Camden Yards was a bit pretentious in the same way as the Angels team renaming. I got shot down pretty badly last time I brought that up here.
I wouldn't say pretentious, just unwieldy. And fwiw I can't think of anyone other than an announcer (and I feel like then generally at the outset of a broadcast) that actually uses the full OPACY name. Basically always just Camden Yards.
   57. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 12, 2017 at 10:49 PM (#5530547)
So why are Weeghman, the Florida Suncoast Dome and Royals Stadium exempt?

Because you have to start somewhere. This is not purism. I started this 20 years ago.
   58. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 12, 2017 at 10:59 PM (#5530559)
The reason the project exists is because of name changes, rather than simple corporate names. But if we're going there, I thought we might as well find the best name possible, rather than just the name they happened to carry on the nameplate when it opened. Nationals Park is perfectly acceptable, but far short of good.

Corporate name changes are the cause of the changes in names -- I see your point. Perhaps a better approach is not to recognize the changes rather than coming up with trite alternatives. If we keep calling the Astros ballpark Enron instead of whatever orange juice name they are promoting, perhaps they'll get it.

I don't like the idea of "best name possible" by vote. Whoever is in charge gets one chance at naming it. Done. After that, too bad. Or build a new ballpark. Wrigley is a terrible name. It's ####### chewing gum, and it's synonymous with losing, yet that's what it is and should be forever, unless the Cubs can change that by becoming a perennial winner and associate "Wrigley" with winning.
   59. Nasty Nate Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:07 PM (#5530564)
If we keep calling the Astros ballpark Enron instead of whatever orange juice name they are promoting, perhaps they'll get it.
It's too late for that one. If you still call it Enron, you are part of a tiny minority. Picking Enron now would be another name change for that park.

Safeco Field would be a better illustration of what you want.
   60. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:25 PM (#5530582)
Safeco Field would be a better illustration of what you want.

People should start at whatever point in time they choose -- for me it was 1996 (or whenever Candlestick's name changed). Safeco, Enron, it doesn't matter.

But Enron is a wonderful example of what you get as a result -- the folly of naming ballparks after corporations. Associating the team with a corporate entity. Wrigley is another example. The positive outcome of the failure is the history lesson.

You name it once. Period.
   61. Baldrick Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:26 PM (#5530584)
I don't like the idea of "best name possible" by vote.

This might not be the thread for you, then.
   62. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:31 PM (#5530589)
I can't pronounce Anacostia. I doubt that too many people outside the region have ever heard of Anacostia.

Back when the Southeast part of Anacostia was an all-white neighborhood, the locals there used to pronounce it "AnaCOSHta", and a few of the old timers who grew up there still do. I've lived in either DC or suburban Maryland since 1951, and everyone else I've ever met here says "AnaCOSt-ya" or "AnaCOS-tia, with the "COS" part rhyming with "hostile", not "cost of living". It's one of the few remaining African American parts of DC that hasn't yet been gentrified, but give it time.
   63. stevegamer Posted: September 13, 2017 at 01:22 AM (#5530628)
I don't like the idea of "best name possible" by vote. Whoever is in charge gets one chance at naming it. Done. After that, too bad. Or build a new ballpark. Wrigley is a terrible name. It's ####### chewing gum, and it's synonymous with losing, yet that's what it is and should be forever, unless the Cubs can change that by becoming a perennial winner and associate "Wrigley" with winning.


Well Wrigley re-named it after himself, and Weeghman named it after himself at first. So I'm not exactly sure why one is any better than the other - except that the franchise that failed is Weeghman's.

   64. ajnrules Posted: September 13, 2017 at 01:45 AM (#5530634)
Obviously this is more common than a 300th win, but Zimmerman did hit a walk-off home run in the very first game at Nationals Park.

Another inaugural season highlight was Cristian Guzman's cycle against the Dodgers, in a game that Clayton Kershaw started. It's still the only cycle at Nationals Park.
   65. Nasty Nate Posted: September 13, 2017 at 07:59 AM (#5530647)
You name it once. Period.
I think most of us wish that was the reality.
   66. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:31 AM (#5530671)
I can't pronounce Anacostia. I doubt that too many people outside the region have ever heard of Anacostia.

It's part of the history of the Great Depression: Battle of Anacostia Flats, when the US army routed the Bonus Army, burning down their Hooverville.
   67. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:32 AM (#5530673)
You name it once. Period.


I think most of us wish that was the reality.


Meh. I am not afraid of change. Change is OK.

OI like this series of articles/posts because I think the exercise of coming up with the ideal stadium name is interesting. It is a fun balance of history, geography, culture and so on and there often is not one right answer.

That said for a million dollars (or whatever generic amount of large money) I would gladly go along with Generic Corporate Name Field, because ... I mean ... money. But this exercise is absent that particular motivation (as far ads I know).
   68. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:39 AM (#5530674)
i love the Smithsonian idea -- really clever... but I don't really think it works as a stadium name. It's a mite too clever to work. It's more a great nickname than an actual name.
   69. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:47 AM (#5530680)

i love the Smithsonian idea -- really clever... but I don't really think it works as a stadium name. It's a mite too clever to work. It's more a great nickname than an actual name.


On the Red Sox thread, someone suggested National Park, which I liked. Until then, I had never realized how close the existing name is to the park system.

   70. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5530738)

That said for a million dollars (or whatever generic amount of large money) I would gladly go along with Generic Corporate Name Field, because ... I mean ... money.


Except you're selling something they haven't earned nor could earn, something priceless: an association with an object of civic pride and identity. Civil society is important and precious and shouldn't be put up to the highest bidder. People would (I hope, but I've learned not to expect to much) rebel against the Smithsonian or the National Cathedral selling naming rights; to me this is no different.

Part of it is the way that teams are a weird public/private hybrid. They are the focus of identity for thousands of people, they are beloved institutions, they play in publicly-funded venues, but at the same time are privately-owned and the owners have complete liberty to dispose of the team as they will, up to and including moving to a different city. I think that ought to change.
   71. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5530745)
I think most of us wish that was the reality.

I know -- it's the process that I am dissenting to.

Well Wrigley re-named it after himself, and Weeghman named it after himself at first. So I'm not exactly sure why one is any better than the other - except that the franchise that failed is Weeghman's.

Wrigley is a better name for one reason: that's what people have called it for 90+ years, longer than any other ballpark name in use except Fenway and Yankee Stadium. The name is presently tied to the physical place, and everything that happened there, even before the name was in use. Name changes disrupt communication by inserting gaps between the past and the present. At the same time, name changes that happened long ago and stuck, like Weeghman to Wrigley, need to be protected even if they served no good purpose at the time. If the name itself is somehow fundamentally flawed to the point of being harmful, then sure, change the name, but otherwise live with and acknowledge its history, positive or negative. If you are going to try to change the name of something that millions of people use, you need to have a very good reason, or you are likely to end up with confusion and/or failure. I'm sure the Cubs organization wishes that the name Wrigley weren't so iconic because they could then make millions in renaming it, but they know better than to try. My 20 year-old rule of taxonomic priority is really just an expression of willful non-compliance, intending to highlight in a piqued way the annoying churn of discarded and/or discredited corporation names.

I admit that the Astros made the right decision to change the name of their ballpark, because the Enron name was fundamentally flawed to the point of being harmful, but clearly no lesson was learned about throw-away corporation names, by the Astros or MLB in general. Minute Maid is now established in use, and I also admit that my continuing to use the name Enron is not in the spirit of effective communication (it's not meant to be). Especially not being an Astros fan, I can call their ballpark whatever I want to make a point, just as a non-Cubs fan can call the Cubs park Piss Trough Field or Obstructed View Park to make a point. I would argue that the name Enron was established validly as the first name in general use, and acknowledge, as is the case for Wrigley, that after 15+ years Minute Maid has stuck, perhaps enough to doom any attempt to replace it.

You can't be too proscriptive. Grass roots can work to generate and establish use of new names, and informal ballpark names are a great thing in baseball. When I was a kid, at least on West Walnut Street in Orange, you went to Angel Stadium to watch an Angels game, not Anaheim Stadium. And now that's the official name (with the "of Anaheim" addendum, which everyone ignores for good reason). It replaced the ill-advised Edison name, which was a failure, and connected to perhaps the most hated corporation in the state. The moniker Chavez Ravine is more than a place name: its application to Dodger Stadium serves a specific rhetorical purpose, and it's been in secondary use for decades. "The House That Ruth Built" and "The Friendly Confines" celebrate great players and the history of those teams. I realize that this thread is meant to be in that spirit, but I think such names need to emerge and come into use in an organic way, and the results I see in these threads are pretty contrived, in my opinion. I am also quite aware that my cranky rule is not going to change anything either. Feel free to dump out the punchbowl I peed in and proceed with the party.
   72. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:27 AM (#5530754)
Except you're selling something they haven't earned nor could earn, something priceless: an association with an object of civic pride and identity. Civil society is important and precious and shouldn't be put up to the highest bidder. People would (I hope, but I've learned not to expect to much) rebel against the Smithsonian or the National Cathedral selling naming rights; to me this is no different.


Hey I am a sentimentalist, but cold hard cash usually trumps sentimentality. To a degree.

Part of it is the way that teams are a weird public/private hybrid. They are the focus of identity for thousands of people, they are beloved institutions, they play in publicly-funded venues, but at the same time are privately-owned and the owners have complete liberty to dispose of the team as they will, up to and including moving to a different city. I think that ought to change.


I think public good is a thing, but I am not sure names matter. To use a ridiculous example renaming Yellowstone as the Tostitos Yellowstone Park in exchange for a billion dollars to the park system is one thing. Adding in ... "and only Tostitos snacks can be sold in the park" is a bridge too far. In one case it is about a name, which doesn't really mean all that much, in the other public choice is impacted in likely negative ways.

You can be against both - one would need to come up with assumptions about the "value" of the old name and cost of the change versus what good could come of the money in order to properly analyze the first change, but even so I think the two examples are qualitatively different.

And of course all that is before we get to what role do professional sports teams play in society. Honestly I wish they were treated more as straight up businesses and less as treasured hybrid organizations, because abuses like public funding of stadiums comes from that weird hybrid place, but that is just my opinion.
   73. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5530795)
That said for a million dollars (or whatever generic amount of large money) I would gladly go along with Generic Corporate Name Field, because ... I mean ... money.

Without a doubt, independent, external income sources can be reinvested in players that make the team better, which is good for the fan.

On the other hand, it might be more effective if the team is forced to rely on putting a high quality product on the field to maintain income, rather than what is essentially fixed advertising income that has a far less tangible connection to product quality. I don't have a problem with my team making money, but I do have a problem with them pocketing it and not putting a good team on the field. Especially when that income involves an asset that I contributed to through taxes.
   74. Nasty Nate Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5530798)
I know -- it's the process that I am dissenting to.

Grass roots can work to generate and establish use of new names, and informal ballpark names are a great thing in baseball....
I realize that this thread is meant to be in that spirit, but I think such names need to emerge and come into use in an organic way, and the results I see in these threads are pretty contrived, in my opinion.
I think, after the stadium name changes of the past few decades, we have to face the fact that an organic and non-contrived method of retaining names and/or generation and establishment of a new names has not emerged. It simply hasn't happened for the vast majority of stadiums. Now, it is likely that this method that we are tyring now won't have success either. But I think it's better than nothing, and maybe it will be a precursor to a more organic process that actually takes hold.

(Sorry for chopping up your post when quoting; I wanted to be clear which parts I was responding to.)
   75. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:04 PM (#5530801)
Civil society is important and precious and shouldn't be put up to the highest bidder.

You're new to this century, aren't you?
   76. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:08 PM (#5530806)
I'm sure the Cubs organization wishes that the name Wrigley weren't so iconic because they could then make millions in renaming it, but they know better than to try.

Call me cynical, but I will bet you $20 that within the next 10 years there will be some sort of sponsorship attached to Wrigley. The Wrigley name won't go away entirely, but it will be "Fifth Third Park at Wrigley Field" or something like that.
   77. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5530818)
How much could that Child Sex Pizza Parlor place get together for naming rights?
   78. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:19 PM (#5530819)
Wrigley is a better name for one reason: that's what people have called it for 90+ years, longer than any other ballpark name in use except Fenway and Yankee Stadium.


There are other reasons it's a better name. Wrigley is a name that is tied to Chicago for other reasons, most prominently being a famous building downtown. The Wrigley family also rather famously owned the team for decades. Ballpark names that are associated with cities are a good thing.
   79. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:41 PM (#5530847)
Call me cynical, but I will bet you $20 that within the next 10 years there will be some sort of sponsorship attached to Wrigley. The Wrigley name won't go away entirely, but it will be "Fifth Third Park at Wrigley Field" or something like that.

Sure, I'll take you up on that. Worst that happens, I buy you a few extra rounds during the 2027 stretch run.
   80. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5530853)
Wrigley, of course, in addition to being the family name of the gentry that owned the team, was also that company's corporate brand.
   81. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 13, 2017 at 01:37 PM (#5530881)
I think, after the stadium name changes of the past few decades, we have to face the fact that an organic and non-contrived method of retaining names and/or generation and establishment of a new names has not emerged. It simply hasn't happened for the vast majority of stadiums. Now, it is likely that this method that we are tyring now won't have success either. But I think it's better than nothing, and maybe it will be a precursor to a more organic process that actually takes hold.

I hope you're right. While I might criticize what people are coming up with, every suggestion is better than the name of a bank, that's for sure. If a social consensus about a secondary informal name could be initiated, that would be a big accomplishment.

But I think a shotgun approach is better than an election. Winning a vote is great, but it often results in blandness, and/or leaves a majority dissatisfied with the result and thereafter unengaged in the project. I would suggest people just brainstorm names and encourage individuals to use the ones that catch their fancy, IRL and on social media. There is no need for a winning vote or a consensus, just throw out messages in bottles and maybe something will be picked up. Taking a vote does not preclude this approach though.

Thinking more about the "Angel Stadium" thing, my guess is that it came about because Orange Countians were used to "Dodger Stadium" for where the Dodgers played, so "Angel Stadium" was organically picked up for where the Angels play; that and a general lack of regard among residents for the municipality of Anaheim were probably the two main factors. It's a bland name, but it works, and it's complemented nicely by the "Big A" moniker, which recognizes what is pretty much the only landmark unique to the site. I think that's all you can hope for, and for the Nationals, that bland name is already in place.

I can imagine a Nationals broadcast starting with "Greetings everybody from Cherry Blossom Bend..." or something referring to the bend in the Anacostia adjacent to the park and the cherry trees planted around it. I'll bet that name wouldn't win if put to a multiple choice vote here or anywhere, and in fact, I am sure a lot of people hate it, but if a broadcaster heard it, liked it and used it, it could catch on. Try to get all suggestions to broadcasters. And even if you don't like what they pick, it will almost certainly be better than Bank of America Ballpark being followed by Halliburton Field after the next financial collapse. You need to cast as many seeds as possible and hope something grows.
   82. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 13, 2017 at 01:58 PM (#5530902)
There are other reasons it's a better name. Wrigley is a name that is tied to Chicago for other reasons, most prominently being a famous building downtown. The Wrigley family also rather famously owned the team for decades. Ballpark names that are associated with cities are a good thing.

Good points, but what I really mean is that the application of the name to the ballpark has 90 years of historical use attached to it, and the name is inextricably tied to the facility itself. You can't just decide to change the name and expect compliance, and there would be consequences if the name change were adopted in public use. I'm actually (in part) a taxonomist, and every time I name something or change a name I have to think about the unintended consequences of what I do. Basically, it's a primum non nocere thing.

Sure, I'll take you up on that. Worst that happens, I buy you a few extra rounds during the 2027 stretch run.

I'll take that bet as well. Wrigley Field at First Third Bank Park, however... (the latter referring to the now commercialized Cubs-owned real estate surrounding the ballpark). Thing is, I don't think any corporation would cough up real money for it that way, because people would not say that part.
   83. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 13, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5530916)
Wrigley Field at First Third Bank Park, however...

Just for the sake of clarity, this would also mean I win the bet.
   84. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 13, 2017 at 05:55 PM (#5531154)
So no dice.
   85. Hank G. Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:22 PM (#5531235)
I'm a railfan and know full well that the B&O Railroad was the first carrier to establish commercial rail service in this country, from Camden Yards no less, so I don't need an education in that department.


Maybe we should name all ballparks after properties on the Monopoly board. In that spirit, I suggest that Nationals Park be renamed “Go To Jail Field”. It would also be an homage to the old Washington ballclub’s Senators name.
   86. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2017 at 12:49 PM (#5531573)

But I think a shotgun approach is better than an election. Winning a vote is great, but it often results in blandness, and/or leaves a majority dissatisfied with the result and thereafter unengaged in the project. I would suggest people just brainstorm names and encourage individuals to use the ones that catch their fancy, IRL and on social media. There is no need for a winning vote or a consensus, just throw out messages in bottles and maybe something will be picked up. Taking a vote does not preclude this approach though.

Thinking more about the "Angel Stadium" thing, my guess is that it came about because Orange Countians were used to "Dodger Stadium" for where the Dodgers played, so "Angel Stadium" was organically picked up for where the Angels play; that and a general lack of regard among residents for the municipality of Anaheim were probably the two main factors. It's a bland name, but it works, and it's complemented nicely by the "Big A" moniker, which recognizes what is pretty much the only landmark unique to the site. I think that's all you can hope for, and for the Nationals, that bland name is already in place.
Interesting post. Thanks.

How do we promote the idea that the bland names should still be used once a new official name is slapped on the building? I.E. even if everyone picks "Nationals Park" by vote or otherwise, how do we urge people to keep calling it that when the owners sell the naming rights to a cell phone company in a few years?

I speculate that if "Edison" had lasted longer as the official name for the Angels' home, the better and organic names would have slipped away.
   87. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 14, 2017 at 01:05 PM (#5531581)
an organic and non-contrived method of retaining names and/or generation and establishment of a new names has not emerged.

I think most real people (as in "people not paid to shill for Jerry Jones") locally refer to the place where the Cowboys play football as either the Death Star or Jerry Land rather than [Your Name Here!] Stadium.
   88. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5531592)
an organic and non-contrived method of retaining names and/or generation and establishment of a new names has not emerged.

I think most real people (as in "people not paid to shill for Jerry Jones") locally refer to the place where the Cowboys play football as either the Death Star or Jerry Land rather than [Your Name Here!] Stadium.
Cool. Are people likely to settle on one alternative and use it in the future? I noticed on the wikipedia page that several other nicknames exist too. As a non-local, I found that page by searching for its corporate name. Although I only remembered that name because there was a game in it on TV last Sunday night.
   89. Bote Man Posted: September 14, 2017 at 05:08 PM (#5531905)
An earlier post brought up another good one:

The Green Cathedral

If baseball can be tantamount to a religious experience in a field of green grass...

Or a callback to history:

Senators Park
   90. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 15, 2017 at 08:29 AM (#5532249)
I think most real people (as in "people not paid to shill for Jerry Jones") locally refer to the place where the Cowboys play football as either the Death Star or Jerry Land rather than [Your Name Here!] Stadium.
FWIW, the Patriots' Gillette Stadium is fairly frequently referred to locally as "The Razor."
   91. Bote Man Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5532343)
Verizon Center has been referred to as The Phone Booth, even by the local sports radio loudmouths.
   92. JustDan Posted: September 15, 2017 at 02:46 PM (#5532518)
Verizon Center has been referred to as The Phone Booth, even by the local sports radio loudmouths.
Now Capitol One Arena. It started being called the Phone Booth when it was called the MCI Center.
   93. You're a clown, RMc! I'm tired of it! Posted: September 18, 2017 at 01:42 PM (#5533753)
The choice is obvious.
   94. Bote Man Posted: September 19, 2017 at 07:04 AM (#5534186)
Given that there's a North Capitol Street, an East Capitol Street, and a South Capitol Street, that'd be just as mindless to Washingtonians as "Anacostia Park".

This is true, and it's not being pedantic because those streets separate the quadrants of the District, so the cardinal directions are always a part of the name; I've never heard nor seen them any other way.

Additionally, RFK Stadium sits smack on East Capitol Street.

And Anacostia Park already sits right across the Anacostia River so I think the National Park Service would like to have a little chat with you about that name.

I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier, but Nationals Park is better known for straddling the rather uncommon Half Street. In fact, there's a bunch of fans who call themselves the "Half Street Irregulars". Now THAT is a possibility that should've been included on the ballot, but too late now, voting irregularities, and so forth. You could even sell the naming rights to Robert Half Corporation and nobody would be the wiser!
   95. MNB Posted: September 19, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5534336)
Jarry Field at Nationals Park.
   96. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5534455)

I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier, but Nationals Park is better known for straddling the rather uncommon Half Street. In fact, there's a bunch of fans who call themselves the "Half Street Irregulars".

It's now long gone, but BITD the best and cheapest auto body shop in Washington was on Half Street SE between M and N Sts. They once repaired a Datsun I owned for less than half the amount of the check that my insurance company had issued, and did a great job for less than the current price of two Nats' box seats.
   97. Karl from NY Posted: September 19, 2017 at 03:50 PM (#5534597)
We could combine a bank name and that street to have Fifth Third Half Park.

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