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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Today in Baseball History: Fenway Park opens

On this day in 1912 two new ballparks had their grand openings: the Red Sox’ Fenway Park in Boston and Tiger Stadium in Detroit. On this date in 1916 the Chicago Cubs played their first game at Weeghman Park — renamed Wrigley Field in 1926 — as well.

What a day for ballpark history, eh?

We’ve talked a lot about the Tigers lately, and we mentioned Weeghman/Wrigley in the Federal League post from last week. I’m sure will give both of those places some longer treatments later as well, so let’s focus today on Fenway, shall we?

The Red Sox, then known as the Boston Americans, began play as a charter member of the American League in 1901. Their park: a rickety wooden structure located at Huntington and Rogers Avenues in the Roxbury section of Boston. The site was previously a temporary location for carnivals and traveling circuses and, as such, it was commonly called the Huntington Carnival Lot. It was described at the time as “no more than an expansive wasteland made up of heavily weeded bumps and lumps.” There was a pharmaceutical company nearby and, if the wind was just right, you could smell chemicals. So that was promising.

Some remarks on a rather familiar ballpark- and one that, indeed, has a great atmosphere to it from the outside, though I’ve never been in town during baseball season with time on my hands.

 

QLE Posted: April 21, 2020 at 12:42 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, fenway park, history

Friday, April 10, 2020

Reddit Users Are Sharing All the World’s Strangest Baseball Fields

Build it where you can fit it

There are countless thousands of baseball fields in the United States, and no two are alike.

Baseball is the only major sport with no strict guidelines about the size of the playing field. While major league stadiums all have reasonably similar dimensions, the smaller stadiums and community parks where average people play the game can be truly bizarre. I played at a field as a kid with a pond about 400 feet deep in centerfield. (A guy on my team once hit one all the way out there. He got a double. He was very slow.)

There are places like that all around this country and people on Reddit’s /r/baseball forum have been sharing all the ones they know about. They’re really a sight to behold.

So, any weird ballparks that you have known?

 

QLE Posted: April 10, 2020 at 01:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, reddit

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Two main reasons why Giants, fans got iconic Oracle Park design right

Buster Posey has never done it, but Scooter Gennett has. Hunter Pence doesn’t have one, but Denard Span has five of them.

The most distinctive part of Oracle Park is not in play for the stars who have suited up for the organization but hit from the right side of the plate. In the two-decade history of the ballpark, no right-hander has hit a ball into McCovey Cove. But the list of left-handed hitters who have done it is fairly long, with 130 Splash Hits in all, including some from Span, Gennett, and guys like Tyler Colvin, Nate Schierholtz and John Bowker.

But what if right-handers were the ones taking aim at the Cove?

Over the weekend, MLB Cathedrals posted a fun photo on Twitter showing the ballpark with flipped dimensions

Some remarks on a ballpark and the appeal of its design.

 

QLE Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, china basin

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Fields of green: Mild winter, no games aid ballpark grass

Nicole Sherry poked some holes in the turf at Camden Yards, cut the grass and then left the ballpark about the same time the Baltimore Orioles should have been wrapping up their season opener.

“What a beautiful day it would have been for a ballgame,” said Sherry, the head groundskeeper for the Orioles. “It was kind of surreal because I was thinking, ‘Technically, this is opening day.’”

Camden Yards was all green and would have been ready for what was going to be Major League Baseball’s earliest start, March 26. Then the season was put on hold indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A mild winter was beneficial to Oriole Park, and many other ballparks often battered by brutally cold temperatures, snow and ice. Now the grass has even longer to grow, get greener and strengthen before there will be any games.

Tug McGraw would have been very happy to have heard this news.

 

QLE Posted: April 05, 2020 at 12:45 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, grass

Coronavirus: MLB debating playing games at spring training ballparks without fans, per report

Major League Baseball, like many sports leagues around the world, has been shut down indefinitely because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Spring training was canceled altogether and 2020 Opening Day has been pushed back to at least mid-May, and that remains subject to change as the situation develops.

MLB, along with the MLBPA, has discussed a variety of scenarios for the 2020 regular and postseason, including doubleheaders and extending the season into October. Now, MLB is considering playing in empty spring training ballparks in Florida and Arizona, with no fans and all while quarantining players. From Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

“MLB is prioritizing public health as it examines all possibilities, sources say. The season, at least initially, could be played in Florida or more likely Arizona, where spring training parks are more concentrated. But the logistics of quarantining 30 teams in one area would be extremely complex and potentially controversial, sources say, requiring local, state and federal government cooperation and resources that might be necessary to fight the coronavirus pandemic.”

As Rosenthal notes, the Premier League is reportedly is discussing quarantining its teams in parts of England and finishing its season with televised games from empty stadiums. The NBA is also discussing a similar concept with a truncated playoff tournament in Las Vegas.

 

QLE Posted: April 05, 2020 at 12:33 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, behind closed doors, neutral site games, spring training

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Baseball Question of the Day: What’s the coolest thing you have ever seen at a ballpark?

Today’s baseball question requires an in-person experience: what’s the coolest thing you have ever seen at a ballpark?

Most of us have seen historic moments or a thrilling deciding game of a playoff series on TV, but we’re all far more limited in the neat stuff we’ve seen first-hand.

Which means it might lead to weird answers. For example, I’ve never seen a no-hitter in person, but I have seen a drunk guy take his shirt off and start singing the National Anthem . . . in the fourth inning. Folks, Tiger Stadium was LIT in the 1980s.

So, what’s your answer?

 

QLE Posted: March 26, 2020 at 12:53 AM | 105 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, cool

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A Ballpark and a History Worth Remembering

One of the misfortunes of baseball’s past is how the game’s demolished parks are remembered. Often they aren’t, save for a placard here or a signpost there that reminds us of the greatness that once occupied these places. The repurposing of real estate is too lucrative to linger in historic nostalgia.

Forbes Field, the wonderful park forever linked to the Pittsburgh Pirates, was torn down in 1971, its property now owned by the University of Pittsburgh.

Metropolitan Stadium, the Minnesota Twins’ first home, was razed in 1985. The Mall of America now sits in its place.

The Polo Grounds of the New York Giants — one of baseball’s irreplaceable landmarks — was indeed replaced for the expansion Mets, who moved to Shea Stadium in 1964. Public housing now occupies that site.

The story of a stadium- and how it meant more to the community than many other stadiums do.

QLE Posted: March 25, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, martin stadium, memphis, negro leagues

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Baseball Question of the Day: What’s your favorite ballpark?

People liked Friday’s Baseball Question of the Day, so let’s keep that feature going until we get tired of it.

Today’s Baseball Question of the Day: What’s your favorite ballpark? Difficulty: it has to be a park that is not the park of your favorite team. My favorite park is Petco Park in San Diego.

For one thing it’s just gorgeous. Not just the view, which a lot of people talk about, but the park itself. There’s a lot of greenery inside the place — on concourses, above escalators and things — and there are waterfalls and pretty finishes and surfaces.

So, how would all of you answer this question?

 

QLE Posted: March 24, 2020 at 12:43 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks

Monday, February 24, 2020

Ready to Rock? 2020 MLB Ballpark Concerts

Over the years, Major League Baseball ballparks have evolved from hosting more than baseball by expanding into entertainment and welcoming major concerts. This year is no different, with several high-profile tours making stops across MLB’s slate of facilities…

The Stadium Tour brings Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Poison, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts together…Another classic rock act hitting the road this summer is Guns N’ Roses. On select dates, they will be joined by special guests The Smashing Pumpkins…The Hella Mega Tour will be hitting the road featuring Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer and special guests The Intruders…Dead & Company will once again tour MLB ballparks this summer, with stops scheduled at multiple facilities…In addition to the rock and roll acts, there are several country artists touring MLB ballparks…

NattyBoh Posted: February 24, 2020 at 07:04 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, concerts, music

Friday, January 24, 2020

Ranking the names of major league ballparks

Now that the Hall of Fame election is over and a good number of the top free agents have signed, we’re about to enter the slowest period of the offseason news cycle. Let’s kill time by making a list, shall we?

This list is inspired by yesterday’s news about Miller Park changing its name to American Family Field next year. As I noted in that post, neither of those are terrible names for a park given by a corporation which means that, yeah, some corporate-named parks are better than others.

So I thought it’d be fun to rank the names of all the parks. Let’s go

A consideration that may be of interest, given our past discussion of stadium names.

 

QLE Posted: January 24, 2020 at 12:53 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, rankings, the name game

 

 

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