The Ballpark Bookby The Sporting News, Kevin Belford (Illustrator)
Thanks for taking the time to look into our book. If you're a fan of baseball, if you're a fan of major league ballparks, if you're a fan who - like me - is kicking himself for not getting to a game at Tiger Stadium before it closed, if you're a fan who wishes he could have seen a game in Ebbets Field or Crosley Field, this book is done for you.
Baseball fans don't just remember great players and plays, they remember the great places that served as stages for those people and circumstances. Those great places - those stadiums, those ballparks, those fields - hold unique smells and sounds, unique sights and feels, unique experiences for each and every fan.
Re-creating those unique features, re-igniting those feelings and sensory experiences is what's behind The Ballpark Book. We want to take you to Fenway and Wrigley and Camden Yards. We want to take you to Ebbets and Shibe and Griffith and Old Comiskey and Forbes.
The year 1999 marked the end of four national baseball treasures - Detroit's Tiger Stadium, Houston's Astrodome, 3 Com Park (nee Candlestick Park) in San Francisco and Seattle's Kingdome (maybe not as treasured as the other three but, yes, a treasure nonetheless) - The Sporting News relives the experience, relives the great moments of 46 past and present baseball institutions, from Fenway Park to Jacobs Field.
You'll find 304 pages of beautiful color photographs, stadium panoramas and detail shots, and artistic illustrations of those ballparks with the great moments in their histories.
As the ballparks in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh approach their final days, it's a book that remembers the great places where the greatest game on earth has been played.
Read an Excerpt
From the Dustjacket:
Their names are magic, emotional triggers that provoke images of concave walls, 33-foot screens, ground-level scoreboards, irregular contours and fences that zig, zag, jut and jag through our memory, not to mention the pages of baseball history. Ebbets Field had its Bums, Tiger Stadium had its overhang, the Polo Grounds had its clubhouse, Crosley Field had its incline and Fenway Park still has a Green Monster that gobbles up line drives and swats them away like flies.
A ballpark, by any name or configuration, is many things, but above all else it¹s personal. It¹s about relationships, with teams and the communities they serve, and memories, of special places at special times. All ballparks are wonderfully different, but all are basically the same‹stages upon which the game¹s greatest moments have been acted out, the context around which its greatest accomplishments can be measured.
Join with The Sporting News on a soul-stirring journey that will take you there, that will bring you the sights and sounds, the secrets and charming nuances of 46 former and current major league ballparks. Take a visual, sentimental tour through the fields of dreams that have shaped our baseball memories, fulfilled and destroyed our baseball fantasies and given us an unbreakable bond with our national pastime. All have been special places for countless generations of fans.
Some have been immortalized by the feats of their greatest heroes, from the vicious line drives of Lou Gehrig and the blazing fastballs of Nolan Ryan to the daring dashes of Rickey Henderson and the towering moonshots of Mark McGwire. Others have influenced memorable moments with their quirky screens, short home run porches and oddly angled outfield walls. How can we forget?
Sadly, another generation of ballpark is closing its doors. Gone, all of a sudden, are The Astrodome and Kingdome, Candlestick and Tiger Stadium. Gone, soon, will be County Stadium and Three Rivers Stadium.
Allow us to share the experience of Pittsburgh's Three Rivers, as well as its predecessor, Forbes Field. Allow us to express the championship aura of Yankee Stadium and the retro park fun of Camden Yards through words and photographs that, like the memories they evoke, will forever become etched in the mind. You can link to baseball¹s nostalgic past, or you can step through the portal into a technologically-enhanced future featuring a whole new generation of ballparks that dare to look back while always aiming forward.
The book is a labor of love for a publication that has covered baseball since 1886, experiencing the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium magic of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Willie Mays while bracing for the NowWorld fireworks of supercharged sluggers who now can splash home runs into the San Francisco Bay, a swimming pool or a cascading fountain. Times change, but the magic of the ballpark lives on.
They are indelible footprints littered with memories of baseball past. They are places of the heart, institutions of the mind and fixtures of the soul‹the foundations upon which baseball has rested for more than a century.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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As a lifelong baseball fan and amateur historia, I couldn't resist picking up this book. It is a considerable improvement over The Sporting News' last ballpark book, published in the early 80s with lots of cool sketches of the ballparks and almost no photographs. This should be a 5-star book. It loses the fifth star for omitting three no-longer-used stadia: The Baker Bowl, where the Phillies played for more than forty years before moving into Shibe Park with the Athletics; Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, onetime home to both the Athletics and the Royals; and RFK Stadium in Washington, home to the second Senators. It also loses that star for insisting on putting each and every park in a positive light. I live in Saint Paul. I've been to dozens of Twins games in the Metrodome. There's almost nothing positive about that building. I know people in Seattle felt the same about the Kingdome, and if Montreal had any fans I'm sure they would voice similar sentiment about the Big Owe.
This book is a wonderful reference volume about virtually every major league ballpark. The book is divided into several sections, starting off with 'Classic Ballparks,' 'Middle-Age' & 'Domed' parks, and finally a section about parks no longer in existence. The historical information, pictures and illustrations of each park give the reader a sense of what each ballpark is/was like. The illustrations and pictures also bring back memories of famous moments and players. One thing I liked was the author's resistance to criticize any park, in spite of what must have been the temptation to do so, especially with the stadiums built in the late 1960's and 1970's. Instead they concentrated on the positives of each ballpark. They even had nice things to say about my former 'home park,' Candlestick (aka 3Com) Park. I've only seen games in the different California ballparks and Yankee Stadium, and this book makes me want to visit more of them across the country. To sit with the 'Bleacher Bums' at Wrigley Field, cheer my beloved Red Sox on at Fenway Park, or sit in the 'mile-high seats' at Coors Field. This book will keep you entertained for hours as you read about what makes each park unique and the various stories and players related to each of them.