The Ballpark Book : A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic

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9780892046331: The Ballpark Book : A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic

"A nice package for young or old folks who still consider baseball our national pastime. This is a book for the real fans."--The Washington Times In The Ballpark Book, The Sporting News takes readers on a sentimental journey through the past and present fields where major-league baseball is played. Fans learn the historical texture of each field, the very places where the game's greatest moments took place, and experience the ambience and feeling of each ballpark, old and new, as if they were sitting in the stands. All of the nostalgic ballparks are here--from the Gone But Not Forgotten Era (Ebbets Field, Candlestick Park) to the New Wave Era (Camden Yards, Jacobs Field) and everything in between--49 past and present ballparks in all. Hundreds of full-color photos and illustrations make this an attractive addition to any baseball fan's collection. New to this edition are recently opened parks including: San Francisco's Pac Bell Park Pittsburgh's PNC Park Detroit's Comerica Park Houston's Minute Maid Stadium Seattle's Safeco Field Milwaukee's Miller Park From Miami to Seattle, from Boston to L.A., it's a trip around the country to where baseball is played!

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Review:

Fenway. Wrigley. Ebbets Field. These are the real fields of dreams. Sporting News senior editor Ron Smith pays tribute to 46 current and former major league ballparks in The Ballpark Book. Smith divides the parks into "Classics" (Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Yankee Stadium), the "Middle Ages" (including Anaheim Stadium, Oakland Coliseum, and Jack Murphy Stadium), the "Turf Era" (such as Riverfront Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, and Busch Stadium), the "Dome Era" (the Metrodome, Olympic Stadium, and the SkyDome), and the "New Wave Era" (including Camden Yards, Coors Field, and New Comiskey Park). The "Gone, but Not Forgotten" fields are described in reverent, nostalgic tones--suitable for Tiger Stadium and the Polo Grounds, though few will miss the Kingdome and the Stick. Each park is profiled in detail, with great photographs of historic moments. Smith points out unique features, such as the swimming pool in the outfield at Bank One Ballpark, or the single red seat, high up in the outfield bleachers, marking the spot where Ted Williams hit the longest homer in Fenway history (502 feet).

Schoolboy Rowe once said, "Ballparks are individuals to me, not just so much stone, concrete, and steel." The Ballpark Book will help you get to know some of these fine individuals. --M. Stein

From the Back Cover:

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 passages 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 it's personal. It's 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 games 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 reveal 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? Allow us to share the experience of Pittsburgh's Forbes Field, the championship aura of Yankee Stadium or the retro park fun of Oriole Park at Camden Yards through words and photographs that, like the memories they evoke, will forever become etched in the mind. You can link baseball's 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.

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Smith, Ron, Smith
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