September 19, 2006
The Metropolitan Stadium page has been updated with diagrams that conform to the "new" standard, as well as additional versions for 1961 and 1977.
The sponsor of that page, Mark London, brought to my attention a (relatively) new batch of photos of the Met after it was abandoned by the Twins and Vikings, on Prescott's Metropolitan Stadium page. Some of those photos were extremely useful in getting the details just right. Thank you, Mark.
Seeing those photographs of the Met after it was abandoned made me think about the broader phenomenon of stadiums in "limbo," which I define as that bleak phase between functional demise and structural obliteration. "The Met" endured four years of limbo, which is about average for the 18 past major league stadiums that were torn down more than a year after their teams moved on to greener pastures. The most recent stadium to be demolished, Busch Stadium II, never passed through "limbo," as it was demolished as soon as possible after the Cardinals were eliminated from the playoffs last year. The other former baseball stadiums that are still in "limbo" include:
One might also add [Jack Murphy / QualComm Stadium and Candlestick / Monster Park], except that football is still played in both those venues. The same thing applied to RFK Stadium prior to last year, given that soccer was played there after the Redskins left in 1996. One could argue that League Park, Jarry Park, and Braves Field qualify as well, inasmuch as they have been largely demolished, except for one section in each case. Memorial Coliseum was never really a baseball stadium to begin with, so it certainly does not qualify.
Many thanks to Steven Kindborg for sponsoring the Yankee Stadium and Ebbets Field pages. The latter goes straight to the top of my "to-do" list. Is one of your favorite stadiums in need of updating on this Web site? Please take a look at the Sponsor page. Steven's Web site keymancollectibles.com is chock full of baseball memorabilia for sale, and includes a message board for folks hunting down rare items.
Speaking of Yankee Stadium, I got an e-mail inquiry from Jonathan Veilleux who wonders how far Mickey Mantle's famous May 22, 1963 blast that hit the roof facade travelled. I figure the edge of the roof was 10-15 feet behind the right field fence, so the total horizontal distance was almost 360 feet. If the ball was indeed still rising when it hit the facade (108 feet high), Philip Lowry notes in Green Cathedrals, it would have gone 620 feet. Robert Adair's The Physics of Baseball casts doubt on homers claimed to go much further than 500 feet, however. He estimates that Mantle's tape-measure home run in Griffith Field in 1953 -- claimed to have gone 565 feet -- actually travelled about 506 feet in the air, and then bounced the rest of the way.
The Nationals more than made up for yesterday's 6-1 loss to the Braves by beating Atlanta 9-2 tonight. Nick Johnson and Jose Vidro -- who is not known as a big slugger -- both got home runs, and the entire lineup except for Felipe Lopez got at least one hit. The big story of the evening, however, was rookie pitcher Beltran Perez, who allowed only one hit over six innings in his very first major league start. Awesome! See MLB.com. The game didn't really matter, however, as Atlanta is already eliminated from the pennant race, and the Mets just clinched the NL East with nearly two more weeks to play.