February 18, 2007 [LINK / comment]

The mail bag is chock full

Mike Zurawski sent a whole boatload of news about ballparks, and I'm struggling to get caught up. Wrigley Field was ranked as the 31st best structure in America (just four spots behind Thomas Jefferson's Monticello!), according to a survey that was conducted by the American Institute of Architects. Yankee Stadium and five other ballparks were ranked within the Top 150 as well.

Now, this is insane: Officials in Hennepin County, Minnesota may have to find another location for the Twins's future stadium because, primarily, the land owners are demanding more than was expected. See startribune.com. The Twins had planned to unveil detailed renderings of the new ballpark this month, and preliminary construction work was to begin in March, but now everything is on hold. The planned 2010 completion date is in grave doubt.

The new governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, has expressed support for a proposal to increase the sales tax rebate that professional sports teams have been granted. If the legislature approves the measure, which seems likely, as much as $240 million in public money would be diverted to stadium construction and renovation in South Florida. He says it is "an economic development issue. I think it is important these major league teams stay within the state of Florida," It just so happens that Crist used to be general counsel for Minor League Baseball. See sun-sentinel.com.

It seems that construction at the Mets' future home, Citi Field, is progressing at a fair clip. There is a photo in the New York Times that was taken from the upper deck of Shea Stadium, but it's hard to make out details. That story also notes that Albert "Pujols, 27, became a citizen Wednesday during a ceremony in St. Louis."

Bruce Orser alerted me to an obituary for Eddie Feigner, a barnstorming softball pitcher who threw as [fast or] faster than most hardball pitchers. From the Washington Post:

In a 1967 exhibition at Dodger Stadium ... He struck out all six -- Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Willie McCovey, Maury Wills and Harmon Killebrew -- in succession.

As for other fan feedback, Mark London informed me that some of the Dodger Stadium dynamic diagrams were missing, so I have fixed that. If folks ever come across an obvious error like that, please let me know!

David Unruhe just wanted to let me know that he finally found my site via John Skilton's baseball-links.com/ Web site, after being out of touch for three years, probably back when it was hosted by EarthLink. Welcome back, David! I hope you enjoy all the new enhancements.

Tom Koch-Weser questions whether they really changed the right field dimension at Miller Park after they installed that bullpen bar/picnic-area last year. I estimated that it is 337 feet, based on the fact that the area is eight feet deep. However, it still reads 345 on the wall. Does anyone in the Milwaukee area know for sure? Feel free to send me an e-mail or (for quicker turnaround) register and post a comment on this blog post.