November 28, 2009 [LINK / comment]
Target Field nears completion
New! Just as construction workers in Minneapolis are making the final touches on the real Target Field, I have completed my diagrammatic rendition of the stadium. CAVEAT: The diagram is "under construction," with future revisions pending a good look at the finished project next spring. I made use of a wide variety of photos on baseball-fever.com, and Bruce Orser was very helpful in drawing my attention to those. Target Field is one of the most innovative of the "Neoclassical" ballparks, and most people are very excited about it. It looks fine to me, but I frown on the balcony section that hangs over right field, and I don't like outfield upper decks that are positioned so far forward that fans can't see what's going on near the fence below. Anyway, I hope to see a game there next summer.
One of the useful sources was "A walking tour of Target Field" by Jim Bickal, at minnesota.publicradio.org; hat tip to Mike Zurawski.
This is the first all-new stadium diagram I've done since Citi Field, which I first first posted in June 2008. (To keep track of all the stadium diagram updates thus far this year, see the 2009 stadium updates page.) Only one other major league baseball stadium is under construction at present: the Marlins' future home in Miami. I may decide to do diagrams of early 20th Century ballparks before I get to that one, however...
In conjunction with the new Target Field Web page and diagram, I have also updated the text on the Metrodome page. Updated diagram coming soon...
As for other ballparks I have been working on, I got so frustrated with Sportsman's Park that I just cast it aside for a while. I finally determined that it is one of the "Classical Era" ballparks in which the diamond was slightly askew (rotated counter-clockwise by about one degree), and this threw everything off just a little. The first four cases of skewed diamonds in the list below are fairly well known, and are clearly indicated as such in my diagrams, whereas the next three I only learned about in the past few months (hence the exclamation marks), and the final
two [three] are still uncertain (hence the question marks):
- Wrigley Field
- Braves Field
- Tiger Stadium
- Crosley Field
- Baker Bowl (!)
- League Park (!)
- Sportsman's Park (!)
- Griffith Stadium (?)
- Forbes Field (?)
- [ Yankee Stadium (?) ]
The way to San Jose
As fan support in Oakland dwindles, the co-owner of the Athletics, Lew Wolff, remains optimistic about getting a new stadium built in San Jose. The city has set aside the land and is preparing to decide on public funding, but as the Mercury News reports, "plans are on hold until a panel appointed by Major League Baseball finishes its study of possible locations throughout the Bay Area." This is probably just a ritualistic, formal process to address concerns by the San Francisco Giants about their territorial rights to San Jose. The fact that AT&T Park was mainly paid for by the Giants' owners themselves should be taken into account, but if you ask me, San Jose is the only feasible location for the A's. I noticed that the Oakland Athletics' Web site has deleted any reference to a future ballpark ("Cisco Field"?), whether in Fremont or San Jose. Does this mean the A's just playing it cool while San Jose decides on whether to spend the necessary money?
N.Y. Beatlemania 2009
As part of its Thanksgiving prime time lineup, ABC broadcast the concert by Paul McCartney in Citi Field last summer. Lots of great stuff, and you've got to admire him for keeping his youthful appearance well into his sixties. The New York crowd was big and enthusiastic, though not as berserk as when the Beatles performed at Shea Stadium 45 years ago.
Squire Rushnell was at Yankee Stadium when David Wells through his perfect game in 1998, which was 42 years after Don Larsen accomplished the same feat in the same stadium. He later learned that the two pitchers shared a common background characterstic that defies probability. Coincidence or "Godwink"? Watch his video at beliefnet.com and decide for yourself.