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January 1, 2013 [LINK / comment]

Happy New Year!
State of the diagrams, 2013

For baseball fans, the new year will bring some interesting changes. The Washington Nationals are no longer a doormat for the rest of the National League East; they are, instead, favored to repeat as division champions. That means the heat will be on them from the get-go, so they shouldn't assume anything. Another big change is league realignment, as the Houston Astros migrate to the American League Western Division, though the likely effects are hard to guess in advance. The N.Y. Yankees and Boston Red Sox are straining to field championship caliber teams, while the big-spending L.A. Dodgers try to somehow wrest control of the NL West from the S.F. Giants. Finally, for the first time since the 1980s, NO new baseball stadiums are expected to open any time soon.

But before we get too caught up with contemplating what the 2013 season holds in store, I thought it would be a good opportunity to take stock of where this Web site stands with respect to the prime feature: all those baseball stadium diagrams. I think it's fair to say that some of them are very good, while others are OK but clearly in need of improvement, and some (such as Forbes Field) are horribly deficient, and have been for a long time.

Every year the president of the United States is required by the Constitution to submit to Congress a report on the national situation. For the past century or so, presidents have met this obligation by making a formal speech to a joint session of Congress. I thought it was high time I did something like that to summarize where my work in refining baseball stadium diagrams currently stands, and where it is headed in the future.

With that in mind, I now present my own assessment of the "state of the diagrams," ranking from "A" (superb), "B" (pretty good), "C" (marginally acceptable), and "D" (just plain lousy). This reflects only the diagrams themselves, and has nothing to do with the aesthetic appeal of the real-world stadiums. Some stadiums such as Nationals Park were updated fairly recently, but lack some of the latest features such as an upper-deck (transparent roof) version, and/or the entry portals therein. You can tell if a diagram is outdated if the size of the dirt infield is smaller than it should be (pre-2009, more or less), or if the profile view is crude, with the lower deck lacking the almost-universal attenuated (curved) grandstand slope ("pitch") that gives rise to the expression "bowl."

This list only includes major league stadiums, not minor league ones or those in foreign countries. Generally speaking, the ones that have been updated in the last year or two are state of the art, or close to it.

Baseball stadium diagrams, current status
Stadium name Team name Diagram status Last update
Baker Bowl * Philadelphia Phillies C 2010
Forbes Field Pittsburgh Pirates D 2005
Shibe Park * Philadelphia Athletics & Phillies A- 2012
Sportsman's Park * St. Louis Browns & Cardinals D 2006
League Park * Cleveland Indians B+ 2010
Comiskey Park * Chicago White Sox B- 2010
Polo Grounds New York Giants, (Yankees, & Mets) C- 2007
Griffith Stadium * Washington Senators B- 2008
Crosley Field * Cincinnati Reds D+ 2008
Tiger Stadium * * Detroit Tigers B+ 2009
Fenway Park Boston Red Sox (& Braves) A- 2012
Ebbets Field Brooklyn Dodgers C 2006
Wrigley Field * Chicago Cubs (& Whales) A- 2012
Braves Field * Boston Braves A 2012
Yankee Stadium New York Yankees C 2008
Cleveland Municipal Stadium * Cleveland Indians A- 2012
Milwaukee County Stadium Milwaukee Braves & Brewers A- 2011
Memorial Stadium Baltimore Orioles A 2012
(K.C.) Municipal Stadium * Kansas City Athletics & Royals A- 2012
(L.A.) Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles Dodgers B+ 2010
Seals Stadium San Franciso Giants A 2012
Candlestick Park * San Franciso Giants A 2012
Wrigley Field (L.A.) Los Angeles Angels A- 2012
Metropolitan Stadium Minnesota Twins B 2010
Dodger Stadium Los Angeles Dodgers (& Angels) C+ 2009
Colt Stadium Houston Colt 45s B- 2011
Robert F. Kennedy Stadium * Washington Senators & Nationals A 2012
Shea Stadium New York Mets (& Yankees) A- 2011
Astrodome Houston Astros B+ 2011
Angel Stadium of Anaheim * L.A. / Calif. / Anaheim Angels B+ 2011
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium * Atlanta Braves A 2012
Busch Stadium II St. Louis Cardinals B 2011
Oakland Coliseum * * Oakland Athletics B+ 2011
Jarry Park Montreal Expos A- 2009
Sick's Stadium Seattle Pilots A- 2011
Jack Murphy Stadium * * San Diego Padres A 2012
Riverfront Stadium * Cincinnati Reds A- 2012
Three Rivers Stadium Pittsburgh Pirates B 2009
Veterans Stadium Philadelphia Phillies A- 2012
Arlington Stadium Texas Rangers A- 2011
Kauffman Stadium * Kansas City Royals A- 2011
Olympic Stadium Montreal Expos A- 2012
Kingdome Seattle Mariners A 2012
Exhibition Stadium Toronto Blue Jays B+ 2011
H.H.H. Metrodome Minnesota Twins A 2012
Rogers Centre * Toronto Blue Jays A- 2012
U.S. Cellular Field * Chicago White Sox A- 2012
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Baltimore Orioles A 2012
Sun Life Stadium * * Florida Marlins A 2012
Mile High Stadium * Colorado Rockies B+ 2011
Progressive Field * Cleveland Indians A 2012
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington * Texas Rangers A- 2011
Coors Field Colorado Rockies B+ 2010
Turner Field * Atlanta Braves C+ 2008
Tropicana Field * Tampa Bay Rays A 2012
Chase Field * Arizona Diamondbacks A 2012
Safeco Field Seattle Mariners A- 2012
AT&T Park * * San Franciso Giants A 2012
Minute Maid Park * Houston Astros B 2010
Comerica Park Detroit Tigers A 2012
Miller Park Milwaukee Brewers B+ 2010
PNC Park Pittsburgh Pirates B+ 2010
Great American Ballpark Cincinnati Reds A 2012
Citizens Bank Park Philadelphia Phillies A- 2012
PETCO Park San Diego Padres A 2012
Busch Stadium III St. Louis Cardinals A- 2011
Nationals Park Washington Nationals A- 2012
Yankee Stadium II New York Yankees B+ 2012
Citi Field New York Mets A- 2012
Target Field Minnesota Twins A- 2012
Marlins Park Miami Marlins A 2012

[ * (asterisk) = name change; * * = multiple name changes.]

If all goes according to plan, I will have virtually all the diagrams up to top-notch standards by Opening Day, which is April 1 this year -- just 90 days away. (The Baseball blog page will automatically keep track of the Opening Day countdown.) In the mean time, I'll try to keep up with e-mail inquiries about diagram upgrades, or you can simply post a comment on any blog post, if there are particular ballparks that you'd rather see finished sooner rather than later. Thanks once again for your interest, ballpark fans!

[Some grades in this table were subsequently changed after the initial posting.]

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 02 Jan 2013, 8: 28 AM

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