Remarkable Ballparks

By Dan Mansfield

Published: May 2022

ISBN: 9781911682080

  • What started as America’s National Pastime is now a global phenomenon with multi-million dollar baseball leagues around the world and enough countries playing the game to warrant its inclusion in the 2020/1 Olympics.

    What started as America’s National Pastime is now a global phenomenon with multi-million dollar baseball leagues around the world and enough countries playing the game to warrant its inclusion in the 2020/1 Olympics.

    Remarkable Ballparks looks at the range of amazing places that host baseball games starting with the historic Wrigley Field rooftop grandstands, together with the home of the Green Monster, Fenway Park. In 1960, John Updike writing in the New Yorker described Fenway Park as: “a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark".

    Then there are the mega-structures of the modern ballparks with retractable roofs to protect against weather: Toronto’s Roger’s Centre and Seattle’s T-Mobile Park for rain, and Miami’s LoanDepot Park for heat. Baseball is an American family tradition, extolled by the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and its accompanying pitches, along with the movie site from Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, which has fulfilled the prophecy: ‘If you build it, they will come’. Now MLB has come and played a match there.

    Modern ballparks have introduced some remarkable features centerfield, including the mini arboretum at Coors Field and the Devil Rays tank at Tropicana Field. The Arizona Diamondbacks might have a swimming pool at Chase Field, but the MLB stadium can’t match the waterpark ride at Frisco’s Dr. Pepper Stadium.

    The Modern Woodmen Ballpark in Davenport Iowa doesn’t let a small matter like the Mississippi flooding stop play. After building perimeter flood barriers and walkways to the stadium, the ballpark has become an accessible island.

    Perhaps there is no more touching a story than the Gail S. Halvorsen Ballpark opened in Berlin in 2019. Lieutenant Halversen took part in the Berlin Airlift from 1948 to 1949 and became known as the ‘Candy Bomber’ after dropping candy attached to parachutes for children gathered to watch the planes land. At age 98 he was invited back to the city for the naming of a baseball park in his name. A remarkable man and his ballpark.

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