Synopses & Reviews
Their names are magic, emotional triggers that provoke images of concave walls, 33-foot screens, ground-level scoreboards, irregular contours and fences that zig, zag, jut and jag through our memory, not to mention the passages of baseball history. Ebbets Field had its Bums, Tiger Stadium had its overhang, the Polo Grounds had its clubhouse, Crosley Field had its incline and Fenway Park still has a Green Monster that gobbles up line drives and swats them away like flies. A ballpark, by any name or configuration, is many things, but above all else it's personal. It's about relationships, with teams and the communities they serve, and memories, of special places at special times. All ballparks are wonderfully different, but all are basically the samestages upon which the games greatest moments have been acted out, the context around which its greatest accomplishments can be measured. Join with The Sporting News on a soul-stirring journey that will reveal the sights and sounds, the secrets and charming nuances of 46 former and current major league ballparks. Take a visual, sentimental tour through the fields of dreams that have shaped our baseball memories, fulfilled and destroyed our baseball fantasies and given us an unbreakable bond with our national pastime. All have been special places for countless generations of fans. Some have been immortalized by the feats of their greatest heroes, from the vicious line drives of Lou Gehrig and the blazing fastballs of Nolan Ryan to the daring dashes of Rickey Henderson and the towering moonshots of Mark McGwire. Others have influenced memorable moments with their quirky screens, short home run porches and oddly angled outfield walls. How can we forget? Allow us to share the experience of Pittsburgh's Forbes Field, the championship aura of Yankee Stadium or the retro park fun of Oriole Park at Camden Yards through words and photographs that, like the memories they evoke, will forever become etched in the mind. You can link baseball's nostalgic past, or you can step through the portal into a technologically-enhanced future featuring a whole new generation of ballparks that dare to look back while always aiming forward. The book is a labor of love for a publication that has covered baseball since 1886, experiencing the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium magic of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Willie Mays while bracing for the NowWorld fireworks of supercharged sluggers who now can splash home runs into the San Francisco Bay, a swimming pool or a cascading fountain. Times change, but the magic of the ballpark lives on. They are indelible footprints littered with memories of baseball past. They are places of the heart, institutions of the mind and fixtures of the soulthe foundations upon which baseball has rested for more than a century.
The Sporting News relives the great moments of 46 past and present baseball institutions-from Fenway Park and the Polo Grounds to Camden Yards and Safeco Field. Unique illustrations highlight the major milestones of the parks along with vivid color photographs and black-and-white historical photos culled from the archives of The SportingNews, America's oldest weekly sports publication.