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500 Ballparks: From Wooden Seats to Retro Classics

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500 Ballparks is dedicated to diamond shrines that have seen the best of the game, from the earliest days of the sport through to today. It is organized into two sections. First is an A-Z illustrated directory of 380 major ballparks, including those that have seen Major League action. Detailed text, captioned photographs, including archival, and a facts box provide a compr 500 Ballparks is dedicated to diamond shrines that have seen the best of the game, from the earliest days of the sport through to today. It is organized into two sections. First is an A-Z illustrated directory of 380 major ballparks, including those that have seen Major League action. Detailed text, captioned photographs, including archival, and a facts box provide a comprehensive overview of the park and its role in American baseball history. The second section is a listing with brief descriptions of 123 minor-league parks, including those used by the Negro Leagues, the Federal League, the Triple-A Minor League, the International League and the Pacific Coast League. It also includes the Grapefruit League and Cactus League ballparks, and a range of unusual parks in the United States and Canada. The engaging narrative covers the fields' history and architectural evolution, the clubs that have played there, what the future holds for the ballpark, and little-known stories and events. For example, the waterfront location of San Francisco's old Candlestick Park was so exposed to the elements that a box holder sued the stadium owners because his box was too cold -- and won. Burns Park, home to the Detroit Tigers, was both loved and maligned for its location. Fans filled the seats, thanks to the nearby saloons, but the ALA did not like the brawling and boozing that resulted, and insisted the team move -- after which attendance plummeted. Although each ballpark has its foibles and hidden secrets, the fans are the heart of any live sport. 500 Ballparks does not forget this. Each club's fans are examined and judged on their unique customs and loyalty. This handsome book is an essential choice for all sports collections, especially where a major or minor league team is active. It is also an excellent, authoritative and up to date research resource.


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500 Ballparks is dedicated to diamond shrines that have seen the best of the game, from the earliest days of the sport through to today. It is organized into two sections. First is an A-Z illustrated directory of 380 major ballparks, including those that have seen Major League action. Detailed text, captioned photographs, including archival, and a facts box provide a compr 500 Ballparks is dedicated to diamond shrines that have seen the best of the game, from the earliest days of the sport through to today. It is organized into two sections. First is an A-Z illustrated directory of 380 major ballparks, including those that have seen Major League action. Detailed text, captioned photographs, including archival, and a facts box provide a comprehensive overview of the park and its role in American baseball history. The second section is a listing with brief descriptions of 123 minor-league parks, including those used by the Negro Leagues, the Federal League, the Triple-A Minor League, the International League and the Pacific Coast League. It also includes the Grapefruit League and Cactus League ballparks, and a range of unusual parks in the United States and Canada. The engaging narrative covers the fields' history and architectural evolution, the clubs that have played there, what the future holds for the ballpark, and little-known stories and events. For example, the waterfront location of San Francisco's old Candlestick Park was so exposed to the elements that a box holder sued the stadium owners because his box was too cold -- and won. Burns Park, home to the Detroit Tigers, was both loved and maligned for its location. Fans filled the seats, thanks to the nearby saloons, but the ALA did not like the brawling and boozing that resulted, and insisted the team move -- after which attendance plummeted. Although each ballpark has its foibles and hidden secrets, the fans are the heart of any live sport. 500 Ballparks does not forget this. Each club's fans are examined and judged on their unique customs and loyalty. This handsome book is an essential choice for all sports collections, especially where a major or minor league team is active. It is also an excellent, authoritative and up to date research resource.

38 review for 500 Ballparks: From Wooden Seats to Retro Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Todd Stockslager

    Review title: Big book of ballparks This is a heavy coffee-table book of pictures of current and historical baseball parks. The authors also host a website digital ballparks.com which provides the material for this book. Unfortunately, despite the many pictures. the book was a disappointment for a couple of reasons. First, the information isn't as useful as it could be. Each entry has a small box listing the location (down to street address if known), various names the ballpark as been known by, t Review title: Big book of ballparks This is a heavy coffee-table book of pictures of current and historical baseball parks. The authors also host a website digital ballparks.com which provides the material for this book. Unfortunately, despite the many pictures. the book was a disappointment for a couple of reasons. First, the information isn't as useful as it could be. Each entry has a small box listing the location (down to street address if known), various names the ballpark as been known by, the date it was opened, renovation dates and demolition dates if they apply, and seating capacity and dimensions if known. Unfortunately, the boxes don't always follow the same format, and often the dates of construction, renovations, and demolition or abandonment aren't listed in chronological order so you have to mentally assemble the time line. Not a major thing, but one that could have easily been fixed with a tabular formatting. Plus the text describing each entry often spends more time describing the team's who have used the ballpark as their home field than describing the ballpark itself. The history of baseball team names and major and minor league affiliations is long and sometimes interesting, but not usually relevant or necessary in describing the ballpark as a venue. Second, the information is sometimes suspect or out of date. For example there are multiple sites that are credited with hosting the first night game, and descriptions sometimes refer to features in right field when the picture clearly shows the feature in left field. The book is billed as a second edition published in 2016, and sometimes the information is right up to date referring to ballpark updates as of 2015 or pending in 2016, yet in other entries planned updates scheduled for 2011 or 2013 are phrased in future tense as if they hadn't happened as of the date of printing. There are no listed reference sources so before quoting a particular piece of information from this book as historical fact I would research deeper to ensure accuracy. And finally and most importantly, the organization is not at all useful. The authors decided to list the ballparks in alphabetical order by ballpark name. The problem is ballpark names are very mutable, changing with local preferences, ownership changes, memorial renaming, and changes of corporate naming rights. In all but a very few cases, the name of a ballpark is the least interesting thing about it and the least useful way to try to find it. And there is no geographic index by state or city (the index just lists ballparks by name again!) . Organizing the entries by state and city would have enabled the authors to group together and show the progression of the multiple locations a team have occupied in a city, especially useful for long running teams like the Reds, Cardinals, and the New York teams which have occupied three, four, and sometimes more parks. It would also group together all the spring training parks in Florida and Arizona making comparisons between them easier. But there are those pictures, hundreds of them--over a thousand according to the cover--which are the reason for the book's existence. Many of them are recent color photos taken by the authors, with some historical archive photos, although more of those would have been good to see. Some entries include a footprint graphic showing the shape of the field and stands, which is useful for the smaller and older parks which tend to have the most unique configurations. For the pictures and illustrations alone this is a worthwhile reference book for fans of the game. This would be a good reference book to pair with the architectural history Ballpark: Baseball in the American city which I just read, as it includes pictures and descriptions which document and confirm the author's conclusions in that book. Reading through this list of ballparks it is clear there were four great periods of ballpark construction at all levels, sizes, and geographies: 1. 1880 to 1900 when the game was becoming a spectator sport that demanded a place to be played and displayed. 2. 1910 to 1915 when the most successful teams, especially at the major league level, needed to add space and amenities to accommodate the crowds, resulting in survivors like Fenway and Wrigley plus some lamented losses like Forbes Field and Tiger Stadium. 3. 1950 to 1970 when the growing popularity of NFL football and increased reliance on hard to get public financing led to multipurpose stadiums, which quickly became universally hated and soon outdated. 4. 1995 to the present when the nostalgic beauty of places like Camden Yards in Baltimore showed how what was old could become new again with parks designed for baseball to be played and enjoyed alongside modern entertainment, comfort, and dining. This trend coincided with updated minor league standards for lighting, field quality, and seating capacity so it is interesting to see how many new AA and AAA ballparks date from this era borrowing the same retro styling and features. So enjoy the pictures, and if you are a fan of the ballpark experience and history put up with the flaws to put this book on your shelf.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cee Jackson

    As a Brit who can only watch baseball (both MLB an MiLB ) on live streams, this book is an invaluable reference point. I love visiting new football (soccer) grounds here in Scotland - there is something about a sports ground that adds to the whole sporting experience of the day. And to be able to envisage the whole ballpark where a game is being played out on my laptop that brings that experience into my home. I know times move on and we as fans (of any sport) just wouldn't put up with the facilit As a Brit who can only watch baseball (both MLB an MiLB ) on live streams, this book is an invaluable reference point. I love visiting new football (soccer) grounds here in Scotland - there is something about a sports ground that adds to the whole sporting experience of the day. And to be able to envisage the whole ballpark where a game is being played out on my laptop that brings that experience into my home. I know times move on and we as fans (of any sport) just wouldn't put up with the facilities that were once on offer at various venues, but there is still something romantic about these long lost grounds, and 500 Ballparks helps keep the memories fresh, as well as highlight the shiny new grounds. My only little criticism of this book, and why I dropped from 5 to 4 Star, is that I'd have found it far easier to read and fully appreciate, had the grounds been listed either under Team names within their respective Leagues, or even geographically within their States. Maybe I'd be watching Hartford Yard Goats game. Ideally, I'd just pick up the book, look under 'H' and find the Dunkin' Donuts Park. But I can't. (Actually, even though I do know the name of the Yard Goats' ground, I still don't see it listed at all!) Now I AM confused. But hey - the photos are excellent, and the words are most informative. I'm still so glad I made this purchase.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    This book is the perfect gift for the baseball fan in your life. The book is beautiful and big enough to also work as a coffee table book. I gave it to my husband's best friend for a gift and he loved it. He has been to 9 parks so far so only 491 to go! I received this in a Goodreads giveaway but that has not impacted my review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    Even if one is not a baseball fan, one will be captured about this fine undertaking by the author and his wife. Loaded with pictures, nostalgia about America's favorite past time. This is history complete for any lover of sport.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jane Graham

    This book is a very interesting read. It examines all the ball parks giving history and tidbits of information. Definitely for the baseball fan!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    What a beautiful book. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of this book and the information was spot on. I am very pleased with my book that I won.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Eledge

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tima

  10. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather Williams

  13. 4 out of 5

    Daryl Moad

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

  15. 5 out of 5

    ColumbusReads

  16. 5 out of 5

    amy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  18. 5 out of 5

    Donna Smith

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carol McFarlane

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Hickey

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  25. 5 out of 5

    Judy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dolli

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Francis

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barry Collins

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Obrien

  31. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

  32. 5 out of 5

    Joy Adams

  33. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  34. 4 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

  35. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Miller

  36. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

  37. 5 out of 5

    John Smaron

  38. 4 out of 5

    Carl

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