October 17, 2006 [LINK / comment]

New book: Historic Ballparks

This just came in the mail today: Historic Ballparks: A Panoramic Vision, by John Pastier. It is one of those hefty "coffee table" books, chock full of photographs, many of which I had never seen before, as well as the 1950s-era diagrams that used to appear in The Mutual Baseball Almanac series, plus a set of 3-D architectural sketches. It also includes quite a bit of descriptive text, as well as tables of basic data. Unlike most other books of its genre, this one has strong coverage of minor league ballparks. For hardcore stadium geeks like me, it is a sheer delight from cover to cover. I already have several historical baseball stadium books, and have browsed through several others in bookstores, but this won is superior to the rest in several respects. It was published in June, and includes RFK Stadium in its second incarnation as the home of the Washington Nationals. My only complaint is the choice of stadium photos to put on the cover: Memorial Coliseum, which I regard as "an abomination." The author of the book contacted me recently.

In case you're wondering, that's why I haven't finished the Busch Stadium III diagram revisions yet.

Cardinals knock Glavine out

It's been quite an intense, close-fought game so far. The Cardinals rallied to take a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning, proving that 40-year old Tom Glavine is only human after all. After he was replaced, the Cardinals loaded up the bases with nobody out, and the Mets were lucky that no more runs scored that inning. As of the seventh inning stretch the Cards are up, 4-2.

UPDATE: The Cardinals hang on to win, 4-2, and now lead the NLCS, 3 games to 2. Not a bad way to inaugurate Busch Stadium III in its first postseason. But could there be more games here this year?

The mail bag

Still more ballpark news items from Mike Zurawski: Construction on the future home of the Washington Nationals is "one day ahead of schedule," according to Allen Y. Lew, of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission. A solution to the parking quandary is nowhere in sight, however. See Washington Post. A letter to the editor from Ralph Nader appeared in yesterday's Post; he criticized (rightly, in my view) Mayor Williams request for $75 million more to pay for parking facilities, but his suggestion that it's not too late to stop the construction project and simply go back to RFK Stadium is quite unrealistic.

"On Friday, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority unanimously approved a lease extension that should keep the A's at McAfee Coliseum until 2010, possibly longer, and add $2.8 million to public coffers." See insidebayarea.com.

The Twins are considering options for heating their future stadium, which would come in very handy if the team keeps making postseason appearances. Hey, it gets pretty nippy outside in the northern latitudes during October! See startribune.com. Previous attempts at heated seating, such as at Candlestick Park, were a big bust.