November 15, 2010
There are a few more e-mail inquiries from baseball fans that I have responded to over the past few days, slowly getting caught up.
Glenn Simpkins tells me that, on the Stadiums by class page, the "Neoclassical" class "seems poorly defined, and lacks a defining characteristic." That's a fair point. It reflects the fact that when I started this Web site several years ago, all of the newer stadiums conformed fairly closely to the "retro" design theme which was pioneered by Orioles Park at Camden Yards. Obviously, some of the newer stadiums such as Target Field or even Nationals Park have very little in common with the "Classical era" ballparks, in terms of the outfield configuration or exterior design. So, I plan to create a new "Postmodern" class, possibly with some stadiums belonging to it as well as the "Neoclassical" class. Stay tuned. Glenn also pointed out some glitches on that page and others, including the the dynamic map at the top of the MLB Franchises page. I fixed the latter glitch by creating a separate text box for the Early 20th Century.
Joe Johnston made an intriguing observation about the new manager of the Baltimore Orioles, Buck Showalter:
Every MLB team Buck Showalter has managed made it to the World Series--but under his immediate successor. I've probably missed it somewhere, and I'm sure others may have noticed it, but I just haven't seen it mentioned somewhere. But look here:
As you can see, he managed the Yankees through 1995, leaving them to get the expansion DiamondBacks started. Buck's successor, Joe Torre, won the World Series with the Yankees in 1996. After leaving the D'Backs in 2000, they won the WS in 2001. Then, after leaving Texas in 2006, he was succeeded by Ron Washington, but it took them 3 seasons to make it to the World Series, which they lost.
I suppose if the Orioles were a business I would buy stock in them and then sell it after Showalter's successor took over. I would make a profit.
OK, sports fans, has anyone else noticed that pattern, or is Joe the first?
Marc Chavez sent me some photos of QualComm Stadium, a.k.a. Jack Murphy Stadium, on a day when the San Diego Chargers were practicing there, and I have added three of them to that page.
Kyle Nagy sent me a photo of Ballpark in Arlington taken from the right field upper deck at a Yankees-Rangers night game on September 11, so I have added it to that page.
Dwight Rounds wrote just to say he enjoys the stadium pages. He laments the fact that Yankee Stadium was "neutered" in 1974, which is certainly a graphic way of putting it. He offers this historical observation: "The safest record in baseball by far is the 36 triples in a season by Chief Wilson. The second best is only 26, and that was in 1914. Forbes Field certainly contributed to the record, as the foul lines were 365 and 376 feet." Dwight is also a sixties music buff, and has a cool Web site of interest to nostalgic baby boomers such as me: AnimalsToZombies.com.
Two college football games will be played at major league baseball stadiums this weekend. Albert Kara reminded me that Northwestern University will play the University of Illinois at Wrigley Field. And Notre Dame will play against Army at New Yankee Stadium. Those two teams used to play a game against each other every year at the original Yankee Stadium. Diagram updates are underway...
Every once in a while, I totally misplace e-mail messages, and fail to reply for several months, or even longer. That is the case with Tim Brulia, who paid friendly compliments way back in August of last year. ( !) He remembers the Kessler's baseball guides from the 1960s, which is how I became fascinated by stadiums. I bought one on eBay a few months ago, and like Tim I was struck by the tiny, poor quality seating diagrams in those guides.
Plus, I've got more stadium news from Mike Zurawski to digest. Finally, I should also mention that Bruce Orser, my indispensible right-hand man when it comes to historical research, has been keeping me abreast of new findings.
Even though he didn't get the Golden Glove award this year, Ryan Zimmerman did get recognized as the best-hitting third baseman in the National League, with the "Silver Slugger" award. It was the second year in a row he was so honored. See MLB.com. I was pleased that Zimmerman took the opportunity to point out that his improved batting is due in part to the fact that he comes right before Adam Dunn in the lineup, and that pitchers are less likely to pitch around Zimmerman knowing that the mighty Dunn is on deck. I hope the Lerners took notice of that.
New! Following up on the suggestion by Donald Hector Estes, MD, which I mentioned a few days ago, I am proud to announce a brand-new stadium comparison page: Stadiums superimposed. It displays two diagrams in perfect alignment one on top of the other, with the top one faded and translucent (semi-transparent). I've tested it enough to be reasonably sure that it will work on most computer platforms, but you never know. Just in case anyone cannot get it to function properly, or the diagrams do not align just right, please let me know, indicating what operating system and browser software you are using. Thanks!
How about that!
Yesterday, I thought I had achieved a big breakthrough in figuring out exactly how Wrigley Field (Weeghman Park) was laid out during the first nine years of its existence (1914-1922). After further review of all the photographic and text evidence, however, no such luck.
I recently came across a photograph of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in the early years (mid 1960s), and discovered to my utter dismay that there was no "cut out" behind home plate back then. The front edge of the grandstand made a perfect circular arc all the way from just beyond third base to just beyond first base. In other words, home plate was originally positioned at least 10-15 feet farther forward than it was in later years, when the first seven rows between the dugouts were removed. (The outfield fences were moved back correspondingly, to keep the distances roughly the same.) As far as I can tell, this change was done in 1973, but none of the ballpark books I have mention this. How can such a significant modification to a major league stadium go unnoticed for all these years??? If anyone knows for sure about this situation, please let me know! Yet another diagram update pending...