Field of Dreams
Since the White Sox at long last erased the stigma of the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal and "eased the pain" of "Shoeless Joe Jackson," I thought it would be appropriate to revise the Field of Dreams diagram. Likewise, it seems fitting to put Comiskey Park in the "on deck circle." Depending on fan interest and sponsorship support, I plan to revise all of the "classic era" stadium diagrams to conform to the new standard in the next few months. Almost all of them will have "dynamic diagrams" to let you see how they were expanded or modified over the years. Admit it, you just can't wait!
The mail bag
Now that the World Series is over, I'm trying to get caught up with e-mail inquiries that have been piling up lately. Mr. Jean-Paul Lidén, who is from Sweden (though he spent his childhood years in Los Angeles and saw ball games in L.A.'s Wrigley Field), expressed interest in seeing a Forbes Field football version diagram. I certainly would have included one if I had had sufficient information to do it accurately. If anyone has an old photo of a Steelers game there, or has actually seen a football game in Forbes Field, I would appreciate any input.
Jeff Gordon tells me that the big scoreboard in right field was installed in RFK Stadium prior to the beginning of the inaugural 1962 season, contrary to what is implied by the outfield dimensions in Philip Lowry's Green Cathedrals. He also says that the football press box was originally in the upper rows of the first-base-side upper deck, as well. More fact checking...
Steven Poppe is striving to avoid baseball withdrawal pains by looking on the bright side of the next five long months: "The end of the World Series does not mean the end of baseball for the year: The next five months will have Hot Stove League action, more new diagrams on your website, and the first World Baseball Classic in March (the WBC championship game will be held at Petco Park)." It will not be a shoo-in, I'm afraid; U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
Bruce Orser has sent me more photos of Braves Field and other ballparks, as well as a map of the neighborhood around Fenway Park when it was originally built, indicating that the bleachers in my 1912 version diagram are slightly off.
Seeking to capitalize on the economic spinoff potential of Fenway Park, The Red Sox are in the process of buying the aging Howard Johnson's motel on the south side of the ballpark, and plan to replace it with a fancy hotel that would cost about $140 million. See boston.com. (Hat tip to Maury Brown, of SABR)
SBC Park (formerly Pac Bell Park) may be renamed once again, since SBC purchased AT&T. See sfgate.com (Hat tip to Mike Zurawski)
Seven Washington Nationals players opted for free agency this week: Esteban Loaiza, Tony Armas Jr., Carlos Baerga, Gary Bennett, Preston Wilson, Joey Eischen, and Deivi Cruz. Without an owner, it is very hard for General Manager Jim Bowden to negotiate effectively. Holding onto good talent, much less acquiring new talent, will be a challenge.
The Yankees decided to keep General Manager Brian Cashman, in spite of the fifth consecutive year without a world championship. Mr. Steinbrenner must have been in a good mood this week.