August 28, 2004
Three photos and added comments on Comerica Park based on my recent trip through the Midwest. I've fallen way behind schedule as a result of said journey, but I do plan to add photos and comments to the Great American Ballpark page very soon. Also, stay tuned for a 1996 Olympics version of Turner Field. THEN I'll finally get to Petco Park, hopefully featuring photos from a high school friend who now lives in San Diego. Adding pages for special occasion stadiums and doing revisions of other diagrams will keep me plenty busy during the off season.
While heading west earlier this month, I made an impromptu visit to the Bob Feller Museum, in Van Meter, Iowa, just west of Des Moines. The time I spent there browsing through all the historical mementos related to the Cleveland Indians' star pitcher (and World War II veteran) was well worth it. The folks at the museum are very friendly and helpful, and I highly recommend a visit there to anyone passing through that part of the country. (It's just a couple hours west of the Field of Dreams in Dyersville.) To see a closeup of the bas relief images in the adjoining photo, roll the mouse over it.
MLB officials held intensive negotiations with officials from D.C. and Virginia earlier this week, a sign that there may just be a final resolution of the Expos relocation issue in the next couple months. Just as the agonizingly long process nears a climax, however, potential "deal breakers" have emerged on both sides of the Potomac. Some Virginia state legislators have expressed doubts about approving state guarantees for debts incurred for a stadium if it's built in the distant hinterlands of Loudoun County, and today the Washington Post reported that the proposed "Diamond Lake" mega-resort complex has been downscaled because the sale of quarry land where the lake was supposed to be fell through. Meanwhile, a poll of D.C. residents points to stiff opposition to using city government money to fund a stadium. What's more, on Friday members of the D.C. city council held a press conference to ridicule the Virginia option, pointing to a poll indicating that 82 percent of adult fans in the Greater Washington area would prefer a ballpark in Washington rather than Loudoun County." It got even nastier when Councilman Jack Evans warned that if Virginia gets the Expos, "the council could pass legislation that would keep a northern Virginia team out of RFK." (From the Washington Post.) I've said in the past that I would prefer that a new stadium be built within sight of the Potomac River, but such obnoxious and foolish rhetoric is a big turn-off. If no baseball games are to be played in RFK, they might as well tear it down right now and save the maintenance costs, which soccer games alone can't cover. Could such petty squabbling sink the whole deal?
Meanwhile, building inspectors in Chicago have verified that Wrigley Field is structurally sound after all. An interesting political angle came to light during this episode: Mayor Richard Dailey (a Democrat, like his father) has recently been at war with the Tribune Company which owns the Cubs, and he has made unsubtle threats that Wrigley might be shut down.