March 6, 2008
Mike Zurawski sends another big, juicy batch of ballpark news. In Our Nation's Capital, first of all, new photo gallery of Nationals Park can be seen at jdland.com. It looks very close to completion to me.
Up on the North Side of Chicago, where snow still covers the ground, the Cubs have added extra rows of box seats on the left side of the home team dugout on the third base side. Tight squeeze! Also, the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority is expected to offer to buy Wrigley Field from the Tribune Company (which owns the Cubs) any day now. See suntimes.com. Walgreens has been mentioned as a possible buyer, but it is doubtful that the "Wrigley" name would be taken away, regardless of who buys the rights.
Finally, the Red Sox have built a new section of 412 seats on the upper level of Fenway Park, on the left end of the grandstand; it will be called "Coca-Cola Corner." As a result of this addition, as well as other modifications, the maximum (night-time) capacity will rise to 38,888. Meanwhile, the giant Coke bottles have been removed from the light tower behind the Green Monster. See boston.com
In the History Department, Bruce Orser sent me an article from The Sporting News dated May 30, 1956, indicating that the right and center field fences at Municipal Stadium (Kansas City) were 40 feet high. According to Green Cathedrals and all the other sources I've seen, the fence on that side was no more than 10-12 feet high until 1966. Does anyone know about this for sure?
Tom Koch-Weser has talked with some people who work with the Brewers, and they say the distance down the right field line still is 345 feet, even though they moved the fence in several feet two years ago. The foul pole never moved from the original position, apparently, so I'll have to revise that diagram...
Finally, I've been tweaking the Yankee Stadium and Polo Grounds diagrams over the past several days, having realized that the profiles were in need of correction or clarification. Stay tuned...