December 24, 2018
In another interruption of my firm plans for finishing up diagram revisions by the end of the year, I realized I had to fix the Metrodome diagrams. Why the unscheduled revision to a stadium that was supposedly up to high standards in terms of detail and accuracy? As you can imagine, I discovered an error in the old diagrams when I was finishing the Metropolitan Stadium diagrams a few days ago and comparing them to those of the successor. It always bothered me that the angle of the wall behind home plate was not nearly as slanted in my diagrams as indicated by photographs, and I finally figured out why. I knew that the football goal line coincided exactly with the baseball first base line, and that the back of the end zone coincided with the edge of the warning track in left field. I falsely assumed that there was the same amount of space beyond both ends of the football gridiron, but I [recently] noticed that there was about eight additional feet of space on the side near first base. Also, the distance from the third base line to the grandstand was much less than on the first base side, and when I made those adjustments, the angle behind home plate came out just right. As is the case for most of my stadium pages, you can compare the new version of the diagram (which is slightly longer and thinner) to the old version by clicking on the image.
I also took a bit more care depicting the slight (~ four feet) overhang of the upper deck above the right field fence, and a couple other details such as the passages between the luxury
sweets [suites !] through which fans entered the back of the lower deck. That page now includes a "site today" diagram, depicting the new home of the Minnesota Vikings which now sits on that plot of land: U.S. Bank Stadium.
Officially, the former home of the Twins and Vikings was called the "Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome," named for the jovial Minnesotan who served as vice president from 1965 until 1969, and who ran unsuccessfully for president in 1968. For the last few years it was known as "Mall of America Field," named for the shopping/entertainment extravaganza that was built in the suburb of Bloomington, where Metropolitan Stadium once stood.
Finally, I added this colorful "new" photo to that page. It is of topical interest because of the player who is displayed there: none other than former Viking running back Adrian Peterson, who has had a great comeback year with the Washington Redskins. "Fueled by perseverance," indeed! (As for the team itself, well...)
I mentioned on November 9 that former MLB player Ray Knight will not be returning as a commentator for the MASN pre-game and post-game shows next year. Last week we learned that his partner Johnny Holliday has decided to leave as well, meaning that two vacancies exist for next year. Holliday is known in the Washington area as a sportscaster for Maryland Terrapin athletics, and is a seasoned pro with a background as a radio disc jockey. His friendly, upbeat banter will be missed.
Among the possible replacements are Phil Wood, who co-hosts the Saturday morning "Nats Talk" show on MASN, Dan Kolko, who does on-field interviews for MASN, and former Nat Michael Morse, who filled in as color commentator a couple times this past year. Wood is a bona fide expert on Washington baseball, but is not really a TV professional, and lacks somewhat in the charisma department. He would probably do fine as a partner with someone who is more telegenic. The other two guys probably need more experience before getting a promotion to co-host.
Beginning in January, the stadium in Seattle heretofore known as "Safeco Field" will officially become known as "T-Mobile Park," under the terms of a 25-year deal worth $87.5 million. See forbes.com. Thanks to Mike Zurawski and someone else whose name I forgot (on Facebook, perhaps?) for the news tip. (Why "Park" rather than "Field"? The new name makes you think about a mobile home park.)
What are the chances that a corporation in the rapidly-changing cell phone industry will remain with its identity intact for a quarter century? Just about zilch, I figure. Hey, maybe T-Mobile will get bought out by U.S. Cellular, in which case the Mariners would end up playing in U.S. Cellular Field #2?! Be that as it may, I have updated the Safeco Field and Stadium names pages accordingly.
I was asked by Angel Amezquita if I could add a "site today" diagram to the recently-updated Metropolitan Stadium page, and the answer is yes, very soon! I was at the location inside the massive Mall of America in January 2014.
I've been going through my e-mail in-box, and will try hard to answer other messages that have been sent in recent weeks and months. Thanks for your patience!