Modern-Baseball-Parks.
Searching for an identity


The first of the truly Modern-Baseball-Parks appeared in California with the building of Candlestick Park in San Francisco and later Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Big League Baseball had finally made its way to the west coast when, in 1960, two of the East Coasts most cherished baseball franchises, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants, moved to California.

Baseball has come of age and baseball venues were in perpetual change.

The success of any baseball business is defined by how many fans you can get into their seats but getting them there was influenced greatly by the stadiums themselves.

Baseball was truly a business and business 101 states that if you give the people what they want, they will come back for more and baseball was no different.


Dodger Stadium


Photo courtesy San Francisco Public Library, Historic Photos collection

Modern-Baseball-Parks are loosely defined as those parks built specifically for Baseball. Almost all of the baseball stadiums built after the Jewel Box era was Multi-purpose ballparks and as such were modified to accommodate baseball.

While it only made business sense to squeeze as much out of your investment as possible, owners were in a constant dance deciding how to provide baseball ambiance for the fans while still capitalizing on the parks underused functionality to power these money making architectural marvels.

The Modern Baseball Parks were designed to bring the feel of Baseball back to the fan. Candlestick Park, one of the first, was built as the home of the San Francisco Giants of the National League. Although it was built and dedicated to baseball it succumbed to functionality and was eventually converted to a Multi-Use stadium to accommodate the San Francisco Football team, the 49ers.


Image; www.footballnewsnow.com-Image may be subject to copyright.

In trying to respond to the cries of the fans, owners walked a thin line between profits and losses when moving towards building these, baseball only, venues.

Competition for quality venues grew hot between Football and Baseball owners.  Multi-Use stadium design offered owners the financial solution but not, necessarily, what the baseball fans really wanted.

The modern baseball parks would struggle for an identity in this rapidly growing game of baseball. 

These Modern-Baseball-Parks marked baseballs first attempt at reclaiming the look and feel of the classic venues of the past.

Here we will take a closer look at some of these great stadiums and try and capture that feel.


·        Anaheim Stadium                     Los Angeles, Ca

·        Arlington Stadium                    Arlington, Texas

·        Candlestick Park                        San Francisco, Ca.

·        Dodger Stadium                         Los Angeles, Ca.

·        Kauffman Stadium                   Kansas City, Missouri

·        Metropolitan Stadium             Bloomington, Minnesota

·        Milwaukee County Stadium-  Milwaukee, Wisconsin

·        U.S. Cellular Field                     Chicago, Illinois

·        Yankee Stadium l                      Bronx New York City

ANAHEIM Stadium-Los Angeles, CA

Anaheim Stadium 1966

Kauffman Stadium-Kansas City, MO

Truman Sports Complex-The Athletics left Kansas City for Oakland after the 1967 season.

US CELLULAR Field

U.S. Cellular Field at night in 2007

Arlington Stadium-Arlington, TX

Arlington Stadium

Milwaukee County Stadium-Milwaukee, WI

1953 Milwaukee Braves County Stadium Wikipedia - "Milwaukee County Stadium (or just County Stadium in context) was a ballpark in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1953 to 2000.

The Old Yankee Stadium-Brooklyn, NY


When I started this article I found myself a bit confused. What was the Park's actual name?,  Was it Washington Park and if so Why? Who was in charge of naming these new structures? Why did they all have more than one name at the same time?

Well as it works out the blame lies with the Baseball Owners. Almost every new stadium built carried the phrase "Also Know As" and that is how the Fans liked it. It was actually the Fans that determined what name the stadium would carry. 

Brooklyn had it's Park but so did Chicago, Philadelphia, Ohio and Missouri. Each parks name was fueled by the neighborhood in which belonged. When you look at it there is no difference even in today's Baseball

The growth and popularity of almost every region of America was dependant on  the presence of a Professional Baseball Stadium.

The Stadium was one of those Historic Cathedrals but it would die before it's time.

It was clear that the ultimate value of a Baseball Stadium comes from the performances on the field. Those performances are made memorable because of the Athletics who played the game. Player acquisition became an art form and, often times that quest would, challenged the legal system.

Player stealing and Team Hopping became a way of life and ultimately led to the adoption of ,what is now, the Collective Bargaining System.

It was the Home runs that brought the fans to the parks and Eastern Park could not deliver. To add insult to injury the park was built in what was called the Dead Ball Era which exasperated the parks woe's

 

Home> (Baseball Field History, The Evolution of Our Field of Dreams)


Eastern Park & The Home Run


This new stadium was a Glorious Cathedral that was eagerly anticipated. This original, all wood, structures was built on a large parcel that allowed the field dimensions to be very large. The finished Stadium, like most of the time, was too big and didn't give the fans what they were looking for, the Home Run.

A Home run to left had to travel over 300 feet and clear a wall 25ft high. It took a shots of over 380 feet in the allies and over 410 feet to dead center.

It was the Home runs that brought the fans to the parks and Eastern Park could not deliver. To add insult to injury the park was built in what was called the Dead Ball Era which exasperated the parks woe's

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