Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dedication Plaques - Volume 2 - Angel Stadium

Original Anaheim Stadium Plaque

Anaheim Stadium opened in 1966 as the home of the Angels. Its original plaque actually lacks a few items normally on building dedication plaques. First, there is no opening date. Second, the official name of the ballpark is not on the plaque. One interesting part of it is at the very bottom. The general contractor company is listed as Del E. Webb Corporation. Webb, who made his fortune in construction, was the owner of the New York Yankees from 1945 to 1964.

1998 "Re-Dedication" Plaque

In 1998, renovations were made to re-make Anaheim Stadium into a baseball-only facility. With that, the new owners erected a new dedication plaque. Along with the renovation came a new name: Edison International Field. The Edison Field name only lasted through the 2003 season when the naming rights deal was not renewed. At that point it was renamed Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Location of the Two Plaques

The two plaques are located on the left and right of the main home plate entrance to Angel Stadium. By 2006, when I visited Angel Stadium, there was no third plaque for the current name.

Check out these images and many more of Angel Stadium at

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Figural Row Ends - Volume 1 - NL East

"Figural Row Ends" (aka Figural Seats) are the logos that are cast on the end of a row at a ballpark. I'm sure they go unnoticed by most fans, but they're an interesting touch that really personalizes the ballpark. Sometimes they have the park's logo and sometimes the team's logo. While a lot of the multipurpose stadiums from the 60's and 70's did not have this feature, the tradition goes back to baseball's beginnings. They were seen in parks as far back as Cincinnati's Crosley Field and New York's Polo Grounds.

In this blog entry, I'll go through the figural row ends of the National League East.

Citizens Bank Park

Starting with the three-time defending champs of the NL East, the Citizens Bank Park row ends feature the team's logo. With the ballpark's large neon liberty bell that rings for home runs, it was natural for the Phillies to use the liberty bell logo on the seat ends. Along with the bell is the Phillies script logo.

Citi Field

The NL East's newest ballpark, Citi Field, features two different row ends. The two logos alternate from row to row. One row has the Mets logo and the next has the Citi Field logo. Unlike most of the row ends in the league, Citi Field's are actually just a blank circle on the iron with a big sticker on it. While it seems cheap, its probably a good idea to have replacable logos when your naming sponsor is basically under government control.

Turner Field

The row ends at Turner Field in Atlanta are very interesting. The red script Braves logo catches the eye, but behind it seems to be a silhouette of the great Hank Aaron in a home run swing. Behind Hammerin' Hank is the outline of a baseball field. Its all cast in iron right on the row end.

Nationals Ballpark

Nationals Ballpark keeps it pretty simple. A simple version of the Nationals' "Curly W" logo is cast onto the side of the seat post.

SunLife Stadium

At SunLife Stadium (formerly Dolphin Stadium and Landshark Stadium), the row ends feature the logo not of the stadium or the Marlins, but the logo of Marlins current landlord the Miami Dolphins. With the Marlins slated to open their new park in 2012 this will change.

Check out these and many other images at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Unrealized Concepts - Volume 3 - Labatt Park

Shortly after Jeffery Loria took over the Montreal Expos, plans were announced for a new ballpark in downtown Montreal. For the Expos' entire tenure in Montreal they had played in the "upgraded" Jarry Park and the cavernous Olympic Stadium. The plan called for a unique baseball only stadium. Unlike most of the new parks which opened in the late 90's, the new park would have a steel skin rather than brick.

Oddly, the announcement of the stadium came complete with the park's name Labatt Park. The park would be located within the "downtown" area of Montreal and was slated to have an incredible skyline view.

Unfortunately, the Expos were not able to get a financing deal in place and Labatt Park never came to be. The Expos were sold to MLB in a strange three team transaction where Loria came to own the Marlins and the Marlins owners bought the Red Sox.

Nationals Park

The rest was history. After a few years in Montreal under MLB control, the Expos were moved to Washington D.C. and became the Nationals. Oddly enough, in 2008 the Nationals opened their new ballpark which has a steel exterior which is very similar to the proposed Labatt Park design.

You can see these and more images of Labatt Park at

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stadium Remains - Part Four - Milwaukee County Stadium

Milwaukee County Stadium opened in 1953 when the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee. The Braves played there from 1953 until they moved to Atlanta after the 1965 season. Milwaukee went without its own major league team until 1970 when the bankrupt Seattle Pilots moved to County Stadium to be the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers played in County Stadium from 1970 until 2000 until they opened Miller Park in the old stadium's parking lot in 2001.

Most of the old County Stadium field is now occupied by Helfaer Field. Helfaer is a little league sized ballpark that is used by local youth teams. On Brewers game days, the park is open to anyone to play catch or have a quick game.

Located in the third base walkway/concourse of Helfaer Field is the marker for County Stadium's home plate. Apparently, there is also a marker beyond Helfaer's left field that marks the approximate landing spot of Hank Aaron's 755th and final home run. I don't know if this was dedicated after my visit in 2005, or if I was just unaware of it. Either way, I don't have any pictures of that marker.

Located just to the north of the home plate marker is a memorial to the Milwaukee Braves. Its a really nice piece made of black and grey granite. It shows the players from the first and last Braves games and also marks the Braves' only World Championship. This is still Milwaukee's only World Championship, a seven game series which was actually clinched in Yankee Stadium. Interestingly, the Yankees returned the favor in 1958 by taking game seven at County Stadium to win the 1958 World Series.

It's a really nice set up and well worth visiting if you're going to a game at Miller Park. Although the stadium saw only 43 full seasons, it was the site of three World Series and many home runs by the great Hank Aaron.

See these images and more at

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dedication Plaques - Volume 1 - Shea Stadium

One thing I always try to find whenever I visit a ballpark is the park's dedication plaque. Most ballparks have them, but they're sometimes difficult to find.

Shea Stadium's plaque was located near the Gate E ticket window. Like all dedication plaques, Shea's shows its full proper name (William A. Shea Municipal Stadium). In addition, the plaque highlights the civic leaders of the time starting with the NYC mayor, comptroller, etc. Also listed was Robert Moses. While he played a large role in the Dodgers and Giants leaving New York in 1957, he was also the main proponent of the placement a ballpark in Queens. The site was actually offered to the Dodgers, but they declined and moved to Los Angeles.

Also listed on the plaque is Shea Stadium's Engineer/Architect Praeger-Kavanagh-Waterbury. PKG was involved in the design of other ballparks such as Dodger Stadium and the 1970's renovation of Yankee Stadium.

Finally, the most important item listed on the plaque is the year of dedication, 1964. These plaques are often overlooked, but they're something I always look for when visiting a park for the first time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ballpark Wall Colors - Keep The Black!

Like with ballpark seat colors, green is by far the color of choice in major league ballparks. More than two-thirds of the 30 major league ballparks have green walls.

Twenty One MLB parks have green walls: Angel Stadium, Fenway Park, Rangers Ballpark, Target Field, Comerica Park, Safeco Field, Tropicana Field, U.S. Cellular Field, Kauffman Stadium, Progressive Field, Oriole Park, Citizens Bank Park, Coors Field, Busch Stadium, AT&T Park, Great American Ballpark, Minute Maid Park, Chase Field, PNC Park and Nationals Park.

Blue walls are the second-most used in MLB. Unlike green though, there is actually variety of shades of blue in use. Yankee Stadium has uses a navy blue color. Turner Field, Rogers Centre, and Miller Park have more of a royal blue color. Dodger Stadium seems to have almost a powder blue color. The walls at Petco Park in San Diego are a very very dark blue. (***I'm not 100% sure of this, it is possible that they are black.)

Citi Field is the lone ballpark in the majors with black walls. While many Mets fans feel they should revert to the royal blue color that was used at Shea Stadium, I find the black walls to be striking and unique. Whenever you see the black walls in a highlight package, you instantly know what park it is. In a league where 90% of the ballparks use green or blue walls this exception is refreshing. While I think the Mets should wear their traditional blue caps more (especially with the road uniforms), I hope the black walls stay for a long time.

In my opinion one of the best traditions in sports is the brick walls covered in ivy at Wrigley Field. While they're somewhat unsafe for outfielders early in the year before the ivy grows in, its a unique feature of the second oldest park in the majors.

Finally, we have the teal walls of Sun Life Stadium. While the Marlins don't use much teal in their uniforms anymore, they have chosen to keep the teal walls throughout their stay at this multi-named multipurpose stadium. Looking at the first renderings of their new retractable-dome that will open in 2012, the Marlins seem to be ready to join the green wall majority in a few years.

Shea's Last Day

Today marks one year since the last sections of Shea Stadium were demolished. The final part of the demolition was captured in the photos above by Gary Dunaier. You can see more photos from February 18, 2009 on Also, be sure to check out Gary's countless volumes of New York ballpark photos at Flickr.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Unrealized Concepts - Volume 2 - New Fenway Park

In 1999, in order to "stay competitive" the Red Sox announced plans to replace Fenway Park. The dimensions and wall heights were to be the same as the current Fenway but plans called for expansion of seating and additions of luxury areas and suties. From the looks of the design drawings/models that were released it seemed like "Fenway on Steroids". It really brings to mind exactly what their hated rivals, the Yankees, ended up doing in replacing Yankee Stadium.

Also like the new Yankee Stadium, the new Fenway Park was to be located just a short distance from its predecessor. In an attempt to quiet the project's detractors, the Sox plan was to keep portions of the old park like the monster and most of the infield area.

The plan never really gained traction in Boston due to financing issues and the Save Fenway Park movement. It died completely once the new Henry/Lucchino ownership decided to take on a massive renovation of the existing Fenway Park. Eleven years and over 500 sellouts (at the highest ticket prices in the league) later, its clear that the renovation was the right choice. Fenway Park is now nearing its 100th birthday (it was finished in 1912), hopefully it will see another hundred.

You can see these and more images of the New Fenway Park plan at

Website Update - 02/16/10

Added many images to the Yankee Stadium (09) Monument Park, Museum, Field Level, Displays, Great Hall and Outside pages.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Yankee Stadium Demolition - 02/15/10

The demolition of the old Yankee Stadium continues, and it seems like they are making progress. At this point the seating plank for the field and loge levels has been demolished. The upper deck is basically intact except for what seems to be the last section. The stairwell "pod" next to the left field end has been removed which caused that part to be demolished. Most of the exterior remains. If I were to guess, there will still be a considerable amount of the structure left when the season begins in April. However, if the pace is increased, it could be done before then.

I was in the area today and took over 40 photos of the old ballpark. Check out larger versions of these two photos and the other 38 or so at

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Unrealized Concepts - Volume 1 - Mets Dome

Back in 1998, before Citi Field's current design was finalized, the Mets plans were to have a ballpark with a retractable roof. The picture above is a later version of the dome plan. This one is more modern with more glass and steel.

This is the original model from 1998. There are many similarities to Citi Field's final design: Ebbets inspired brick arches; rotunda behind home plate; and overhang in right field.

The big difference is the presence of the retractable dome. Since we only get a few rainouts a year in New York, it wasn't entirely necessary. While it would be nice not to have the threat of a delay or rainout, the bad affect on the turf and the "indoor" feeling wouldn't be good.

The big advancement with this design was the retractable field. If you look at Minute Maid field, they seem to have problems keeping the grass green at times. The Mets answer to this was a field that rolled out into the parking lot. This way the field got the light it needed and also was protected from non-baseball events. (basketball, trade shows, concerts etc.)

As it took the Mets almost ten years to get "shovels in the ground" on the project, things changed. The roof was nixed due to cost issues. Without the roof, the rolling field was more or less unnecessary. Although the rolling field concept seems strange, the Arizona Cardinals actually implemented the same concept in their new University of Phoenix Stadium.

You can see more images of the Mets Dome concept at

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Stadium Remains - Part Three - Comiskey Park

The third ballpark profiled in the "Stadium Remains" series is Comiskey Park. Comiskey was the home of the Chicago White Sox from 1910-1990. The old park was located just to the north of the White Sox new home, U.S. Cellular Field. In the picture above from Google Maps the brown circle marks the spot of Comiskey Park's home plate.

It is a fairly simple monument to the old ballpark. A white marker for home plate and outlines of batter's boxes an foul lines.

As the old Comiskey site is now a parking lot for US Cellular, it is a great spot for White Sox fans to tailgate before a game.

You can see more pictures of Comiskey Park and U.S. Cellular Field at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Seat Colors

Throughout baseball history green has always been associated with ballparks. The terms "green diamonds" and "green cathedrals" don't just refer to the field. By far, green is the most used color for seats in the 30 current MLB ballparks.


The dominant seat color in MLB is green. In 16 of the 30 current MLB parks, green is the main color for seats.

Ballparks primarily with green seats: Citi Field, Safeco Field, Progressive Field, Comerica Park, Camden Yards, Angel Stadium, U.S. Cellular Field, Wrigley Field, Miller Park, Chase Field, AT&T Park, Target Field, Coors Field, Minute Maid Park, Rangers Ballpark, Target Field, and the Oakland Coliseum.

Note: Coors Field has a row of seats in the upper deck that are purple. The new Target Field's club level contains some seats that are natural wood.


Most of the rest of the ballparks have blue seats. Nine parks have seats that are primarily blue.

Ballparks with blue seats: PNC Park, Yankee Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Citizens Bank Park, Tropicana Field, Rogers Centre, Nationals Park, Petco Park and Turner Field


Two ballparks have mainly red seats. Great American Ballpark and Busch Stadium. This makes sense as the teams that play there are the Reds and Cardinals...

Note: Busch Stadium has some green seats in its club areas.


Two teams fit into the "mix" category:
Dodger Stadium: Pictured above, Dodger Stadium has a different seat color for each level. The field level has yellow seats while the Loge level has orange, Reserve has a pastel green color, and the Top Deck has blue seats.

Fenway Park: Fenway has three different seat colors. The grandstand has dark blue wooden seats, the field boxes and loge seats are red, and the bleachers are green.


The Florida Marlins play at what is now called Sun Life Stadium. The vast majority of the seats are orange. Some club level seats are a teal color.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stadium Remains - Part Two - Shea Stadium

By popular demand, here is a profile of Shea Stadium's "remains". As Citi Field was built in Shea Stadium's parking lot, Shea Stadium's remains are in Citi's parking lot. In the picture above, taken from the last row of Citi Field's Promenade, you can see the plate, all three bases and the pitcher's mound. Home plate is at the top. The parking lot was set up quite well and no cars park directly over any of the markers. They're quite easy to find and you can see dozens of fans checking them out and posing for pictures before every game. The markers are quite nice, made what seems to be a solid brass material. Each has one of the neon figures that used to adorn the bright blue Shea facade.

Here is home plate. This is the exact spot where Ray Knight triumphantly leapt onto to score the winning run in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

Here is the marker for the pitcher's mound. Yes, the official term in the baseball rulebook is "pitcher's plate".

Just to the south is the first base marker.

Ninety feet away is the marker for second base.

And finally, here's third base.

This is the second of an ongoing series. You can see these and thousands of other photos of current and former ballparks at