July 10, 2005

A cathedral of baseball dies: The slow decline of a historic baseball landmark. Are Fenway and Wrigley next?

posted by roberts to baseball at 10:20 AM - 12 comments

Google Maps shot of the old stadium. A shame they can't think of anything better to do with it than go to ruin.

posted by rcade at 11:55 AM on July 10, 2005

its sad, to see something like that in ruins. Tear it down or use it..

posted by daddisamm at 12:06 PM on July 10, 2005

Fenway is not next, thankfully; the current Sox owners realize that marketing Fenway as *the* temple of baseball makes them a mint. I believe their official catchphrase is america's most beloved ballpark. I'm guessing no other stadium in baseball can charge $12 a person for tours.

posted by tieguy at 12:38 PM on July 10, 2005

She's a beaut of a stadium. Tiger Stadium simply has a character that even Fenway and Wrigley lack: namely the feeling that you were in one of the high sanctuaries of baseball completely cloistered from the rest of the world. Balls looked like they flew deeper and faster there than anyplace else just because of how the stands enclosed the field, and you were undistracted from the gimmicks of goofy activities or even skylines. It was you, the sky, this field, those players, and 50,000 other acolytes all focused on the same thing. She didn't deserve being replaced by Comerica (which I still cannot bring myself to visit) and this fate is a goddamn shame.

posted by avogadro at 12:59 PM on July 10, 2005

You're right, tieguy. Wrigley Field costs $20 to tour.

posted by joehyuk at 01:00 PM on July 10, 2005

And Yankee Stadium costs $14.

posted by joehyuk at 01:03 PM on July 10, 2005

I should have pointed out that I didn't think Wrigley was in any danger either. As far as the Yanks go, it'll be interesting to see if the house-that-follows-the-house-that-ruth-built will still be able to charge for tours.

posted by tieguy at 01:05 PM on July 10, 2005

I've never been to Tiger Stadium, but I don't think a fully enclosed stadium is a plus. I'd much prefer the vistas and skyline around the urban setting of a park like Coors Field in Denver to the walled-in approach taken by Ameriquest Field in Arlington.

posted by rcade at 01:10 PM on July 10, 2005

Yeah, I didn't mean to make fun of you, tieguy. Just wanted to point out Fenway is not unique in its position in baseball history. I suspect there will still be tours of the new Yankee stadium, but I suspect the price may be reduced. (The Giant's park, for example, despite its newness, has tours for $10.) Then again, the Yankees are so arrogant they may even raise prices.

posted by joehyuk at 01:18 PM on July 10, 2005

Certainly not every stadium should be enclosed; I've seen games at Three Rivers, which were utterly surreal experiences. But it felt different at Tiger Stadium. Back when it was impossible to see the Tribe at home, a friend of mine was able to get Tigers Den tickets (the blue-backed, English "D" emblazoned seats right behind home plate). I had seen home runs behind the plate in other stadiums, but the two hit to deep left by Belle in that stadium seemed deeper because you could track the ball against the background of the double-decker stands, and try to guess if it would drop into the lower or upper decks, or hit the roof. I think a lot of it depends on how the decks are stacked (sorry).

posted by avogadro at 01:21 PM on July 10, 2005

I couldn't agree more with Avogadro. I spent the better part of two years moving in and out of Tiger Stadium, and it was by far my favorite place to see a game -- in fact, it and Minute Maid (or whatever the hell it is now) in Houston are the only two venues that have brought tears to my eyes. The best way to imagine the exterior of TS is to picture a Sam's Club, but taller and with light standards sticking out of the top of it. The concrete floors were cracked and water ran like little creeks in places, but my God, walk out the tunnel and into the sunshine and it was heaven. The grass was so green, the stands so tall ... there was no other world than Tiger baseball for the next three hours.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:22 PM on July 10, 2005

I'm with avogadro and wfrazerjr. Sure, I got more than my fair share of pigeon poop on me at the old TS, but it was pretty cool to see a game there. My favorite part of that stadium was the home run porch in right field. It was very funny to watch a guy play right for the first time in TS. "Oh look, a routine pop fly. I'll just flip my clip-on sunglasses down and raise my arms up in fancy manner to catch the ball. Hmmm...where on earth did it go? Why are the fans cheering? WTF?" I love Wrigley Field, but I never got the same feeling inside as I did TS. Maybe because TS was completely closed off to the outside world and Day-twah is pretty much a shithole compared to the Wrigleyville neighborhood that the Cubs play in? I don't know. Fuggit.

posted by NoMich at 12:04 PM on July 11, 2005

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