Baseball fans focus on the obvious—players and teams—the who, why and how of the game. One aspect of Major League Baseball is always in front of us—the where. Place matters to owners, players and fans. Ballparks are big showpieces and economic engines, hallowed ground where the greats (past, present and future) will play or as a setting for comfort and collective participation.
Ballparks have been through several eras and styles that have varied from the originals (Polo Grounds), the classics (Wrigley Field), multipurpose fields (Three Rivers Stadium) to non-retractable domes (Kingdome).
Our current lineup of major league facilities is full of unique features (just Google “quirky ball parks” to start). Watch a live game from your hotel room? In Toronto? Sure! Lounge in the pool and watch a game? In Arizona? Yes! Take in a Padres game while the kids play on the beach? Absolutely.
Where does our nearest major league stadium fall in the history of ballparks? It’s an oddity. Planned at a time when monstrous fishbowls like Shea Stadium were being stamped out by megalomaniacal urban planners, Kansas City took a different path, constructing new, separate MLB and NFL venues outside of a downtown area. Royals/Kauffman Stadium in its original design saw the Royals through a lot of highs and lows to emerge from a two-year remodeling project in 2009 as one of the best places in the country to experience a baseball game.
Start with the titles below and browse the catalog for more about ballparks.
Ballpark: The Story of America’s Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
The Ballpark Book by Ron Smith