Baseball’s Lost Ballparks

Nov 29

Sportsman Park in St. Louis Early 1960s

Sportsman Park in St. Louis Early 1960s – Image Courtesy Wikipedia

In this post, I’ve compiled a number of short videos honoring some of Major League Baseball’s old time stadiums and ballparks.

There’s a definite mythology to baseball that’s unique in the sports world.

Whereas most sports are thinly veiled re-enactments of war or the sex act (i.e. the coordinated and merciless spermatozoan assault on the egg in the form of a goal, an end zone, or a basket), baseball’s attraction is more philosophical and spiritual.

Unlike the other sports, the objective in baseball is not to break through your enemy’s defenses and humiliate them by thrusting yourself into their territory.

It’s to return from whence you started – home.

Baseball lends itself to poetry and nostalgia in a way that other sports cannot.

And lest I wax too nostalgic myself, it’s not all idealism and purity.

There are ugly aspects to the game as well – the ban on black players until 1947, the psychopathy of Ty Cobb, the politics involved in keeping Pete Rose out of the Hall of Fame, and above all, the over commercialization which has homogenized the game into practical irrelevancy.

It’s little wonder that baseball’s nostalgia extends to the old parks where the game was once played – Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds, Old Comiskey, Forbes Field, and now the old Yankee Stadium.

The only uniformity in these parks were that the bases were 90 feet apart.

What follows are a collection of short videos honoring and chronicling some of baseball’s great (and not so great) old time ballparks.

Videos of Baseball’s Old Time Parks

 

 

Crosley Field

 

The Polo Grounds

 

Griffith Stadium

 

Yankee Stadium

 

 

 

 

Cleveland Municipal Stadium

 

Shibe Park

2 comments

  1. Ah, I’m afraid this nostalgia’s a bit lost on me – as are the rules of the game! Like American Football, your Baseball is a mystery to me, Brad – I think it’s a bit like the game we used to play at school, which we call Rounders, but that’s generally considered to be a bit of a girls’ game and pretty tame, I would think, compared to baseball. I was hopeless at it – and I don’t remember it being in the least bit philosophical or spiritual 😉

    It’s amazing that you’ve found all these videos of the old parks – a great trip down memory lane for any Baseball fans, particularly anyone still alive who’s old enough to remember them as they once were.
    Susan Neal recently posted…Why Blog Posts Are Like Christmas GiftsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Sue.

      Actually, I think Baseball did evolve from Rounders. Here’s a brief history of the genesis of the sport:

      http://inventors.about.com/od/bstartinventions/a/Baseball.htm

      The writer Bernard Malamud had a quote about baseball I like a lot: “The whole history of baseball has the quality of mythology about it.”

      He wrote the 1950s baseball novel, “The Natural” which was turned into a pretty famous Robert Redford film back in the 1980s. But the novel itself was terribly unrealistic and one of the rare examples of the film being better than the book.
      Brad Castro recently posted…Otis Redding – Merry Christmas BabyMy Profile

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