July 10, 2014

PESKY'S EIFFEL TOWER?:

THE BASEBALL WONDERS OF THE WORLD (Matthew Kory, 7/10/14, Sports on Earth)

A few weeks ago I was visiting San Diego and attended a Padres game. There I saw the Western Metal Supply Building, a historic structure that was integrated into Petco Park rather than being demolished.

Now, more than the park's foundational stone or even the ballfield itself, the Western Metal Supply Building is the focal point of the ballpark. (This may be partially due to the quality of baseball, or lack of it, the Padres have brought this season.) It makes for a great environment for a baseball game, as the game is literally played with a part of the city of San Diego.

It used to be that ballparks were built where there was land to build them. If a large building or a street was in the way, the park was shoehorned into the available space. This created oddities in ballpark design. When left undisturbed, a ballpark has a natural round shape, but when dealing with the realities on the ground, it can be shoved and jerked to fit into almost any urban space. You don't think the Red Sox really dreamed of building the "Green Monster" at Fenway Park all those years ago, right? Due to the awkward positioning of the park hard up against Lansdowne Street beyond left field, they had no choice. Now, it's the defining piece of the ballpark.

It all made me think, if you can construct a ballpark around the Western Metal Supply Building, how about doing it on a grander scale? What would it look like if you took some of the most famous buildings, monuments or structures in existence and designed ballparks around them, in the same sort of way?

So, I did! What follows are the New Baseball Wonders of the World.
Posted by at July 10, 2014 6:54 PM
  
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