Here are just some of the books in my baseball/ballpark library. These are the ones I have found most useful, and that I am most likely to turn to when I need either an answer to a question, a comparison of some sort, or just plain help in forming or supporting an opinion.
Some of these are better than others, as you might expect. At the very bottom of this page is a brief commentary which highlights my overall favorites. But all have something unique to offer to the study of professional baseball facilities, which is what this whole web site is about.
Please note that when Amazon does not have an image of the cover, or the image differs from the book I have (suggesting a different edition), the cover image from my library appears to the right of the info box for the book.
And please feel free to suggest a book in the comments on this page!
Reference and Analysis
My favorite book on this list is, by far, the first one: Diamonds by Michael Gershman. I reread it every year or so because it actually traces the detailed history of ballpark development with lots of photos and stories not found elsewhere. It's light on stories of great feats by players, and heavy on who built the park, how and why.
Among the other coffee table books, the two with "Panoramic" in the title are nice because they are very large (17" x 12") and can be bought for less than a buck used. The info in the text is questionable in spots, but the photos are great.
For a good reference book, go with Green Cathedrals, of course. It's dry to read through, but if you ever need to know a detail of a particular park, you can probably find it there.
For nostalgia, Lost Ballparks. It will make you want to visit, among other places, the Herbert Hoover Boys' Club in St. Louis (which I've done).
For hard-hitting (but sort of dry) analysis, Ballparks of the Deadball Era is deeply sabremetric, with few photos, and covers in detail all ML ballparks prior to 1919. It focuses on how the dimensions of the playing fields affected batting and pitching, but it also contains some detailed textual descriptions of how the stands were laid out.
Finally, Blue Sky, Green Fields is unique in that the author interviewed a whole bunch of living players (including Bert). Their comments are scattered liberally throughout, and are frequently surprising. It's a window into just how differently players see the parks compared to the fans.
The biggest flaw with some of these books is that they recycle photos which have been seen elsewhere about a billion times. For example, Joe DiMaggio looking at the ruins of the original Yankee Stadium? It's in just about every book.
Also troublesome is that factual errors are unfortunately frequent, and tend to get repeated since many authors have used other books on this list as primary sources. My general rule is to be skeptical of the text in all but the most trustworthy books (Green Cathedrals, Deadball, and Diamonds) and focus mostly on the photos.
Beyond what's listed here, I have a small collection of old editions of Baseball Facts which are not sold in stores, but can be found on the collectors market. I like them because of the capsule paragraph of info associated with each ballpark. Park configurations and ticket prices are especially handy.
There are many years that I don't have, of course, so if you're selling, please drop me a line via the comment section below.
Finally, one of my all-time favorites, which is now rather hard to find, is a Met Stadium souvenir book published just before the Metrodome opened.
It's a book which captures a whole bunch of ballpark magic, at least partly because of its anticipatory tone toward the Metrodome. I flip through it now and then just to remember what was, and what we thought back then about what was to come.
Baseball is a game of perpetual time-shifting. What was and what is (and what's coming up, too) all sit right next to each other in the books on the list above, just like they do in those of us who sit in the stadium seats.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Just so you have a reference, this is an LD ("low def") scoreboard (inset is what the controller probably looks like).
Champion's Club details (click to enlarge)
The steel cage expands.
Storage tracks in the foreground.
Citi Field as viewed from Shea.
Heaters over standing room (the backs of the retired number circles visible above)
Lots of self-portraits were taken here after the final out.
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
From the TV camera platform -- the view you'll see on TV
Flowers. Real flowers.
Legends Club seats in context (above the main concourse, below the suite level)
Circulation ramps: Wrigley (classic, integrated) and Kauffman (modern, external)
That group was working on something very carefully, but I couldn't tell just what it was.
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
Who Owns What (Click for larger version. Source: Ballpark Authority)
Larry DiVito takes a last check of everything before the game starts
The Overlook, as seen by outfielders
The lot within the lot.
Though there's nothing there now, you have to believe they'll find a way to add a party deck up there at some point.
Believe it or not, the actual outfield wall will be about where this fence is now!
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl. It's down the outer moat, just beyond the last of the Dugout Box sections.
Also warming things up are these planters.
The knothole (sans view of anything interesting)
The rendering which excited a fan base! (Inset is an enlargement of the pictured neon sculpture.)
Final Metrodome baseball sight
The art panels on the Fifth Street facade as viewed from the top of the Minnekahda building.
This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of Seventh Street (looking west away from downtown). It's inviting, not imposing, and remarkably dignified.
A seating bowl comes into focus. Note that the netting has been installed on the foul pole. (Field Box)
A little more imaginative is the circulation building for Northstar.
This looks up Fifth Street (LRT train visible in the distance). This bridge is also being partially rebuilt (see next photo).
A closer look into the park from down the street. How great will this view be during a game??
OK, people are definitely riding their bikes to games! (Photo by Tim Davis, courtesy MBA)
4th inning in the thinning crowd of the Grandstand.
Legend's Club, Section E (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Viewed from a different angle, it seems fair to wonder is some of those seats will have slightly obscured views. Yet, if they're cheap, that's not a problem.
The wall of brands at General Mills headquarters in Golden Valley (Source: RP)
Working on the connecting LRT tracks (this view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown.)