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A Fair Discovery

August 23, 2007 11:21 PM

Your humble Ballpark Geek found his way into the Twins booth at the State Fair tonight and got quite a surprise. I just wanted to watch a couple of at-bats, and did. But then I noticed that the wall behind the flat panel TV was covered with gigantic ballpark renderings that I had never seen!

Unfortunately, all I had was my crummy cell phone camera, and it was starting to get dark. But here's what I got:

Behind the plate

This offers the best view of a newer version of the outfield stands. It looks like the second deck has been extended all the way across until it hovers over the bullpen.

From the plaza

From the plaza, you can get a better look at the outfield seats.

From above

From above, you can see that there still is a building out in center, though the new upper deck has pushed it farther away.

I asked the guy at the booth how old these were, and he said this was the first time he'd seen them, but he thought they were very recent.

It looks like the center field bleachers may have changed shape since these were done, and who knows what else. If you get out to the fair, take a closer look and let me know what other changed details you notice.

Comments


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Ahh, much better. Thanks for the update Rick. The outfield seats look great and the flags flying above the left field bleachers are a nice touch. Keep up the good work.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 12:56 AM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 1

much much much much better!!!!!!!!

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 07:06 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 2

I worry about the light standard being right atop the scoreboard. are we all going to be blinded by the light while trying to see the scoreboard?

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 07:17 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 3

Nice find there ballpark sleuth! Yep, the outfield seating looks a lot better with the added sections. The triangular section is also gone, which is fine, imo, it looked like they were trying to extend some sort of design element. It appeared forced and cute. This is uniform and takes the best advantage of the limited footprint to shoehorn more seating into the small park footprint. And leftfield harkens back to the old met again. I'll take it.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 08:11 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 4

Wow...nice work Rick. I am heading to the fair next Tues and I will definitely be stopping by the twins booth. I wonder if the seating capacity has increased from 40,000...it looks like it has.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 09:09 AM by MOJO Highlight this comment 5

Awesome!

I'll have to go get a pronto pup and take a look.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 09:38 AM by Jon Highlight this comment 6

The added outfield seating greatly increases the chances of there being "cheap seats". The right field wall looks like it's going to have a lot of character too. I'm pleased with these drawings - as the "MET homage" seems intact.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 09:44 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 7

Nice discovery. In the first photo it appears that the left field top deck is split in two. But the other two photos show it as a single deck above the lower deck. Hmmm? When you look at the unfinished models that you had posted a couple of days ago, the left field top deck looked to have very few rows (like they hadn't placed the third deck into the model yet). Maybe they are planning on a split upper deck making the left field seats 3 levels. Either way, I like the looks of it.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 09:59 AM by John Highlight this comment 8

Awesome find. Looks great. I am very relieved about the left field seats...I agree that it helps us make some sense of the unfinished model pics.

Regarding the lighting...Rick (or anyone else), do you know if any other parks have the "halo" lights set up that I guess we're going to have. Does it work anywhere else?
I agree that the outfield lights on the scoreboard may be funky. I still would love some tall lighting standards out there, but the flags give it a great touch

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:29 AM by YES Highlight this comment 9

Another advantage of those centerfield seats is that they help lessen the jarring effect of having that parking ramp looming over the field. We'll still see the ramp from the side, but it won't be as prominent a part of the vista.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:30 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 10

I like it...a lot. Good work Rick!

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:33 AM by John Highlight this comment 11

Couple things I noticed when looking at the new drawings vs the "old" ones side by side...

-Obviously, as mentioned, the light standard has disappeared and moved on top of the HD scoreboard..which also has expanded

-The offices/suites/restaurant building in the left field corner (between the 3rd base-line seats and the outfield seats) has changed in color/shape. The old photos show it as more boxy and in the limestone color...now it is more gray/blue, seems more curved (top to bottom) with more windows/balconies and may have gotten a little smaller

-In Rick's last photo above...is there a walkway above the outfield upper seating, where the flags are?? Hard to tell, but interesting

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:46 AM by ?? Highlight this comment 12

Any idea when we will get more concrete pictures? These all seem to be of the "artistic" type...all watercolory with people drawn in and such.

If you check my link, these are some of the pictures for the new National's stadium, also being done by HOK. I wanna see pictures like that of ours so we can really get an idea!! Guess the model is a start in that direction

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:51 AM by Ry Highlight this comment 13

Click my name for the only alternate renderings I've been able to find.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:54 AM by Rick 14

This looks fantastic.

On a side note, has anyone read the editorial in yesterday's Star Trib that states the pedestrian bridge by the Target Center has been removed due to budget contstraints? The information came from Dan Kenney, Exec. Dir of the Ballpark Authority.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 11:01 AM by Aaron Highlight this comment 15

Aaron -- See the comments for the article below. I got further details today by email from Dan.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 11:03 AM by Rick 16

Rational and Rick - sorry about mentioning that pedestrian bridge. I didn't see it was addressed yesterday.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 11:13 AM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 17

I believe Yankee stadium also has the halo...click my name to see a picture

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 11:56 AM by MOJO Highlight this comment 18

I really like the outfield now, however, it looks somewhat like 2 stadiums in one. The outfield looks more retro while the infield looks more modern. Maybe I'm just over anilyizing it.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 12:39 PM by Andrew Highlight this comment 19

Rick - Do you have any idea how these latest "modifications" will affect the total seating capacity? I would bet it has increased to 42,000 or so from the previous 40,000.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 2:48 PM by Luke Highlight this comment 20

I'm a big fan of these renderings.

more outfield seats, the view of the parking deck is now obscured... it's very nice. i'd rather have the flags in left display the standings... but that's a personal obsession of mine.

all told, this latest model is the best i've seen yet. i'm still not 100% delighted, but who ever is?

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 3:59 PM by cj Highlight this comment 21

One comment to those of you on here that are freaking out about the need for tons of “cheap seats” all over the new ballpark. Now, I am all for as many people as realistically possible having the opportunity to attend an MLB game. However, keep in mind that the more cheap seats you put in a ballpark the more you decrease your team’s overall revenue streams for things like PAYROLL & SIGNING FREE AGENTS (i.e. Santana, Hunter, Nathan, etc.) Let's also try to keep in mind that the Twins will need to continue increasing their payroll each year if they are to remain a top tier, relevant team in MLB. Let’s not backslide. They can’t just rely on their farm system & that cheap labor if we truly want to win another World Series title. To be able to do that the new ballpark HAS TO create the greatest revenue streams possible and some of that needs to come from increased ticket prices no matter how much some of you might dislike that premise. Don't get me wrong Pohlad & company need to throw in their fair share towards payroll too. But, you can’t build a new ballpark and make the payroll math work in your team’s favor if you price the majority of the seats in the park so that every “Joe Six Pack” who is too cheap to pay decent money for anything worthwhile & wants everything practically for free is the majority of folks you are marketing your product to. It needs to be a balanced mix of SOME cheap seats along with plenty of luxury boxes & club seats that bring in the dollar, dollar bills. Remember it is the Metrodome’s outdated amenities & lack of significant revenue streams overall that has always worked against the Twins and their willingness to increase payroll to a higher level that all of us want to see.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 8:17 PM by betaband Highlight this comment 22

Have you seen the renderings? Those big swaths of glass enclosed boxes? The reason why the upper deck is higher and further back than is preferable for Joe rube fans? That's all gravy going right into the Twins bank account. They will have plenty of revenue streams, all the concessions. If money is still an issue for this team after getting their dream park, then get out the pitchforks and torches and storm the offices, lol.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 9:16 PM by Tim Highlight this comment 23

Betaband, I just want to make a simple point. Some "Joe Six Pack"s have plenty of reason, besides being being "too cheap" to buy the more expensive seats. It's simple economics for some familys. 4 kids with mom and dad is 6 tickets. 25x6= $150.00. That's a lot of dough. Throw in the usual bills, debt, $3.00 hot dogs, $3.00 sodas.... Are you starting to see things in a different perspective now?

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 9:43 PM by John Highlight this comment 24

I don't believe increasing the number of cheap seats in the outfield will decrease the number of premium and club seats/suites in the main grandstand.

Posted on August 24, 2007 at 9:58 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 25

John – Actually, I am not seeing things differently at all since you completely missed the point. Trust me I know what a family budget is, but thanks for the education (eyes roll). No where did I say that some “cheap seats” should not be made available for those unwilling or unable to pay higher prices. The point was that you can not realistically expect to field a top-tier competitive team like we all want to Twins to continue to be taking into account the economic structure of the MLB, if you build a ballpark overly skewed towards a “cheap seat mentality" crowd who will only attend games for $10 bucks or less. I just don’t think that mentality is going to be realistic anymore. The anomaly that is the Twins current ticket pricing structure in the Metrodome is primarily due to the fact that they share it with 2 other teams, are not really considered the primary tenant (Vikings), there are far too many seats for baseball and it is not a true baseball stadium. Not trying to sound like a grinch, but some out there just need to realize you are not going to be able to just load all 6 kids & the wife into the car and head to a Twins game on a whim at the new ballpark and expect to pay low ball ticket prices found at the Metrodome. You need to have a higher ticket pricing structure & more premium seating in a new baseball-exclusive park to be able to expand the payroll appropriately & remain competitive.

Posted on August 25, 2007 at 12:17 AM by betaband Highlight this comment 26

The problem is MLB itself and the economics along with the owners allowing these big contracts. The economics are way out of hand in baseball (as well as other sports). Look at the Barry Zito and Alfonso Soriano contracts this past year and ask yourself why these ticket prices are so high. You should not have to spend over $100 to take a family of five to a BASEBALL game. I realize it's a big business these days, but these contracts are just getting way out of control. Until MLB can step in and set a cap on these salaries, the salaries and ticket prices will continue to rise. It's very unfortunate for your "Average fan" but it's the nature of business in today's professional sports world. You look at all major sporting events, and it's almost impossible for the average fan to even get a chance at tickets. The Super Bowl, MLB All Star Game as well as the World Series are all corporate these days.

There are many other great affordable alternatives to major league baseball in the summertime including the St. Paul Saints and the Northwoods League Baseball. If you have never been to a Northwoods League game, you are missing out. It's affordable and high quality outdoor baseball in the summertime. Players actually play with a passion since they are not handed multi-million dollar contracts unlike MLB. Also, I am sure there are some decent minor league affiliates within the upper midwest to watch during the summers.

Until teams such as the NY Yankees, NY Mets, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants quit spending so much money, the fans will always be the ones paying for those skyrocketing salaries. It is in the hands of MLB to increase the parity in baseball and cap the spending. Just imagine being an Orioles, Rays, or Royals fan each year?

Posted on August 25, 2007 at 01:33 AM by Luke Highlight this comment 27

The ticket prices will be going up in the new park. What part of that don't you understand? I guess I don't understand how you can possibly come to the conclusion that this facility will awash in so-called "cheap seats." Maybe it's seeing these drawings and two tiers of outfield seats or something. But rest assured, the prices for the majority of the new park's seats will not be low. Comparatively to other pro sports, yes, they'll be reasonable, but there isn't going to 35 thousand 10 dollar tickets in this park. Finally, the Twins are one of the franchises that has shown in recent years you can still win consistently if you scout and draft players well and make strategic trades. Oakland also has done this. And both are doing so while playing in older stadiums without the big revenue streams. Milwaukee is contending this year, hardly a large market. Their payroll is low as well. The prices are going up, the payroll is going up, baseball does have a form of revenue sharing. So don't hold any pity parties for the Twins not having enough future revenue. I'm sure they already have an idea of the new pricing structure for the new park and are budgeting for that.

Posted on August 25, 2007 at 07:54 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 28

Betaband, I didn't miss your point. But I took exception to the language you used in explaining your point. It was awfully patronizing. Everyone knows that the Twins will be increasing their revenues with the new stadium and control of the luxury boxes. Even the team themselves are aware of the need to offer seats at a reasonable price by redesigning the seating in the outfield in a cramped, confined parcel their building it on. If I'm to understand your point, are you saying that the team should raise ticket prices in a range of $30.00 to $250.00 each then. Because that is exactly what they would need to do to compete with the Yankees payroll. All Major League teams gain revenue from a variety of sources. TV, Radio, clothing trademarks etc. I'm not going if ticket prices go that high, and the team realizes I wouldn't be the only one that would be absent.

Posted on August 25, 2007 at 11:07 AM by John Highlight this comment 29

I agree, there's no such thing as "cheap seats" in the MLB, but offering an $8 to $12 price point to sit out in the bleachers at Coors field is what I could see these added seats becoming. At the very least, it's a more affordable option for people who like to go to a lot of games, but can't afford to pay high prices.

Posted on August 25, 2007 at 1:31 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 30

Aren't those the same banners hung up in the Twins booth last year? I don't want to burst anybody's bubble, but these aren't new, they're old.

Posted on August 26, 2007 at 9:32 PM by billiam Highlight this comment 31

Maybe I am the only one who thinks this still, but I really wish that instead of the pine trees in the outfield, there should be a rustic waterfall. Click on my name to see what I mean, instead of the pine trees. This is the land of 10,000 lakes, it should have some water feaure.

Posted on August 26, 2007 at 9:34 PM by Tom Highlight this comment 32

billiam -- I spoke with Dan Kenney at the Ballpark Authority, and he confirmed that these are recent and reflect the direction that the design is going. He also indicated that these are NOT the most recent renderings, since they change on a very regular basis.

He also mentioned that it has become quite common for lights to be placed on top of the scoreboard. He referred me to Petco, Coors, and Jacobs Field.

Posted on August 26, 2007 at 9:38 PM by Rick 33

One thing I keep forgetting to mention: Notice that in the top drawing (the one from behind home plate), they finally have the skyline view accurate.

Posted on August 26, 2007 at 9:44 PM by Rick 34

Tom, you can put a water feature out there, but it's not going to be on very much. The only open space available on this tight site is in dead center, and everything out there has to be a batter's eye first, and something nice second. Moving water isn't exactly a great background to see the ball.

Coors Field has a nice little landscaped area with some trees in CF, including some water fountains. I thought it was rather forgetable when I was there.

Personally, I'd rather just see a large wall with vines and other greenery growing on it. At Comerica Park in Detroit, you can walk behind their batters' eye. There's a fountain on top, but it only shoots water between innings. However, the cool part is that the vines grow on a chain link fence that appears solid green from the field, but you can somewhat see through it from the concourse. It's a cool idea.

Posted on August 26, 2007 at 10:00 PM by Alex B Highlight this comment 35

no way a wall is dumb, the pine trees is a good idea also the skyline sucks it doesn't even look like our skyline and you cant even see it.

Posted on August 26, 2007 at 11:54 PM by Jason Highlight this comment 36

the only thing that needs to be flowing in the outfield is the beer tap.

Posted on August 27, 2007 at 12:12 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 37

Jason -- The rendering at the top of this article is the first I've seen which actually gets the skyline view from the ballpark correct. (Click my name.)

Posted on August 27, 2007 at 12:26 AM by Rick 38

sorry i'm a little late to this, but figured my two cents here might help.

i spent a lot of time in college studying stadium politics, and the reasons behind new stadium construction.

1. teams will seek to increase per seat revenue by building in scarcity. they reduce the number of overall seats (from 55k to 42k) to increase scarcity. you improve the view of the average seat, allowing for prices in those seats to rise. you eliminate swaths of useless outfield, upper deck seating, thereby reducing the cheap date option

2. while a franchise can get away with some of this, the twins are in a more unique bind than some other teams... Minnesotans are a mighty cheap lot in general, and will complain loudly about a lack of cheap ticket options.

3. increased seat revenues, combined with suite revenues, concessions revenues (both new) as well as increased advertising monies, the twins should realize a significant increase in overall revenues, allowing for them to sign/acquire more expensive talent.

4. this is not assured... new stadiums in the 90's led to salary inflation of epic proportions, and while the Twins survived, they had to turn the economics of the game on its ear to do so.

5. to the poster who mentioned a salary cap... go back to the NFL. While I love the notion of all teams competing on a level playing field, a salary cap is a repugnant notion as a fan. Look at what salary caps have done to the NFL... the players change teams like some change underwear... i quit watching the vikings 6 years ago, and in that brief period, the entire roster has changed... not one player is left. Salary caps force teams to do awful things (witness the wolves). as a fan, I much prefer the luxury tax/revenue sharing model.

Posted on August 27, 2007 at 11:16 AM by cj Highlight this comment 39

Sorry Rick, i was meaning that where the ballpark is located is the worst possible view of our skyline, it looks a lot better when your coming into the city, thats what i hate about the skyline is it looks like a crunched up side view from the ballpark site, if that makes any sense.

Posted on August 27, 2007 at 1:00 PM by Jason Highlight this comment 40

To the poster claming these were the same renderings shown at the fair last year....they're not the same, these are new. The renderings shown last year were the old drawings before they had even hired HOK to do the design.

As far as skyline views, people sitting down the third baseline and in the leftfield seats will see the skyline, IDS, 220 S Sixth, etc, just fine. The only downer is that the Wells Fargo Center is mostly blocked from this angle.

Posted on August 27, 2007 at 1:43 PM by Tim Highlight this comment 41

i have to say, i dont think i'll be sitting on the first base side much.

the view from 3b side will be wonderful

Posted on August 27, 2007 at 2:54 PM by cj Highlight this comment 42

anyone planning on heading to the fair soon???

wanna take some pictures of the new drawings with a real camera and send them to Rick???

maybe the twins will release new drawings with the model on Thursday.. you're going, right Rick?

Posted on August 27, 2007 at 3:35 PM by EXCITED Highlight this comment 43

I am going to the fair tomorrow and can take the pics...let me know if you want me to Rick. I can email them to you tomorrow night.

Posted on August 27, 2007 at 9:05 PM by MOJO Highlight this comment 44

all i can say in regards to cj's ballpark seating analysis. BRILLIANT! finally someone else who actually understands & will admit to the competitive edge payroll & talent wise to be gained by the Twins in creating a level of "cheap seat" scarcity at the new ballpark.

Posted on August 28, 2007 at 02:16 AM by betaband Highlight this comment 45

I just got back from the fair and did have a chance to stop by the Twins booth. Unfortunately or fortunately it was late and there was nobody else there. Unfortunately because I couldn't ask any questions and fortunately because I could look at the pictures by myself and not have to deal with other fair patrons. I tried taking pictures but I couldn't get them to turn out because it was too dark and the flash was wrecking each picture.

I did notice a couple things....there were a total of 5 pictures (four small pictures and one large picture) the four small pictures were of the same ballpark and the large picture had several differences from the other four.

Things I noticed...

The large picture had the split upper deck..the small ones did not. If you look at the actual model that was accidently up on the website...it looks like they are leaning towards the split upper deck in left field.

They both had the "Fenway" like bleachers in right center. (it is hard to notice this in the cell phone pictures above)

The large picture had the over hang in right field...the small pictures did not. (again...I think the large picture is probably more accurate)

One big change I noticed that I have not noticed in the past is that down the right field line...the seats are no longer elevated from the playing surface, they are now at the same level as the seats behind home plate. Also, they now have a section of seats that hang over the seats right by the foul pole in right field.

Overall, I was very pleased with what I saw. I am excited to see what they unveil on Thursday at the ground breaking.

Posted on August 28, 2007 at 11:55 PM by MOJO Highlight this comment 46

Thanks for the update MOJO, can't wait until Thursday!! It definitely sounds like these "revisions" that have occurred since April are going to be great! Should be exciting on Thursday.

Posted on August 29, 2007 at 12:57 AM by Jason Highlight this comment 47

For what its worth, these pictures appear to be the same ones they are using in the background of the TV commercial I saw last night for the ground breaking ceremony.

Posted on August 29, 2007 at 11:29 AM by luckylager Highlight this comment 48

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"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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.


Lots of work has gone into detailing the fronts of these decks. That is a little thing, but a NICE little thing. (HRP View)



The green in question (click for very large version)



Citi Field as viewed from Shea.



Hey! That limestone looks familiar!



Yes, TC is smiling.



Click to enlarge.









Rod Carew will greet you, but he's sorely in need of a home plate for reference. (Killebrew is too.)



We bumped into Jerry Bell (at right)!






The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!



This view looks through the opening in the fence where the crosswalk will be.






The Puckett Atrium



Thanks for all the hard work out there, Cold Safety-Line Dudes. (I'm glad that my job does not require safety lines...)









These tracks actually travel beneath the admin building and come out on the other side






A collection of support pillars for the left field pavilion.



A Killebrew tribute covers part of the wall where the entry doors are located near the escalators.












I'll admit that this makes me nervous. It's pretty easy to step into the path of a train (which is true at various points along the line, but still...)



Ballark Authority members listen to the LEED introduction



Ballpark magic: Infield materializes (click to enlarge)









The plate marker is just to the left.



Party deck



Ballpark elevation viewed from Seventh Street. (Click to enlarge.)









Here's a correction: The LRT platform will actually be able to load outbound trains from both sides.



Packed SRO beneath the notch.



Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P



I'm not sure why there's a wreath on Gate 3. (I quickly checked the headlines for any dreaded Killebrew news. Whew.) It looks to be in celebration, maybe of the move.



From the roof of the B ramp, you can see just how futile it will be to get a glimpse of the action.









Break time






Looking up Seventh Street to the west



The glass area seen here is one of the warm-up areas.



Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.



Champion's Club moat (windows are found at the base of the limestone behind the seats -- not visible in this image)






Here's the current overview from the south side of the B ramp (from which the banner at the top of this page was culled).


Glossary

BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)

HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)

HPB - Home Plate Box

HRP - Home Run Porch

LC - Legends Club

LRT - Light Rail Transit

MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)

NYS - New Yankee Stadium

SRO - Standing Room Only

STH - Season Ticket Holder

TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium

TF - Target Field

Selected Bibliography - Analysis
 


(1993)
 


First Edition (1992)
 


Second Edition (2006)
 


(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


(1975)
 


Second Edition (1987)
 


Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000)
 


(2000, large coffee table)
 


Original edition (2000, round)
 


Revised edition (2006, round)
 


(2001, medium coffee table)
 


(2002, small coffee table)
 


(2003, medium coffee table)
 


(2004, very large coffee table)
 


(2006, very large coffee table)
 


Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
 

Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
(2004)
 

Complete Bibliography

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