Looks like my NYC trip could be a complete washout. It started raining this afternoon while I crawled around Shea Stadium getting some pictures, and it hasn't let up yet.
So I sat with about 10,000 fans waiting for about 90 minutes before the game was called. Damn. Santana was scheduled to pitch...
BUT -- and there's always a big but -- do I wish the stadium had a roof? Absolutely not! The whole thing was a blast. Fans chanting. Watching highlights of past World Series glories on the big screen, accompanied by cheers from the crowd as Buckner once again missed that easy roller.
There was lots of food (though not very good), I have a bunch of souvenirs, and I got to see just about every nook and cranny of the place. It even looks like I'll be getting a refund on the ticket price (though not the airfare or hotel, I imagine).
Here's my short review: The nicest thing I can say about Shea Stadium is that it will make a great parking lot for Citi Field. I empathize with the Mets fans, and have to admit that it's actually a worse stadium than the Metrodome, and not by a small amount.
Someone jokingly suggested that I should get a tetanus shot before attending, and now I understand why. One thing it definitely has in common with Met Stadium is rust. Everywhere. Sometimes painted, but usually not.
Dan Gladden says that the outfield also reminds him of Met Stadium, and I can agree with that. The scoreboard is in about the same place, with similar dimensions, and the bullpens are decidedly low-tech.
But this place is worse than the Met too. It's bad, bad, bad.
I got a ton of great photos, but have no way to upload them tonight. They'll come in a longer review when I get back.
As for Citi Field, here's my short review of the exterior: An interesting homage, but sort of schizophrenic. As you walk around, it loses its Ebbets-ness pretty quickly and devolves into an HOK cookie cutter (which reminded me more than anything of the non-HOK Miller Park).
Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, so I suspect that I may return without having seen a single inning of baseball. But hopefully I'll have seen -- and documented -- four ballparks, so I'd have to consider the trip a success.
When the out-state folks start talking about roofs, I'll be able to empathize, but my opinion has not been changed. A roof comes at too high a price. Rain is no big deal. There's lots of fun to be had at the ballpark even in the rain. And you may even get to see a double-header the next day -- weather-permitting of course.
"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.
The big glove will go on that circle. Note the gap between the plaza and the ramp. That's 394 you can see through there.
Trees now line Seventh Street
No offense, TC, but you're pointing exactly the wrong direction if you want people to use the ramp opening to your right...
Work on the pavilion in center.
The Target Center rooftop patio. Hardly glamorous, but a great view of the ballpark.
Ye Olde Tyme Vegetable Cart (and its modern cousin)
Polo Grounds from the south
These two sections are within a few feet of one another.
Just so you have a reference, this is an LD ("low def") scoreboard (inset is what the controller probably looks like).
The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)
Remember the pitch heard throughout Twins Territory? What an amazing day that was, April 12, 2010. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
The rendering which excited a fan base! (Inset is an enlargement of the pictured neon sculpture.)
That's Tony Oliva checking out ballpark construction from the roof of Target Center.
Wood-backed seats viewed through gate 6
Main ticket window area
Twins president Dave St. Peter presents his list of fan suggestions to the Ballpark Authority
Wow! Looking good.
Look closely at the overhang. You'll see the on the right it is flush with the fence, and then it sticks out farther and farther as you move toward center. More fun for Michael Cuddyer.
Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)
Installation in action (Home Plate Box)
No arches. No brick. No girders. Classic.
Detail of view to the northeast (Source: LP)
Instrument of evil.
This view is from the roof of a warehouse which stood where the A ramp is today. The HERC is now located where the tracks turned north (toward the top).