A friend invited me to watch his son play, and the night was so spectacular that I just couldn't resist. I took Noah, and we headed out for an adventure in outdoor baseball.
As my friend tells the story, his son was excited to play for his high school team this year. But he ended up not so much playing as mostly just watching because his manager, who also coached the football team, only played the guys who were in both sports. (He has since been removed from his baseball position.)
But is that just a sour grapes explanation from a kid who has less talent than the other guys in the dugout? Not so much. I've seen (and caught) his breaking ball. It has the ability to baffle hitters of the same age. He's on the slight side, with a Joe Nathan type build. And when he pitches, just like Nathan, he puts up zeroes.
So he quit his high school team in frustration and found a different league, also made up of high school kids. They aren't the cast-offs, but the kids who love the game so much that they just want to play. The competition is fierce, and the level of play is terrific. There is a joy in the play that transcends some of the misplays. (I'm sure many of you are familiar with these types of leagues.)
Our team led going into the sixth, but lost the lead and gave up a walk-off run on an error in the bottom of the inning (it was one of those games which ended after six innings because they'd used up their allotted time on the diamond and two other teams were standing by waiting to begin).
The crowd was small but enthusiastic. We had lots of room to stretch out. We had popcorn ($1.00), Doritos ($free from somebody's mom), taffy ($0.50), soda ($1.00), and a few other snacks that I can't recall from a well-stocked concession stand. I went with a twenty and four singles in my pocket, and still had $21 when the night was over.
Most of all, we sat under a sheer blue sky and watched the game being played in front of a truly pastoral green screen of trees. As the shadows started slipping onto the field, we placed bets on how much longer it would be before the sun finally disappeared behind us.
As we walked away at the end of the game, the sun had still not quite set, but the lights were now on, and a round of night games was about to begin.
It was a sunny, summer dream of baseball.
Let's face it: Baseball in the old railyard won't be quite as pure. There's a lot of money at stake, and most people who want to go down there to see a game will need to scrape their pockets for all of the twenties and singles they can come up with.
But here's hoping that the folks who will operate that new beauty of a ballfield downtown can remember why we fans come. We give up our money because of that sunny, summer dream of baseball. And I'd be willing to bet that the closer The Show gets to that memory, the more money we'll scrape out of our pockets and happily leave behind.
"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 media all turned out!
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
Night (about the 7th inning)
Up close, this is what you'll see as you walk along.
The first completed mural
For reference, here's that spot on the model.
Also warming things up are these planters.
Seventh inning sing-along.
The HERC promenade side.
This design has a rather generic quality to it, but they appear to have considered the B garage. Though it isn't part of the model, they've clearly left room for it.
8:02 PM It's at peak, affecting mostly the upper deck.
Detail of Entry Plaza #4 (north entry from Fifth Street)
The rendering which excited a fan base! (Inset is an enlargement of the pictured neon sculpture.)
Concrete molds are being removed!
The entrances are all the way around on the other side.
Here's another view up Sixth Street toward where the plaza will meet First Avenue (it will hug Target Center all the way).
A beautiful, glowing sunset after the rain.
Circulation building with construction team on top
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.
Uh oh. A code of conduct. Clearly posted. I'm not gonna mention any names, but you know who you are... (Click to enlarge.)
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
If you are into shade, there are lots of opportunities. This is from the last row in section 108 -- scoreboard not blocked in the least.
Name that band. Please. (Mick Sterling)
Note reflected sunset (7:30 PM). Could be a worry...
That's Fifth Street (and a tattooed arm) in the foreground.
From the roof of the Minnekahda building (courtesy Bruce Lambrecht).
Brick work just inside the opening matches the color of the limestone - per Jerry Bell's requirements.
What a great sight!
Trampled, repaired, and re-trampled grass
That's Bert back at the Met on Photo Day, September 15, 1974.
Home Run Porch Terrace
Larry DiVito and staff member (you write the caption)