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Ark

I hope the next ballpark trend is unique features

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Ark    592

IMO one of the coolest things about the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is the ballparks. Yankee Stadium has a really short right field and Fenway Park has the Green Monster and the Pesky Pole. The only other unique features that affect play like that are Tropicana Field's catwalks (which don't get the respect they deserve), Tal's Hill in Houston (which was removed) and Coors Field's large size + thin air. 

 

Something the retro ballpark trend (other than Minute Maid Park) failed to do was include unique features that affected play. Great American Ballpark absolutely should have had its own Terrace in left field, but of course that didn't happen. 

 

Unique playing fields differentiate baseball from other sports, so I hope the next set of ballparks includes unique features like the ones mentioned above.

 

 

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raysox    1,212

The stuff I've heard about the proposed Rays stadium is really that they "want to create the equivalent of the Sydney Opera House" as a ballpark. Striking and memorable. Hopefully that means something along the lines of what you're saying.


Two that come into my head are Polo Grounds, and the Montgomery Biscuits park. Built out of a train station, but it has a random chunk taken out of the RF wall

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 3.39.25 PM.png

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the admiral    10,240

Let's distinguish between unique features and contrivances. Wrigley Field, for instance, has the wind that we all know about and the long grass that fewer people know about (though maybe this isn't as much of a factor as it was about 10 years ago -- the infield grass used to eat grounders for lunch). The old Comiskey Park used to mix and match between hard and soft infield dirt depending on who was pitching. I like stuff like that, though I'm sure it'd be harder to get away with that kind of gamesmanship now.

 

2 hours ago, 2001mark said:

Just give me waterfalls at SkyDome with some cottage country backdrop & I'm good.

Would it be possible to dismantle the SkyDome roof and install some sort of ETFE partial roof instead? That would look so cool.

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Cosmic    2,504

Yeah, there's a big difference between quirks forced onto old ballparks for various reasons and putting a frickin' flagpole in play just because.

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BringBackTheVet    4,173

Detroit should have an actual tiger that's just loose in the field of play causing havoc wherever it roams. Theiy could have raw meat thrown towards the plate if an opponent was rounding third and the ball wouldn't make it home in time unless the runner was a little... distracted. 

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AndrewPF    65
8 hours ago, raysox said:

The stuff I've heard about the proposed Rays stadium is really that they "want to create the equivalent of the Sydney Opera House" as a ballpark. Striking and memorable. Hopefully that means something along the lines of what you're saying.


Two that come into my head are Polo Grounds, and the Montgomery Biscuits park. Built out of a train station, but it has a random chunk taken out of the RF wall

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 3.39.25 PM.png

I like how there's a bank at second base, that's gotta be unique to any infield worldwide!

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Cosmic    2,504
5 hours ago, AndrewPF said:

I like how there's a bank at second base, that's gotta be unique to any infield worldwide!

The fees at that ATM are unbelievable, though!

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leopard88    955
9 hours ago, AndrewPF said:

I like how there's a bank at second base, that's gotta be unique to any infield worldwide!

 

It's just an ATM. A full service branch in the middle of the field would just be silly.

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leopard88    955
11 hours ago, Cosmic said:

Yeah, there's a big difference between quirks forced onto old ballparks for various reasons and putting a frickin' flagpole in play just because.

 

. . . or a hill in center field just because . . . 

 

Most modern stadiums have something that is unique using one of the criteria in the original post.  That post mentioned Yankee Stadium's short right field wall.  However, Camden Yards is only 4 ft. deeper, down the line, is about the same (if not closer) in the power alley and has a 21 ft. wall down the line.

 

YankeeStadium_II.gifCamdenYards.gif

 

That is good enough for me without forcing quirks into the stadium.

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McCarthy    6,620
30 minutes ago, leopard88 said:

 

. . . or a hill in center field just because . . . 

 

Most modern stadiums have something that is unique using one of the criteria in the original post.  That post mentioned Yankee Stadium's short right field wall.  However, Camden Yards is only 4 ft. deeper, down the line, is about the same (if not closer) in the power alley and has a 21 ft. wall down the line.

 

YankeeStadium_II.gifCamdenYards.gif

 

That is good enough for me without forcing quirks into the stadium.

I love the little notch in Camden Yards has just to the right of the right field foul pole. It's like it was designed for the ball to kick around in there and cause more triples. 

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leopard88    955
14 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

I love the little notch in Camden Yards has just to the right of the right field foul pole. It's like it was designed for the ball to kick around in there and cause more triples. 

 

There are also a garage door and some other kind of door in the corner to improve the odds.

 

3826575110_64803f293c_b.jpg

 

The other things you see with the corner are:

 

1.  An outfielder will occasionally disappear from view while making a catch in foul territory.

2.  From deep in the notch, you can't make a throw directly toward home plate because the wall is in the way, meaning the outfielder has to (a) throw toward second or third or (b) come back out before making a throw down the line toward home.

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Ark    592
43 minutes ago, vikmurphy said:

Image result for target field overhang

 

This is built in but a unique feature none the less the overhang at Target Field

 

I like it. They should extend it across the wall.

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kroywen    1,400

I think unique features in ballparks has been the trend ever since Camden Yards opened up. Off the top of my head, some unique features (many arguably contrived) that do impact gameplay are:

  • Camden Yards: the aforementioned 21-foot wall and notch in RF
  • Coors Field: elevation and extremely spacious outfield combing for a hitters' paradise
  • Ballpark in Arlington: The overhang in RF
  • Tropicana Field: catwalks overhead
  • Minute Maid Park: super-contrived hill and flagpole in CF, and very short porch in left due to the Crawford Boxes
  • AT&T Park: Short right field with tall brink/chainlink fence wall
  • Petco Park: Western Metal Supply Co. building incorporated into the field of play/LF foul pole, and extremely wonky fence in the RF corner (that's been partially straightened out)
  • Yankee Stadium: super-short RF porch
  • Citi Field: originally had an overhang in RF, though they've since moved in the fences and have eliminated that feature.
  • Target Field: mini-overhang in RF
  • Marlins Park: Originally had a Bermuda Triangle wrapping around the home run sculpture.

And that's not even counting features that didn't impact play (like the China Basin at AT&T, the warehouse at Camden, or the incredible skyline/bridge views at PNC).

 

I think we're actually starting to see a move away from very contrived features that are totally unnecessary. The Mets, Astros, Marlins, and Padres all got rid of their unnecessary and widely-ridiculed features recently.

 

I generally like the retro ballpark trend, but I couldn't be happier to see those contrived things go - they were easily the worst part of the retro trend. It's fun and unique when the situation forces your hand, like Camden and AT&T having short fences in right field due to the warehouse and the China Basin cutting their plots of land short, respectively. Or Petco Park incorporating the Western Metal Supply Co. into their stadium. But building a hill in center field for the sake of building a hill? Or unnecessarily making an outfield fences zig and zag all over the place so that you can artificually create an overhang? I'm sorry, but it looks terribly stupid, and winds up being an object of ridicule usually.

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OnWis97    2,204
8 minutes ago, kroywen said:

I think unique features in ballparks has been the trend ever since Camden Yards opened up.

That's what I was thinking.  Some are good and some are bad.

 

I just hope hope the Braves have not started the next trend in ballparks...exurban parks with ample parking (and a median walk longer than you'd take from a downtown parking space).

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leopard88    955
18 minutes ago, OnWis97 said:

I just hope hope the Braves have not started the next trend in ballparks...exurban parks with ample parking (and a median walk longer than you'd take from a downtown parking space).

 

I don't know about the walking part, but the Royals were supposed to have started the exurban-park-with-ample-parking trend.  Fortunately, it never took off completely . . . with a few exceptions.

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OnWis97    2,204
42 minutes ago, leopard88 said:

 

I don't know about the walking part, but the Royals were supposed to have started the exurban-park-with-ample-parking trend.  Fortunately, it never took off completely . . . with a few exceptions.

I've had some really, really long walks from parking to the ballpark in Milwaukee.

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kroywen    1,400
1 hour ago, OnWis97 said:

That's what I was thinking.  Some are good and some are bad.

 

I just hope hope the Braves have not started the next trend in ballparks...exurban parks with ample parking (and a median walk longer than you'd take from a downtown parking space).

 

The fortunate thing is that I don't think there's enough ballparks that will be built over the next 20 years to allow for any real trends to emerge. Over the next decade, we know the following teams are looking to build new parks:

  • Texas (the one ballpark that looks almost certain to be built - early renderings already released: https://t.co/6tjSYUDoTx)
  • Tampa Bay (though locked into the Tampa Bay region until 2027 per the 2016 lease renegotiation with St. Pete, which means the Rays may stick it out at the Trop for another decade if they have their sights set elsewhere long-term)
  • Oakland (struggling to strike a deal for a new ballpark, with the obvious solution of San Jose blocked by the Giants)
  • Anaheim (still in the very early planning stages, and no significant prospects for a stadium deal on the horizon)

The Jays have stated a long-term commitment to Rogers Centre and are looking to invest in some upgrades, though I don't think anyone would be surprised if they start rumblings about a new ballpark in a decade or so. The White Sox haven't said a word about replacing New Comiskey, but again, it wouldn't be a surprise if they start pursuing a new ballpark next decade. But either way, that's all conjecture at this point - neither team has really hinted at wanting new ballparks, and any actual construction would be way, way in the future.

 

The other 24 teams? I can't see anything on the horizon in terms of new construction within the foreseeable future. Sure, something can come out of left field, like SunTrust Park, but I don't think it's terribly likely. The Dodgers and Royals seems very committed to their existing parks, and have both invested significant money in improvements. Fenway and Wrigley just had tons of money poured into them, and aren't going anywhere for as long as Henry and the Ricketts own their respective teams. The others were all built a.) post-Camden Yards, and b.) are in 'favorable' locations (except maybe Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, but there's no such thing as an available location that would be 'favorable' in NYC).

 

It'll be awhile before we see another round of widescale ballpark construction across baseball. Despite Atlanta and Arlington, I still do tend to think that these retro parks will have a longer lifespan, on average, than the cookie cutters they preceded, since they are purpose-built and aren't municipal stadiums. It's not a coincidence that the two baseball-only stadiums built in that era - Dodger and Kauffman - are the ones still standing. Nor is it a coincidence that the one post-Camden venue that was sort of multi-use (Turner Field) was the first one to close. Purpose-built venues have a much longer lifespan on average, and I think that'll be borne out by the overwhelming majority of 'retro' ballparks.

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SFGiants58    1,901
1 hour ago, kroywen said:

 

  • Oakland (struggling to strike a deal for a new ballpark, with the obvious solution of San Jose blocked by the Giants)

The other 24 teams? I can't see anything on the horizon in terms of new construction within the foreseeable future. Sure, something can come out of left field, like SunTrust Park, but I don't think it's terribly likely. The Dodgers and Royals seems very committed to their existing parks, and have both invested significant money in improvements. Fenway and Wrigley just had tons of money poured into them, and aren't going anywhere for as long as Henry and the Ricketts own their respective teams. The others were all built a.) post-Camden Yards, and b.) are in 'favorable' locations (except maybe Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, but there's no such thing as an available location that would be 'favorable' in NYC).

 

On that first point, things have started to pick up for building a stadium in Oakland under Kaval's leadership.  While there are still obstacles to clear, it seems that the "struggling" stage is over, and that the team has ruled San José out as an option.

 

As for the second point, the Rockies signed a 30 year lease at Coors Field. It looks like it too will have a long lifespan (and the Rockies seem committed to the Denver location, given how they leased land directly to the south of the stadium for 99 years, according to the same article), as it should. 

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