The Boston Red Sox still have Fenway Park, but most of their American League East rivals have new stadiums. What did they have before?
In a recent article, I wandered through the ballparks in the American League East with a critique of each home of the division rivals for the Boston Red Sox.
The parks have a common thread in that they are new ballparks of varying degrees of ascetics. In New York, you have trying to recreate the past, but to modernize it – nice try. Baltimore offers up the prototype of the retro ballpark with Camden Yards – now a surprising 25-years-old.
The East also offers up two domes that present the right and wrong way to build a domed field. In Tampa/St. Petersburg is Tropicana Field that is difficult to explain – best to experience it, but I have found few fans who say it gets style points. Rogers Center in Toronto is the opposite since it has a real plus advantage with a retractable roof.
What was there in Baltimore, New York, and Toronto before they had new ballparks? Each city had a park and each park had its own unique identity – an identity that reflecting back was simply forgettable. Tropicana – of course – has been the only home for the Rays so there is no forgotten stadium to be viewed.
My vision has been tainted by the ability to construct parks that meld the best of the old with the best of the new. Sometimes with the old, it is a finding the best that would try the abilities of Sherlock Holmes. Now for a look at the past as I experienced it.