Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Overhang hangover

With last night's premiere of a new Tiger Stadium documentary, Stranded at the Corner, at Detroit's Gem Theatre, I'm reminded of something that struck me over the weekend. I was looking at images of the New York Mets' new ballpark, and noticed that plans call for an upper deck overhang in right field, resembling one of Tiger Stadium's most distinguishing characteristics. This will join the Texas Rangers' Ameriquest Field, which also has a "home run porch" in right field (and is actually much more reminiscent of Tiger Stadium's architecture).

I'm not someone who laments the loss of Tiger Stadium. (I certainly hate that the old ballpark is being left to rot, and wish Detroit would do something with that land, but that's probably a post for another day.) I happen to like Comerica Park, despite assorted foibles such as an upper deck too far from the field, the ill-situated left-field scoreboard, and outfield fences that are probably a bit too deep (though the Tigers have taken steps to fix those).

I guess I just find it curious that two other modern ballparks thought so much of a feature that was distinct to Tiger Stadium that they've incorporated it into their respective designs. It feels like another city took something that was "ours." And that bugs me.

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7 Comments:

  • At April 25, 2006 12:56 PM, Anonymous Rob V. said…

    I actually think its very cool that folks from other organizations see fit to pay homage to a great ballpark.

     
  • At April 25, 2006 1:24 PM, Blogger Big Al said…

    I'm with Ian, in that they screwed up when building Comerica. In many ways, it's a cookie cutter stadium, but done with a retro look. They should have built something closer to the essence that was Tiger Stadium, with short right and left field porches and an overhang/upper deck of some sort. But Ilitch and gang had this fetish of having the Detroit skyline in the background.

    So now we don't have an identifying feature to the ballpark, an off center scoreboard, we have to look at that damn whale painting in the distance, and you bake in the seats along the 3rd base/left field foul line as they had to orient the stadium somewhat cockeyed to allow for the city view.

    Comerica is a great stadium to watch a game, but they could have had a jewel.

     
  • At April 25, 2006 1:28 PM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    Rob, I definitely agree with you; it's a nice tribute to a part of baseball history. I don't think these new parks are "stealing" it, either. (And even if they were, it's not like the overhang is Wrigley's ivy or Fenway's Green Monster.)

    I just wish such a tribute was seen here in Detroit, where that particular feature was most well-known, rather than in New York or Arlington.

     
  • At April 25, 2006 10:35 PM, Anonymous susannah said…

    I think seeing the skyline from the stadium is really critical. During the All-Star game, Detroit looked like a damn nice city (not that it ISN'T), and I like sitting there and feeling like I'm part of a very cool place. I know stadiums aren't all about marketing and selling the city, but for the D in particular, I think it works.

    That said, I also agree w/ you Ian that they NEED to do something cool with the old stadium - that neighborhood is so great, and the D should continue to capitalize on it as long as possible...

     
  • At April 26, 2006 10:42 AM, Blogger Greg Eno said…

    Did you know that the old overhang in right field at Tiger Stadium was 10 FEET closer to home plate than the lower deck? That's simply insane> I wonder how many rightfielders in the Stadium's history waited to catch deep fly balls that the "porch" snatched up instead?

    I LOVE those kinds of quirks in a ballpark.

     
  • At April 26, 2006 10:43 AM, Blogger Greg Eno said…

    Oh, BTW -- saw "Stranded" Monday night and it was quite good. You can read my review at "Johnny Grubb" (www.enotalksbaseball.blogspot.com)

     
  • At April 26, 2006 8:31 PM, Blogger Sam said…

    I agree that it's cool to see the feature not die out with the slow, moldering death of Tiger Stadium. But there is that little twinge of "THAT IS OURS GIVE IT BACK FIE UPON YOU FOR YOU ARE NO DETROIT."

     

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