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The Baseball Stadium That “Forever Changed” Professional Sports

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Baseball stadiums are never only about baseball. Their utility is both more dynamic and more poetic; as writer and critic Paul Goldberger put it in Ballpark: Baseball in the American City, baseball stadiums are the “ultimate American metaphor.” The metaphor works on at least two levels. As spiritually public places containing “a garden” at their heart, ballparks evoke a tension between “the rural and the urban”—the Jeffersonian preference for the pastoral; the Hamiltonian impulse toward the industrial—that has “existed throughout American history.” Done right, they evince what beauty that tension can produce, the creative potential of this American conflict. But so, too, do baseball stadiums—through design quirks, topographical accommodations, structural evocations of local history—represent characteristics particular to the cities and time periods in which they were constructed. They’re expressions, in this way, about nothing less than how we live.

It’s perhaps by virtue of this fact that baseball stadiums also inspire in fans a unique and very personal kind of devotion and pride. We love our stadiums. Fans whose teams play in stadiums that are iconic—Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium—tend to regard them with an almost religious sort of reverence. Fans whose teams play in stadiums that are not yet so historic, meanwhile, often treat the prospect that they one day might as a reason for hope. This is why all new parks, when they finally open to fans, receive heraldic welcomes. Now this, we say, as we trundle wide-eyed through the pristine silver turnstiles for the first time, is the beginning of something new.

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2022/8/4/23288546/camden-yards-30th-anniversary-baltimore-influence

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