Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shea was better than the cookie cutters

Watching some classic games and highlight films on MLB Network and SNY (including the 1976 and 1984 Mets Yearbook videos and a classic (1995) Mets loss on MLB Network) and reading some comments to the programming note I posted on the facebook version of this site, I realized that Shea was better than the cookie cutter ballparks of a slighly later vintage.

There was Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Vetrans Stadium in Philadelphia, Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, all opened in the early 1970s, and all had no charm. All were round, gray, and had artificial turf. They were multi-purpose stadiums. There was no character. The "cookie cutters".

They were all trying to follow Shea, Busch Stadium, Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Those were the multi-purpose stadiums of the 1960s.

The ballparks of the '60s had color. They all looked different. Most had natural grass. The ballparks of the '70s all looked the same. They all had artificial turf. No imagination.

Of them all, only Oakland's ballpark still stands (and still hosts both baseball and football). Of the others, Shea was the first to go up, and Shea was the last to come down. It widthstood the the other ballparks from the same era, and the next era. Most of those other places needed to be replaced, and have been, with something much nicer looking. Shea, well, I won't go there.

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