Historic Ballparks: An Evolution

It all started in 1891 with the Polo Grounds III in New York and Exposition Park in Pittsburgh. Baseball stadiums have come a long way since the inception of these two historic ballparks, and now include many attributes that may be similar to your local mall. From the Polo Grounds with it's bathtub shape, to Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium, the ballparks of baseball are a big part of the game.

It's hard to believe that an old stadium like the Polo Grounds or Exposition Park only had a maximum capacity of 16,000. Most ballparks now hold at least 40,000, with the legendary Wrigley Field and Fenway Park currently on the list of the few major league baseball parks under that capacity. Fenway Park has been around since 1912 and is known for the left field wall dubbed as "The Green Monster" as well as the unique dimensions of the rest of the ball park. Wrigley Field is the second oldest field in baseball and is known for it's green ivy which is part of the outfield wall.

As the turn of the century began baseball had become more popular, and with that the need for bigger stadiums with more amenities. Before 1950 there were approximately 25 new baseball stadiums that were built, all now seating over 20,000 people and having different dimensions. A couple of the most famous of these historic ballparks was Ebbets Field built in 1913 for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Connie Mack Stadium, built for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1938.

Ebbets Field was partly known for it's hanging chandelier of twelve baseball bat arms holding twelve baseball lamps as well as it's marble pavilion, and was the first field Jackie Robinson ever stepped onto. Connie Mack Stadium was known as Shibe Park and was renamed Connie Mack Stadium in 1953. Originally home to the A's in 1908, this old stadium was originally the first "fireproof" stadium, being made of steel and concrete.

There have been many other innovations in these stadiums since the first fireproof stadium, including the first indoor stadium in 1965. The Houston Astrodome was the first of it's kind, and thus received the nickname of "the eighth wonder of the world". The scoreboard was a four story monster called the "Astrolite", but unfortunately due to seating expansion the scoreboard was replaced by a smaller one in 1988. In 2000 the Astrodome was no longer home to the Astros either, as they now have moved to the newly built Minute Maid Park which was opened in 2000.

The newest of these ballparks of baseball are the two New York parks, the Mets Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium, both opening in 2009. Citifield features a mini wiffleball field in it's family entertainment area as well as many dining choices among other amenities. Yankee Stadium is full of tributes to the Yankee teams of old, and in keeping with the new stadium luxuries that now exist, have over 56 luxury suites available for people to watch the game from.

The changes of stadiums since the beginning of baseball have been amazing, but keep in mind that's why ticket prices aren't as low as they used to be either.

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