Showing posts from April, 2009

Citi Field - My First Visit

The Mets hosted the Marlins on a cool spring afternoon yesterday for my first visit inside Citi Field. Having seen it rise -- and its predecessor Shea Stadium fall -- I was eager to catch a game and sample the ambiance of New York's new home for National League baseball. First, a final farewell to Shea, as the last yards of its former footprint are leveled in preparation to being paved over. Citi Field's most unique and most discussed twist is the main entrance lobby, the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Along with outer facade of the ballpark, it is modeled after those at Brooklyn's hallowed Ebbets Field. WFAN colleague Mia Harris, on hand a couple of nights earlier, took the following shot peering down from the top. While clearly built for baseball, Citi Field is not a snug or cozy as the east coast parks to which it'll be compared Camden Yards (Baltimore) or Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia). The stands flare away from the field more than you'd expect, or hope for. Espec

Guess the Celebrity

I made my first visit to the Citi Field today. While waiting in the Rotunda (lobby), I noticed some folks heading toward the smoked glass doors in the back. The gentleman in the off-white sweater caught the eye of several of us. Do you recognize him? Please leave your answer as a "Comment."

View from the Top

With all the comparisons of the new Yankee Stadium to its predecessor, I thought I'd offer up a view from the extreme -- the top of the left field grandstand in the new (top) and previous (below) ballparks. It's one thing to tote the camera up for a few minutes of pre-game picture-taking. But would you want to see a game from all the way up? Have you ever done that at Yankee Stadium or anywhere else?

A Very Sad Day for Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Phillies lost their soundtrack today. For 38 years, Harry Kalas' expressive baritone was their signature voice. It heralded the club's renaissance under general manager Paul Owens in the 1970s. It was heard on each and every one of Mike Schmidt's 548 home runs. It brought home the word picture of the disappointment of playoff losses, the triumph of 1980 (except, due to contractual obligations, the World Series -- the first ever won by the club), the Wheeze Kids, "Lefty" Steve Carlton, the rowdy bunch that won again in 1993, a very disappointing dozen-year-long drought and a recent, magical revival. Harry arrived in Philadelphia in 1971, as Veterans Stadium opened. The once state-of-the-art bowl was "the" place to be during the '70s, but over time aged badly, and by its 30th birthday was beginning to crumble. Harry and the ballclub moved into Citizens Bank Park in 2004. And fortunes slowly but surely improved -- a fan-friendly home, a

Yankee Stadium - The First Event

Dennis and I were on hand for Yankee Stadium's first public event, a pre-season workout. Crossing 161st Street in the Bronx, the entrance is certainly imposing. While not promoting its "lobby" the way the Mets have, this gallery of greats on banners from a soaring ceiling certainly stands in contrasts to the old park's cramped, subway station-like entrance. Finally, a look at the field and the stands. The visual effect is remarkable. All the cues -- the colors, the architecture, the placement of distinctive features -- instantly say "Yankee Stadium." No team does a better job of selling its history. Glossy, historic panoramas are displayed prominently on the main level. Babe, the Mick, Joe D and Thurman will greet you as you head for a hot dog, beer and a souvenir. So similar to the post-renovation Stadium's right field corner, the new version brings the bleachers closer and then wraps a new field level section in front of them. For some, a cap, tee shir