Baseball season — both Little League and professional — is upon us. Celebrate the season with the new book Lost Ballparks by Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos. Produced by the same publisher as the popular “Indianapolis Then and Now” series, the new ballpark book has the same look. It features 143 pages of text and pictures about lost ballparks throughout the United States and a couple in other lands.
The short history of ballparks in the front of the book is chock-a-block with interesting facts. For example, the first baseball club was organized in New York City near Washington Park. Since they couldn’t find an appropriate field in the city, they held their first official baseball game against an opponent on June 19, 1846 in New Jersey on the Elysian Fields. Considering many people’s attitudes about baseball, the Elysian Fields seems to be the perfect place for enjoying the game. The nearby Cincinnati Red Stockings (today’s Red Sox) was the first team to openly pay its players. Due to several fires and advancing technology, the first steel and concrete park was Shibe Park in Philadelphia. Much more is included in the history.
The book includes photographs and history of 58 ballparks. One spread is dedicated to Perry/Bush Stadium in Indianapolis. There are five photographs and a page of text that includes information on the Indians, the Clowns and ABCs. Hank Aaron’s Indianapolis career is also highlighted. Another spread features Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis that my family visited on their grand trek west. And yes, Cubs fans, there is a spread on Comiskey Park in Chicago. Probably my favorite picture in the book features the St. Louis Cardinals’ stretch in Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg. They look like they are airplanes about to take off.
This is the perfect gift for all the baseball aficionados on your list.
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