We start today with two neat links, both about diamonds. One from the present, one from the past.
The first is this article from Emma Baccelieri on the Long Time, a sandlot ballfield and performance venue in Austin with idiosyncratic rules and a deep love of the game. Home of the amateur adult-league Texas Playboys (which includes the architect of the field), the games held there raise money for local causes. A fascinating read about something I’d never heard about until today.
The other is an article at Atlas Obscura by Jonathan Goldman about the Dyckman Oval, a venue in northern Manhattan which was the center of Black Baseball in New York City until its late 1930s. Now covered by housing, playgrounds, and community center basketball courts, it’s a forgotten part of New York City’s baseball and Black history, without even a historical marker to indicate that it was once a stadium that often had people like Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, and Fats Waller sitting in the stands. Hopefully something is done to change that.
Moving on now to what you can expect in the coming days and weeks:
Tomorrow, there will be a tradition unlike any other; My bare-bones no-explanations-given postseason predictions.
Reactions to the postseason.
An incredibly stupid thing about mascots, which is to say it’ll be amazing.
Ruminations on the ultimate baseball trip that I’d have if I had several million dollars and/or a bunch of sponsors.
Possibly finally the first “Glick on Gaming” segment.
Thank you coming to the Baseball Continuum, see you again soon!
Today’s neat site to check out is Digital Ballparks. It’s a site filled with slideshows of images of baseball stadiums past and present from around the country and even in some cases the world. It isn’t just limited to the pros, either: the Pastores (who run the site) also have plenty of amateur and semi-pro fields, as well as ballparks that once hosted professional baseball decades ago. In some cases where ballfields no longer have their traditional form (for example, abandoned fields or fields that may have been converted to another sport), they’ll even sometimes include Photoshop work to give an idea of what it may have looked like back in the day.
While it looks like they haven’t updated the site yet for the 2021 season, it remains a fascinating way to spend time for anyone interested in baseball stadiums.
One of the reasons why baseball is different is because of how the playing field’s dimensions are different in essentially every ballpark. However, this can also lead to some weird stadiums. I mean, we’re talking utterly bizarre, stadiums or fields that almost certainly didn’t have baseball in mind when they were created, or parks that are extremely different from the usual image we have in our minds of what a baseball stadium should look like. And, of course, there are also ballparks that have really weird stories behind them (those will come later).