Results tagged ‘ Home Opener ’

New stadiums, new memories

Horn_90.jpgBy Brad Horn

This week, Major League Baseball and New York will welcome two new shrines, as the Mets christen Citi Field on Monday night and the new Yankee Stadium (everything old is new again) will host its formal inauguration Thursday.

We’ll be documenting both of these openings in Cooperstown with artifacts that capture this moment in time for future generations. Look for updates this week as we share our latest donation items with you.

4-13-09-Horn_Citi Field.jpgWhen future generations of fans look back on this week, it’s likely they’ll say these stadiums represent the last of a new breed. For the last 20 years, baseball stadiums have been constructed at a rate, and a cost, never before seen in our game’s history.

The 1990s unleashed a fury of new ballparks, when the old seemingly was not enough. Toronto (’89), Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland and Arlington got the ball rolling. Soon, Atlanta, Seattle, Detroit, San Francisco and Houston followed suit, as did an entirely rebuilt Angels Stadium in Anaheim. Expansion clubs Colorado (’95) and Arizona (’98) christened new ballparks, while Tampa Bay and Florida also established new traditions, albeit in fairly older structures. The 21st century welcomed new parks in Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, San Diego, St. Louis and Washington. Just this offseason, Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium underwent a major renovation. Boston’s Fenway Park, long a stalwart, has had multiple facelifts throughout the last 10 years.

In fact, only Wrigley Field (Chicago), Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles), the Metrodome (Minneapolis) and Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland) are the last major structures not enduring entire overhaul or replacement since the era of the new ballpark began 20 years ago. The Met will join the list of replaced stadiums next year as Minneapolis welcomes a new outdoor home.

What will become of the next phase of ballparks? Which of the “new” will be the first to be deemed “outdated?”

One thing is for sure — no period in baseball history is likely to see as much change as we have witnessed in the last two decades.

Visitors to Cooperstown can celebrate stadiums of past and present in Sacred Ground, an exhibit dedicated to the ballpark experience, only at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Brad Horn is the senior director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Face the future

Muder_90.jpgBy Craig Muder

It was 17 years ago Saturday. April 11, 1992. My first real Opening Day: the Indians’ home opener that year.

I was a writer with the Ashtabula (Ohio) Star Beacon, covering the Cleveland Indians at old Cleveland Stadium. Seven months into my first real job, I was stepping into the big leagues. Or what passed for the bigs in Cleveland.

4-6-09-Muder_Naehring.jpgI ambled up the wood stairs to the press box, squeezing my way down the hall past the Teepee Room (free hot dogs and soda). I found my seat — and found dead insects on the table in front of me. Then I hooked up my Radio Shack laptop (complete with acoustic couplers to transmit the story via the handpiece of a regular phone-line) and bounced onto the field.

Pure heaven.

It’s a little different today. Cub reporters all over the country will descend on palatial stadia like Cleveland’s Progressive Field, complete with hand-held BlackBerries capable of 100 times the output of my TRS-80 Model 100. They’ll post to live blogs, send Web updates to their sites and even tweet on Twitter.

I can imagine myself on Twitter in 1992: “Craig’s knees are knocking because he just interviewed Mark Lewis behind the batting cage.”

Today, as a part of the team at the Baseball Hall of Fame, we take a major step into the world of social media with the launch of our new Facebook page. There you can find Hall of Fame calendars and photos, along with links to our site and information about supporting our educational mission. Stop by while you’re surfing the net today on Opening Day and become a “fan” of the Hall of Fame.

By the way, the Red Sox beat the Indians in that 1992 opener, 7-5, in 19 innings on a Tim Naehring home run, and future Hall of Famer Wade Boggs was 2-for-9 with a run scored and an RBI. I didn’t get home until just before midnight — even though the game started in the early afternoon.

I don’t think I ever had as much fun.

Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers