Russ Smith from Splice Today has visited 17 ballparks. He runs them down today. The difference between him and most other folks who write this sort of thing (myself most especially): He’s capable of honesty when it comes to his own team’s park:
Fenway Park. Surprisingly, I have mixed feelings about Fenway, despite a slavish allegiance to the Sox. I haven’t been there in several years—the prices are prohibitive for a family of four—and so have thankfully missed out on the bandwagon fans since the team broke their curse in ’04, but the myth of the “lyrical little bandbox” is a little rich for my blood. Until recently, the groundskeeping and drainage was awful, so much so that one June night in the late 90s, after a violent but short thunderstorm had flooded not only the field but the ground floor inside as well, the game was postponed even though the sun was suddenly shining at the schedule start time. In addition, the seats are cramped and not built for people who weigh over 150 lbs. The hardcore fans can be very nasty, even to fellow Sox partisans, and only in puritanical Boston would a 40-year-old have to show identification to buy an overpriced Coors Light beer. That said, the atmosphere both inside and outside Fenway is truly electric; no baseball icon, in my opinion, tops the Green Monster; and I’ll never forget the day Pedro Martinez, then in his prime, fawned over one of my sons, giving him a piece of Bazooka bubble gum.
As Russ notes, every ballpark means something different to different people, so I never get tired of reading this kind of thing, and in fact, I should probably write my own sometime soon. Better yet: if someone can figure out that pay-for-content thing I mentioned this morning, I’d gladly take the road trip Russ suggests in his article — all summer, hitting as many parks as possible — and report my findings back to you.
Wait, I think I just figured out why pay-for-content is never going to work: people don’t like to pay for the privilege of being made jealous.