Academic journal article American Studies

THE BASEBALL STADIUM INSIDER: A Comprehensive Dissection of All Thirty Ballparks, Legendary Players, and Memorable Moments

Academic journal article American Studies

THE BASEBALL STADIUM INSIDER: A Comprehensive Dissection of All Thirty Ballparks, Legendary Players, and Memorable Moments

Article excerpt

THE BASEBALL STADIUM INSIDER: A Comprehensive Dissection of All Thirty Ballparks, Legendary Players, and Memorable Moments. By Matt Lupica. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press. 2012.

The sights, sounds, and experiences of professional baseball stadiums have often been celebrated as a right of American sporting passage, as these places serve as architectural representations of the contemporary state of the "national pastime." Matt Lupica celebrates the character and unique history of each stadium currently hosting Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, recognizing that these "stunning ballparks" are characterized by the confluence of a traditional game within a modern professional context, and engrained with famous and infamous moments and events (413). In The Baseball Stadium Insider, Lupica describes the dimensions, histories, and narratives of the thirty stadiums where professional baseball happens, providing a detailed profile for each ballpark. The depth of information serves to distance this work from other popular texts focused on MLB stadiums, especially the number of books that primarily concentrate on stadium 'road trips'-instead, Lupica aims to provide a comprehensive guide and factbook, highlighting the particular characteristics of each stadium.

The profiles of each ballpark are organized regionally, rather than by the divisional alignment of MLB, and Lupica begins the description of each stadium with a brief history of how and when it was built. Collected together, these profiles allow the reader to note the present trends in baseball stadium construction. For example, while some stadiums-including Wrigley Field in Chicago and Fenway Park in Boston-remain as current iterations of classic ballparks from a previous era, nearly half of MLB teams play in stadiums built after 2000. Each profile then contains a section on the "Special Features" of the stadium, explaining the specific ways in which that ballpark displays connections to the history of the city, team, and players both past and present. …

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