MLB 2K8 Baseball Honors Green Cathedrals

Article excerpt

Way back when, our national pastime was played in a host of wonderful old ballyards: Chicago's Comisky Park, Cincinnati's Crosley Field, Pittsburgh's Forbes Field, Brooklyn's Ebbets Field, Philadelphia's Shibe Park and Baker Bowl, New York's Polo Grounds... the list goes on and on. Then came the late 1960s and early 1970s and the era of the multiplex stadium--venues that were shared by the diametrically opposed games of baseball and football. What a shame that those terrific parks were razed to make room for a group of cement monstrosities that, for all intents and purposes, looked exactly alike. Seriously, a fan had no idea if he or she was in St. Louis, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, etc., for not only were they almost exact replicas of each other, most of them were enclosed, cutting off all views of each city's distinctive skyline.

In the last decade or so, however, there has been a return to the game's architectural roots on the major and minor league level. Snug, homey stadiums with reduced capacity and excellent sightlines that bring fans close to the action have been springing up all over the country. The return of Green Cathedrals in Baltimore, San Francisco, Houston, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., etc., has been a revelation. Retro minor league parks, too, are all the rage. Right here in and around New York we have three beauties on Long Island and Staten Island as well as in Brooklyn.

Such intimacy in ballparks usually has to be experienced firsthand, and 2K Sports makes no pretension otherwise. However, Take-Two Inter active Software, Inc's Major League Baseball 2K8--while revolutionizing player control in its latest installment of the popular franchise with brand new pitching, fielding, baserunning, and a completely overhauled batting interface--brings fans closer to the action than ever before by featuring authentic major and minor league stadiums that have been redesigned for accuracy, complete with the details and specific architectural quirks of each ballpark and city. …