Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Red Sox Want to Tear Down the Field of Dreams

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Red Sox Want to Tear Down the Field of Dreams

Article excerpt

BOSTON (AP) -- A. Bartlett Giamatti once compared Fenway Park to Mount Olympus, the pyramids at Giza and the Louvre.

"Except... it was better than all those inconsequential places," wrote the scholar-turned-baseball commissioner who, like many American intellectuals, was given to flights of poetry and hyperbole about the nation's smallest major league ballpark, built in 1912.

Old and small, however, do not add up to major league profits. The Boston Red Sox want to tear down Fenway Park and build a bigger ballpark across the street. The proposal has led to an outpouring of opposition, nostalgia and, yes, support from Fenway's most faithful. "Whatever tears I've had for Fenway, I've long since shed," said Roger Angell, the New Yorker magazine editor who wrote the classic baseball book The Summer Game. "We can let some of these parks go." Fenway and Detroit's Tiger Stadium are the nation's oldest major league ballparks. They opened on the same day, April 20, 1912. Tiger Stadium, however, will close at the end of the season, and the team will move to a new stadium. Fenway was featured in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, and the writer John Updike once called the lopsided, 33,871-seat ballpark a "lyric little bandbox." A recent Boston Herald poll showed 49 percent of Massachusetts voters don't want to let go of Fenway's beloved nooks and crannies, its hand-operated scoreboard, the outfield bullpens where Ted Williams used to deposit his homers, and the Green Monster, the 37- foot-high wall in left field. "Fenway's awesome," David Doucette, a 28-year-old corporate banker, said Thursday. "I like the old Fenway just like I liked the old Garden," referring to the Boston Garden, legendary home of the Celtics and Bruins that was torn down last year after a newer, larger arena was built next door. Thirty-one percent of those polled supported tearing down the park and getting rid of the narrow seats, the views obstructed by grandstand poles, and the puddles of standing water when it rains. "It's about time they did it," said pitcher Pedro Martinez, the team's Cy Young Award winner. …

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