I know I recently published a couple of photos of Fenway Park, but since today marked the "official" 100th birthday of Fenway Park, I thought it appropriate for one last recognition with no less than TWO panoramas I took while touring the stadium last year. The Red Sox celebrated the 100th birthday in style today. For one thing, they played the New York Yankees in throwback uniforms even though the Yankees were known as the New York Highlanders then. And, the Red Sox invited all of the surviving Red Sox players to the stadium. I think there were 212 invited players in all. It looked like it was an historic celebration indeed. I'm not sure my words can express what it all means, but an article my wife Eileen found from Stephen Cannella on Sports Illustrated/CNN sums it up quite well. I reprinted it below the shots.
By the way, for you photographers out there, both of these shots are handheld HDR panoramas from a point and shoot Sony DSC-HX9V. Not too shabby, eh? OK, maybe a little, hehe.. Enjoy the read below and thanks again for dropping by.
Baseball's newest venue is officially open, and it's impossible to look at Marlins Park in Miami without thinking, That place looks like fun.
The fish swimming in the backstop, the
Jacques-Cousteau-meets-Timothy-Leary home run sculpture, the South Beach
nightclub satellite behind the bullpen, the pop art installations
scattered on the courses: Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria isn't kidding when
he says the ballpark he helped conceive and build "is meant to make you
smile." Loria spent enough on free agents this winter to sound
believable when he says he wants fans to focus on the game and the team.
But, just in case your mind wanders, he made sure that baseball is not
the only entertainment option at Marlins Park.
Baseball's oldest venue is about to open for its 100th anniversary season, and it's easy to look at Fenway Park and think, What's so fun about that place?
At first glance, there's little at Fenway to make the casual visitor
smile. It's not easy to find in the labyrinth Boston calls a city plan.
If you manage to get there by car, it's nearly impossible to park. If
you tune in for the Red Sox' April 13 home opener, you'll see fans
bundled up like it's a playoff game at Lambeau Field. They'll be crammed
into seats made for 1912-sized derrieres, and most of their heads will
be twisted at 70-degree angles to glimpse home plate. Anyone looking for
fish will have to flip over to Wicked Tuna.
first game at Fenway, on April 20, 1912, set the tone for the next 100
years: The Red Sox didn't even hold an opening ceremony -- "the
real-down-to-the-book official dedication with the music stuff, the
flowers and the flags," as the Boston Globe wrote then -- until
May 17. The implicit message from the new Fenway to its fans: This is a
baseball park. You are here to watch baseball.
been dressed up over the years, particularly in the decade since John
Henry and friends bought the Red Sox and committed to staying in the old
yard rather than building a replacement. There are seats above the
Green Monster, a bar on the right field roof, a food court beneath the
bleachers. But the creature comforts still lag behind what can be found
at the wave of mallparks that have sprung up around the majors over the
last two decades. Forget aquariums and swimming pools and steakhouses.
The main attraction at Fenway is the same as it was the day it opened:
In 2012, that simplicity, that purity of purpose,
is as much of a novelty on the major league landscape as Loria's
psychedelic sculpture. As much as the famous proximity of its seats to
the field, it's what makes Fenway baseball's most intimate ballpark, and
what connects fans there to the sport in a way that isn't possible
anyplace else. In some ways, the experience of taking in a game at
Fenway mirrors the experience of playing there. Fans who navigate narrow
concourses to get to seats with too little legroom are watching players
who dress in a cramped clubhouse, work out in a tiny (by big-league
standards) weight room and are bedeviled by the strange hops and caroms
created by the field's many nooks and crannies. Playing baseball is
difficult, and requires a special commitment. At Fenway, the same goes
for watching it.
Over the next six months we'll hear a
century's worth of hosannas to Fenway Park, but the place hasn't always
been beloved. Over the years pitchers fed up with its cozy dimensions
and players and managers frustrated with its substandard facilities have
taking turns suggesting that it be burned down (Sparky Anderson's
choice) or blown up (Mo Vaughn, David Wells, John Lackey). Until the
current ownership group spruced up the place with a series of
renovations, there were strident calls from Boston fans and media for a
new stadium to be built.
And yet, Fenway endured and now,
on its 100th birthday, it thrives, a shrine to the game and to a simpler
sports era. Ballpark fads come and go. Fenway has outlasted concrete
contemporaries like Tigers Stadium and the original Yankee Stadium. It
has surpassed the life spans of domed wonders of the earth and
cookie-cutter, multipurpose ovals. And its allure will hold strong long
after the novelty of retro chic and rightfield shopping districts and
in-house marine life fades. For 100 years, the joy of Fenway has been
the unadorned, uncomplicated joy of the game itself -- a joy that
connects us to the thread of history like little else. Over the next few
weeks, as 30 major league parks open for another season, cries of "Play
ball!" will ring out in parks across the country. The message will be
at its purest in Fenway.