Once There Was A Ballpark

Have you ever taken the time to look at photographs of Major League Ballparks being demolished?  

Recently, I was researching some of the old ballparks for the season replays I recreate on a tabletop baseball game, Baseball Classics.  While reading about some of the great baseball shrines of the past, I came across the photographic records of the ballparks becoming rubble and faded history.  Soon, the “House That Ruth Built” will be one of these as well.  The following is a reflection on those great cathedrals from baseball’s past.

Once There Was A Ballpark

by Ned Whitman

Once there was a ballpark.

The fans used to go there and watch their hmetown heroes.

There was the smell of old cigars, beer, popcorn, peanuts and hotdogs in the air.

The distant scorebord gave the latest information on the game.

The crowd cheered, jeered and booed with each play.

Once there was a ballpark.

Once there was a ballpark.

On opening day, their team was in first place.

The paint was fresh, the grass mowed in a unnique pattern.

The foul lines had clean crisp chalk from homeplate to the foul poles.

The clean white bases stood out against the dirt infield.

Once there was a ballpark.

Once there was a ballpark.

The home team uniforms were white and almost reflected off the sunlight.

The visiting team wore those dingy greys.

The only way to tell a player was with a scorecard.

The favorite players were easy to recognize.  The rookies weren’t.

Once there was a ballpark.

Once there was a ballpark.

It had a name, Ebbets Field, Shibe Park, the Polo Grounds and Crosley Field.

Forbes Field, County Stadium, Sportman’s Park, Griffith Stadium.

Seals Stadium, Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, Tiger Stadium, old Comiskey Park.

Memorial Stadium, Municipal Stadium and Metropolitian Stadium.

Once there was a ballpark.

Once there was a ballpark.

The ball park is gone now.

It became an apartment building, a shopping centers, rretirement center.

An hospital, a parking lot.

It became the victim of progress.

Once tthere was a ballpark.

Once there was a ballpark.

The ghosts of the Georgia Peach, the Rajah and Shoeless Joe still play there.

The stale cigar smoke still lingers in the air

A plaque might let someone know that it was there.

An oldtimer still tells the stories on the bench outside the barber shop.

Once there was a ballpark.

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