Goodbye, Old Friend

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Mike McK, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    And there used to be a ballpark
    Where the field was warm and green.
    Where grown men played a little boy's game
    With a joy I'd never seen.
    And the air was such a wonder
    From the hot-dogs and the beer.
    Yes, there used to be a ballpark right here.

    And there used to be rock candy,
    And a great big 4th of July
    With the fireworks exploding
    All across the summer sky.
    And the people watched in wonder -
    How they'd laugh and how they'd cheer!
    And there used to be a ballpark right here.


    [​IMG]

    This was roughly the view we had from our seats in section 318, only about five rows back and a little closer to home plate. We had those seats for more than twenty five years.

    It's a bit of a shock to think that I will never again see that big concrete donut on my city's skyline, miss half an inning searching for a bathroom that's not closed or and will never see those hideous orange seats again (although, in truth, those went out in '95).

    Now it seems that when I talk about the years of my youth spent at Veteran's Stadium, young kids will look at me with that same blank expression I used to have when old men would tell me about Connie Mack Stadium or the Baker Bowl.

    Hard to believe, Harry.
     
  2. KimS

    KimS
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    Awww Mike.

    I kind of know how you feel. We don't have professional teams in Alabama. So the very first professional baseball and football games I ever saw live were in Three Rivers stadium, which they imploded about four years ago. I didn't grow up going to games there, but it still held a special place for me.

    Kim
     
  3. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    Hi, Kim.

    It's funny you should mention that. When I was a kid, my folks were divorced so I lived part time with my mom and my stepfather in the Philly 'burbs and part time with my dad in Pleasant Grove, Alabama.

    I was a huge Barons fan and I can still remember when I heard that they were leaving Rickwood Field (my other favorite ballpark - because of it's history as a Negro League park, I really had hoped that they would try to preserve it somehow as an historic site). We'd always go there and then to Speedy Gonzolez' by the Fair Grounds. Please don't tell me what's there now. I'd rather not know.

    I was a big Stallions' fan, too. I can still remember sitting at Legion Field watching Joey Jones make that diving stretch to score a touchdown against the Houston Gamblers.

    There were also the Bulls but I wasn't really into sports, then.

    If you saw Three Rivers, then you have an idea what the Vet was like. The Vet, Three Rivers and Busch Stadium in St. Louis were essentially the same, each being built from the same design.

    I really like the new park there in Pittsburgh. I've never been there but it looks like you guyshave a really nice place to watch a game. I'm really intrigued by the bridge in the background.

    It's always funny the things that you remember from your childhood that you see again as an adult and find out that they were never really as big or as shiny as you thought they were.

    The Vet was never that way with me. I got the same tinge of excitement walking up the ramp for my last game there against the Marlins last Sept. as I was my first game there against the Dodgers in '77. It was still as cool as an adult to lean over the rail and watch Rheal Cormier pitch in the bullpen as it was to watch Tug McGraw when I was a kid until the ushers ran us off.

    Don't get me wrong, our new park is going to be a great place. It's not even finished yet and people are already calling it one of the nicest in the National League. I know I'll grow to love it, too, but it's sure going to feel funny not walking up those ramps.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Bother me that stadiums that I saw built as "state of the art" in the late 60's and 70's, when I was starting a family, are now SO OLD THEY MUST BE DESTROYED!

    What does that tell my kids about ME?

    They shoot horses, don't they?
     
  5. robycop3

    robycop3
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    Hey, I grew up in Cincy with CROSLEY FIELD, and was fortunate enuff to have been taken by Dad to EBBETS FIELD.

    I never really cared about Riverfront that much, but I hope the GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK is around the resta my life.

    BTW, there's a touch of nostalgia in Portsmouth, OH, about 50 miles from myhome. It's SPARTAN STADIUM, where the old Portsmouth Spartans played before they became the Detroit Lions in 1934. It's still the home of the Portsmouth Trojans HS team, usually the site of a state playoff game, and the site of several inter-county track meets during the year. AND THERE'S NOT A BAD SEAT IN THE HOUSE!
     

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