Picture Portfolio No. 7: Lost Ballparks

Bob Mayer has written, “When I hear Sinatra’s ‘There Used To Be A Ballpark,’ which was his personal ode to Ebbets Field, I think of the Dodgers and Giants leaving town.  At the time I was dumbfounded and pretty much in denial; when people asked me how I felt about it, I was close to speechless. Even today, [all these] years later, I’m at a loss for words to explain how I feel.  The truth is … even this far removed from then, I have never been as passionate nor as caring about The Game as I once was.”

Thomas Wolfe wrote: “Is there anything that can evoke spring–the first fine days of April–better than the sound of the ball smacking into the pocket of the big mill, the sound of the bat as it hits the horsehide…? And is there anything that can tell more about an American summer than, say, the smell of the wooden bleachers in a small-town baseball park, that resinous, sultry, and exciting smell of old dry wood.”

W.P. Kinsella: “As I look around the empty park, almost Greek in its starkness, I feel an awesome inarticulate love for this very stadium and the game it represents. I am reminded of the story about the baseball fans of Milwaukee, and what they did on a warm fall afternoon, the day after it was announced that Milwaukee was to have a major-league team the next season. According to the story, 10,000 people went to County Stadium that afternoon and sat in the seats and smiled out at the empty playing field-sat in silence, in awe, in wonder, in anticipation, in joy–just knowing that soon the field would come alive with the chatter of infielders, bright as bird chirps.”

Humphrey Bogart: “A hot dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz.”

Count me in with all these gents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

I still visit the Ebbets Field site from time to time, and it never fails to break my heart.

Hi John:

By way of introduction, we spoke briefly at this year’s 19th century conference. I am the guy from Toronto who is doing a book on Tip O’Neill.

I have been enjoying the recent Our Game postings, especially Bygone Days and Out at Home. I also look forward to your ongoing series of Picture Portfolios—there is so much to learn from these glimpses into the past.

I am especially interested in Picture Portfolio No. 7: Lost Ballparks, in particular two of your 1880s pictures: Polo Grounds, Opening Day, April 26, 1886 and Brooklyn vs. St. Louis Memorial Day doubleheaders, 1887. Could you tell me where you got these two pictures? Do you also know if I can obtain a high res copy (300 dpi) of these pictures? I may want to include especially the Brooklyn-St. Louis photo in the book.

So to bother you with this but I am constantly looking for photos for the book and so I would appreciate any assistance you can provide.

Thanks again.

Dennis Thiessen

From: Our Game <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Reply-To: Our Game <comment+rfkqam1ghuht3g_qfxy3lc-@comment.wordpress.com> Date: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 12:48 PM To: Education Commons <dthiessen@oise.utoronto.ca> Subject: [New post] Picture Portfolio No. 7: Lost Ballparks

John Thorn posted: ” Bob Mayer has written, “When I hear Sinatra’s ‘There Used To Be A Ballpark,’ which was his personal ode to Ebbets Field, I think of the Dodgers and Giants leaving town. At the time I was dumbfounded and pretty much in denial; when people asked me how”

Dennis, I have only found weak halftone versions of the Brooklyn-St. Louis game. You are welcome to take the image from Our Game: it is in the public domain. A fine print of the 1886 game may be had from the New-York Historical Society, which holds the original. The photographer is Richard Hoe Lawrence.

Thanks. Delighted to have found your heartfelt blog. I’ll be back to read more. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (featuring a Duke Snider tribute along with lots of music!).

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