Ballparks Then and Now®
The ballpark experience has changed dramatically from baseball’s early days on grassy lots with wooden grandstands and free admission. The Union Grounds in Brooklyn, New York, is considered by many historians to be the first ballpark ever built, when William Cammeyer decided to use the Union Skating Pond as grounds for baseball games in 1862. When the first professional leagues were formed in 1871, enterprising owners began to invest in the creation of luxurious wooden palaces such as the Grand Pavilion in Boston and Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. The first steel-and-concrete ballpark was Shibe Park in Philadelphia, built in 1909, which housed a record number of 20,000 paying customers and set the standard in ballpark design for the next fifty years. The cookie-cutter ballparks of the 1960s and 1970s have largely been replaced by newer retro designs that give each park its own unique feel and have re-established ballparks as a vital part of urban America.
Ballparks Then and Now is a fascinating exploration of ballparks across America. Packed with archival and modern photography, this book documents the development of America’s national pastime by looking at the fields of dreams on which it is played.