Talkin’ Baseball

When I was at the Lookouts’ game in Chattanooga a couple of weeks ago I discovered that a couple of their players were sons of players who I “grew up” watching play major league baseball — Andy Van Slyke and Tim Wallach to be exact. Excluding the setbacks in my exercise I don’t feel old often, but seeing these young men playing minor league baseball made me feel old.

It’s Better To Burn Out Than To Fade Away
Over the weekend I fired up one of my stereo receivers (this is one of the younger ones, it’s probably twenty-two years old) to listen to the Braves game on the radio. I’ve mentioned this stereo receiver before, it’s the one which I tried to use to listen to a Braves game recently but the signal faded after a short while.

It happened again this weekend. The game was playing just fine, but after a short while the signal faded completely away. This behavior struck me as odd because it’s similar to a problem described in the book Genius: The Like and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick to which I am currently listening. The book describes the young Feynman repairing radios in the 1930s by replacing radio tubes which malfunctioned after heating up. The only problem for me is that my stereo receiver is “modern,” constructed from silicon chips on circuit boards and not radio tubes, therefore repair (for a non-hardware geek like me) is almost impossible.

Internet radio, specifically the MLB iPhone app, to the rescue!

Back In My Day
While listening to that same game, during the time the stereo receiver was functioning, I heard the announcers mention the name of the Phillies’ stadium (which escapes me at the moment). I started thinking about sports when I was a kid, back in the olden days before stadium names were not tied to corporate entities1 and rarely changed.

I randomly chose to think back to 1976 and name the stadium names from memory. First, I had to remember how the leagues and divisions were configured which proved to be harder than remembering the stadium names.

American League
Baltimore Orioles -> Memorial Stadium
Boston Red Sox -> Fenway Park
Cleveland Indians -> Cleveland Stadium
Detroit Tigers -> Tigers Stadium
New York Yankees -> Yankee Stadium
Milwaukee Brewers -> County Stadium

Los Angeles (née California) Angels -> Anaheim Stadium
Chicago White Sox -> Comiskey Park
Kansas City Royals -> Royals Stadium
Minnesota Twins -> Metropolitan Stadium
Texas Rangers -> Arlington Stadium
Oakland Athletics -> Oakland Coliseum

Toronto Blue Jays [not yet in existence]
Seattle Mariners [not yet in existence]
Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays [not yet in existence]

Chicago Cubs -> Wrigley Field
Washington Nationals (née Montreal Expos) -> Jarry Park
New York Mets -> Shea Stadium
Philadelphia Phillies -> Veterans Stadium
Pittsburgh Pirates -> Three Rivers Stadium
St Louis Cardinals -> Busch Memorial Stadium

Atlanta Braves -> Fulton County Stadium
Cincinnati Reds -> Riverfront Stadium
Houston Astros -> The Astrodome
Los Angeles Dodgers -> Dodger Stadium
San Diego Padres -> Jack Murphy Stadium
San Francisco Giants -> Candlestick Park

Colorado Rockies [not yet in existence]
Arizona Diamondbacks [not yet in existence]
Florida Marlins [not yet in existence]

In the name of full disclosure I could only get about 80% of the stadium names correct from memory. I used the assistance of Baseball Reference to save my faded memory.

The Phillies’ stadium is currently named “Citizens Bank Park.” Are you like me and can’t remember the names of stadiums in use today? Check out the Wikipedia page listing all Major League Baseball stadiums.

1 I still contend that Wrigley Field was named after the Cubs’ owner at the time and not for his company Wrigley as legend and Team Trivia contend. In fact, here is a passage from the Cubs’ website “The park became known as Cubs Park in 1920 after the Wrigley family purchased the team from Weeghman … it was named Wrigley Field in 1926 in honor of William Wrigley Jr., the club’s owner.”

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – okay
Current Music – silence for the moment
Website Of The Day – I was astonished how many websites are dedicated to the recording the history of baseball stadiums. However, Baseball-Reference, my goto site for all baseball information, sent me to when I needed to find stadium names for those I could not easily remember.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing
Morning Weigh-In – have yet to get out of bed to do anything other than open a window and hope to drop the temperature in the house without resorting to testing out the air conditioning for the first time this year.

Foot Mileage – 0.0 miles
Wheel Mileage – 0.0 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 0
Stairs – 0 flights

Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)

Vegetarian Days – 0
Carnivorous Days – 9

Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

May Goals
– “Completely” recover from the bike crash
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Not get fired from my job
– Run at least once
– Eat vegetarian no fewer than five days
– Lose three pounds
Go out on a date with someone else
– Read an entire book, specifically The Laws Of Simplicity

2011 Goals [will be a little more fluid than in past years]
– Reduce my weight by 25 pounds based on the my weight as measured on February 1st
Completely read the book Daily Negations which I received as a Christmas gift.
– Run Sharpened Stone as a real business — one which does not get penalized.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Ride in no fewer than five 50 mile or 50K bike rides
– Run in no fewer than two one half-marathon
– Submit at least one application under the name “Sharpened Stone” to Apple’s iOS store

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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8 Responses to Talkin’ Baseball

  1. Steve says:

    I doubt I could get 80%, but I did know the Phillies park. I’d like to get to Birmingham to see the Barrons play in the oldest park in the country- Rickwood Field. When we were in Asheville, we happened by the park there and it didn’t look too young either.

    The days of ballparks with character- Wrigley and Fenway quickly come to mind- are gone.


  2. Steve says:

    Correction: The Barrons no longer play their regular schedule at Rickwood, but some homogenized patch of green on the southside. The is a special game on June 1- a Wednesday.

  3. Randy says:

    Have you read any of the other books about Richard Feynman? Along with being a genius, he was quite a character.

    We need to schedule our ball game(s) for the weekend you are in town. Give us a call some evening (after 8pm) and we can work it out.

    I miss the days of “real” ballpark names.

  4. I’ve been a fan of Feynman since first hearing about him on a episode of Nova (I believe) in the 1980s. I’ve read “Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman” and have a CD of his bongo drumming.

    Randy, I’ll call you all on Thursday night.

  5. Barb says:

    wow – baseball talk – I didn’t miss much 😉
    I’ve been in a boring training all morning, we are getting a whole new system. what fun……. I cant’ wait to see what kinks haven’t been worked out.

  6. Jenka says:

    The Braves are in NL West?

    Thank goodness Fenway Park is still Fenway Park. But it’s old, and I can’t imagine the players like it very much.

  7. Eric Nuesslein says:

    Great read today!

    There are a bunch MORE sons of former MLB’ers on their way up, including Delino Deshields kid! Delino was a rookie (with the expos) in 1988.

    It really is crazy getting old lol

  8. Wow, a long day of meetings… FUN!

    Barb, I just assumed you silence was baseball-related. 😉

    Jenka, amusingly the Braves were in the NL West until Major League Baseball broke each league into East, Central, and West divisions.

    Eric, I figured this would be right up your alley.

Comments are closed.