Diamonds from the Sky

Flying back from Denver yesterday, I was able to scout four major league ballparks. First, Coors Field, on takeoff, against the backdrop of the Rockies. Denver’s f’ugly, but Coors seems to have some charm. I wish I could have gotten inside.

Next, the “Jake”, from about 35,000 feet. Cleveland appears to be a small city absolutely dominated by sports facilities. The new Browns stadium sits right on the edge of the lake, toes in the water, with the “Jake” hiding a bit inland. Lastly, a field house of some sort rests just off the east of downtown. These three buildings contain the city, a kind of modern day Rome, with my apologies to Rome.

Finally, on arriving in New York, both Yankee Stadium (we flew right over the top), and Shea (we landed at LaGuardia). Familiar places these two – my home city stadia, though admittedly not my own.

The most curious fields that were scoped from the heights were a troika in the Bronx: one rectangular park occupied by three diamonds of varying sizes. I could make out the major league-size as well as the little-league regulation field. The third escaped my grasp – is it a regulation softball field? A practice diamond? In any case, this compact threesome of playing fields piqued my curiosity, and also reminded me that I have always felt the baseball diamond was the most recognizable feature of the American landscape viewable during air travel.

3 comments… add one
  • I will take the bait and defend Denver. Yeah, it’s downtown is pretty grim, but the LoDo—the industrial neighborhood in which Coors rests—is a genuine American treasure.

    YF June 24, 2004, 10:31 am
  • As for aerial viewing, YF can highly recommend two books: Tom Campanella’s “Cities from the Sky,” which features aerial shots of such ballparks as Yankee Stadium (taken during Don Larsen’s perfect game!), the Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field, and Wrigley; and James Corner and Alex MacLean’s “Taking Measure Across the American Landscape.”

    YF June 24, 2004, 10:42 am
  • No bait to be taken – I didn’t see the LoDo, but the landscape of Denver and the surrounding suburbs is hideous, redeemed only by the mountains looming. And a pretty nice airport. As for a specific neighborhood, I am not qualified to comment.

    SF June 24, 2004, 10:54 am

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