blue skies green fields -
Ira Rosen's illustrated coffee-table book published by Potter/Random House
features interior and exterior photographs of 50 past and present Major League
baseball stadiums as well as dozens of player photos; and over 300 interviews
with current and former players, managers, broadcasters and authors.
Click here to purchase.
"Baseball separates itself from other sports. Fans go to a game to see the venue,
to see the stadium, as opposed to, sometimes, to see the game. It's a place where you can
have a conversation with your son or daughter, and you can spend the time well." --
Baseball, more than any other sport, is about experiencing the ballpark as much as the
ballgame. What baseball fan can forget their first glimpse of a big-league stadium, that
first trip up the ramp and through the tunnel, emerging dazzled by the vast expanse of
blue skies and perfectly manicured green fields.
blue skies green fields
is about recapturing that experience, regardless which stadium was your first. There's a
chapter on all thirty current stadiums, plus twenty obsolete ballparks including the
beloved Ebbets Field, Polo Grounds, Old Comiskey Park and Connie Mack Stadium; as well as
the unlamented Cleveland's Municipal Stadium and Kingdome. Each stadium is represented by
striking color photographs, fascinating narrative on the history and attributes of the
ballpark, and authoritative facts and figures including opening dates, field dimensions,
seating capacities and largest crowds.
And since blue skies green
fields is about the stadium experience as much as
about the ballpark itself, each chapter features unique responses to the question,
"What was it like the first time you saw a Major League baseball stadium?" There
are over three hundred such comments here, for every stadium, from everybody who's anybody
in baseball: icons of the game such as Tom Seaver, Reggie Jackson, Whitey Ford and Yogi
Berra; future Hall of Famers Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken and Mark McGwire;
broadcasters from Jack Buck to Joe Buck, Harry Kalas to Todd Kalas, Bob Costas and Tim
McCarver; managers like Tommy Lasorda and Sparky Anderson; and diverse personalities such
as George Carlin, Jesse Ventura and George Will. These quotes include eloquent narratives
as well as utterly honest, impromptu memories.
skies green fields is the most evocative baseball stadium book published to date.
Cal Ripken with the author.
Nomar Garciaparra - "First time, I was a young kid:
Stadium, out in Chavez Ravine, out there in Los Angeles. You're in awe how big it
was, you see all the fans and then you just kinda wish maybe you can be in there. It was
such a surreal feeling, you're in this big, huge stadium with all these people coming to
watch these guys play."
Greg Maddux - ". . . like the first time you go to Disneyland.
Someone hit a home run and George Foster jumped over the wall. He didn't catch it, but he
jumped over the wall.
Charles Nagy - "I think my first recollection is just coming here
to Yankee Stadium. I had heard a lot about it from my dad and how it had
changed throughout the years and they had redone it. But, they had just refurbished it.
You hear all the stories of the Yankees, they had the great teams and the dynasties and it
was just an unbelievable feeling. You just get chills."
Dave Parker - "I was ecstatic, I mean, I'm in the Major Leagues,
I could have been in a cow pasture, it wouldn't have made any difference. But coming to
the Major Leagues for the very first time is definitely exciting.
July 11, 1973."
Garry Shandling (Actor) - "I was at
last year and I was confused because I don't know why a stadium that cost so much money,
they can't spend enough money to have the grass go all the way to the wall!"
Bobby Valentine - "Going to
Yankee Stadium when
I was a youngster, I remember the enormity of it. I had upper deck seats and everyone was
really a long way away. But it was awesome, and it was awe-inspiring also."