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Ballpark: Camden Yards and the Building of an American Dream Paperback – March 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
Richmond does a very good job of describing all the elements that went into the ballpark, including politics, funding, design, and construction. Especially interesting are the personalities involved and the sad rememberances of some of those who do not feel they got the credit due them.
I live outside Washington DC in Maryland and I have attended games at Camden Yards since it opened. To me, the single best feature is the use of brick in its construction: it is warm, inviting, and harkens to times past. Richmond captures the importance of brick with historical references, details, and interviews with bricklayers. I'll be seeing a game this June and I plan to spend some time outside checking out the bullnose bricks!
Given that this was a public project and all factions seemed to be constantly at war, it's a miracle that this magnificient facility was built and built so wall.
It also ushered in an era where public-private partnerships through tax dollars and other incentives became the means to new facilities. Richmond aptly shows the controversies that follow pro franchises when team owners & league representatives sit at the table with politicians, along with the oftentimes very loud public opinion being heard through the door.
There is a hidden gem in the history, and it concerns Art Modell, the move of the Colts to Indianapolis and the Cleveland Browns. Richmond writes that Modell wanted to move the Browns to Baltimore after the Colts fled the city in the midnight hour, and wanted to time the move with Cleveland receiving an expansion franchise.
The plan - that never got past the idea stage - was years before Modell moved the club to Baltimore and the book was published before the Browns did move to the city.
Books such as Ballpark may unfairly receive the tag of interest only for a reader from that region. At the time of its publication it could have been read as a news story. The text has held up well over the years and now a reader has an excellent history on how the era of baseball stadium construction got started.