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Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present Hardcover – February 1, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A valuable and welcome companion…TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLPARK celebrates the glory in the buildings and grounds where America's game has been played. --New York Daily News

No doubt the best baseball book of the year—a spectacular gathering of photos, statistics, reminiscences, facts and folklore. --PARADE Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Take Me Out to the Ballpark is a wonderful tour through every park in the Major League, alongside dozens more stadiums from the minor leagues, negro leagues and baseball's past. Packed with hundreds of photographs and loaded with facts, stories and statistics, it's the ultimate resource for diehards and casual fans alike.

Virtually every stadium that has ever hosted a professional game is here and brought to life through detailed retelling of its history and construction, stories of the famous players who called it home, and accounts of the incredible events that have taken place on the field. Discussions of the peculiar variations among each ballpark's playing field - a trait unique to baseball among professional sports - examine what makes each park different and demonstrate how sometimes even the slightest variation can have a monumental effect on a game's outcome.

- Every stadium is displayed in huge full-color photographs and illustrations - over 250 in all - including every current Major League stadium, important minor league parks, famous negro league fields and notable stadiums from baseball's past.

- Each feature is crammed with the statistics baseball fans love - who got the park's first hit, total cost of construction, what date saw the biggest crowd, numbers of balls that have make it over the fences, and much more.

- Legends of all the famous athletes and their spectacular achievements, along with fun stories of unusual incidents and incredible occurrences, uncover the singular "personality" that makes each park unique.

- Special sections explore all the things that make a trip to the ballpark a one-of-a-kind experience, from hot dogs to Cracker Jacks, announcers to organists, scoreboards to mascots.

Covers every current major league park, including:

Shea Stadium - Fenway Park - Wrigley Field - Dodger Stadium - Oriole Park at Camden Yards - Yankee Stadium - Coors Field - The Skydome - The Ballpark in Arlington - Busch Stadium - Jacobs Field - and many more!

Historical features on bygone classics from baseball's past:

Ebbets Field - The Polo Grounds - Tiger Stadium - Comisky Park - The Astrodome - Forbes Field - League Parks, food at the park, the evolution of night baseball, and much, much more!

Plus region-by-region examinations of minor league parks and fields from the negro leagues, and fun features on the history of ballparks, food at the park, the evolution of night baseball, and much, much more!

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal; Revised edition (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579125131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579125134
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 0.6 x 13.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,688,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Josh Leventhal's ambitious book really does make the attempt to present a lot of information about ballparks in a creative way -- but, frankly, other books accomplish the task in a more professional and complete manner.
The first thing that you will notice about "Take Me Out To The Ballpark" is the shape of the book itself. The cover and the pages are indeed shaped like a baseball park, where the spine and bottom edge are straight (like the foul lines of a field) and the other edges are rounded (like the outfield wall of a symmetrical stadium). I give the author and publisher credit for a creative effort, but sometimes the rounded edges of the pages cause important portions of photographs to be cut off. It also tends to make the layout of some of the pages cluttered.
While the text is enlightening, and some attempt (although not enough for my taste) is made to provide the information in a format that is consistent from park to park, it is troubling to me to see some mistakes and questionable decision making on which photos to include. For instance, an aerial shot of old Braves Field on page 20 is printed upside down (the airplane carrying the photographer was obviously beyond centerfield looking back toward home plate -- but the photo is printed on the page with home plate at the bottom of the shot). Even worse, a beautiful color shot of Camden Yards is printed backwards (i.e., the negative was turned the wrong way, making the mirror image of the scene appear in print) on page 15.
Regarding the decision making on which photos to include, I offer the two-page spread on "Minor League Ballparks of the Midwest" as an example. First, I don't understand the criteria employed to select exactly which parks are included in such sections.
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Format: Hardcover
There is some good information in this book, and some good pictures, but there are a number of inaccuracies that are disturbing (I take my ballpark history seriously). Consider the description of Wrigley Field as "high above sea level" and how that affects the ball flight. Dude, last time I looked, 600 feet is not high above sea level...maybe you meant the ballpark in Denver. Again, that is just ONE of the misleading inaccuracies. This is a good book, but not for serious ballpark afficionados like myself.
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By A Customer on July 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Josh Leventhal has reseached all the ballparks from the start of the majors to present times. All the stadiums your fathers and yourselfs have grown up with are all in this book like Fenway Park in Boston and the Polo Grounds in New York. With well written information and pictures that make you feel like you have grown up with this ballpark in your own hometown. This masterpiece of a book communicates with you what it takes to own a major league ballpark in todays world. From groundskeeeping to conscession sales you will truly get the idea of how a ballpark works! This is a 5 star dream come book to baseball lovers!
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Format: Hardcover
Take Me Out to the Ballpark captures your eye with its unusual shape, which tells you that you're not just going on for a stodgy history of baseball. Levinthal takes on the task of extolling our ballparks past and present. Of course this is a huge task, which he makes bigger with a smattering of looks at minor league parks and Negro League parks. There is also the unenviable task of trying to give the same space for storied Fenway Park or Ebbets Field and newer places such as SAFECO Field.
How does he do? He does surprisingly well, considering the task. The book is not perfect - Levinthal had to decide what to cull and what to include. Some of it is dry - after a while reading the book I didn't care the center field distance of each park. It is nice to know it's there should I wish to look it up, but it was repetitive after a while. And unfortunately he is writing in the midst of a trend of ballpark changes and construction. So even though the book is only a couple of years old, it suffers telling about some of the fields that are no longer with us now that teams have moved on.
However, beyond that the book is fun. So much attention is paid to the players over the years it's nice to see someone pay attention to the green cathedrals that are so integral to the game. In many ways this book could be a launching pad for someone who wants to read up more on the Polo Grounds or other great fields which are no longer with us. It is good for the curious as an introduction to the breadth of ballparks, as well as the fan, who will enjoy the stats and stories of their most and least favorite parks. A good book to get you into the new baseball season.
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Format: Hardcover
This book about baseball stadiums, past and present is wonderful, not just because it lists facts and figures about all major league stadiums, past and present, and not just because it lists famous events at each stadium, but also because it describes the histories of each ballpark. There are also breif descriptions of Negro league ballparks, some minor league parks of note, as well as the "behind the scenes" people and places that make baseball stadiums the stuff of legends. Pages about PA Announcers, team mascots, scoreboards and billboard ads in stadiums are also included here. The book starts off with a history of stadiums, from the wooden edifices of the late 19th century to the "retro ballparks" of today.
Reading through this book, you get a real feel for what each stadium is like, and what it feels like to experience watching a ballgame there. Well worth buying even if you're just a casual fan, this book captures a part of baseball history just now becoming popular, ballpark histories.
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