Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fun with Google Maps-Baseball Geography of the A.L. East.

Google maps is a great way to see some familiar areas with a new perspective. I continue the tour of the A.L. with the East, home of the Yankees and Red Sox. I have already done the A.L. West and Central which can be found here: A.L. WEST LINK A.L. CENTRAL LINK
When the Orioles built Camden Yards in 1992, they not only set a trend in retro-ballparks (Cleveland, Arlington, SafeCo...), they also created one of the best ballparks ever. The grounds are beautiful and there's not a bad seat in the house. Just south is the Ravens Stadium and the Baltimore Harbor is directly east. When Cal Ripken, Jr. broke the consecutive games played record, Camden Yards became an instant shrine.
The Boston Red Sox. Only the Yankees can compare in having such a rich history. The Red Sox finally brought an end to the Curse of Babe Ruth, who went to the New York Yankees, by winning the World Series in 2004. The Boston Red Sox have fielded some of baseballs greatest players, ranging from Babe Ruth to Roger Clemens. You also can't leave out the Green Monster in left field. On the satellite image, you can see why they had to create the wall to match the road next to it. Fenway is now the oldest park still in use, after Detroit opened their new stadium a couple of years back.
Only the NHL's Montreal Canadians(23) can rival the New York Yankee's (26) in the number of World Championships. There's a little too much history to go over here, but let's just say, the Yankees are world known for winning over the last 100+ years. Ruth, Maris, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Jackson, Jeter... The list goes on. Anyway, check out the confines of the Yankees which is known as the House that Ruth built. The Stadium was the first ballpark to be called a 'stadium' and not field or grounds. However, when you type in Yankees stadium in Google Maps, it takes you to Madison Square Gardens. Odd.
In 1998, the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays hit the circuit and haven't done much since. While their Flordia pals, the Florida Marlins, have won 2 World Series titles already, the Rays have shown spurts of a good team, but just haven't gotten it together. They play at the Tropicana Field which is a dome. Go figure. The southern most team in the east, and keep in mind there are Boston and New York represented, play in sunny Florida under a dome. The dome is slanted toward the infield and has catwalks running along the inside of the dome, which result in balls bouncing off them. The stadium was started in 1986 to bring a team like the White Sox, or other team with financial woes, to Flordia. All the efforts failed until 1998, when the Rays became the 2nd team in Flordia, after the Marlins.
Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario was built in 1989 as the SkyDome and ushered in an era of retractable domed stadiums. The stadium has a domed roof that splits open to reveal the field to the elements. The Jumbotron is over 100 ft wide and was the largest of its kind for a decade. Rogers Centre sits below the giant CN Tower, which can be seen in the satellite photo to the right.

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