Storied Stadiums

Curt Smith is the author of the definitive book on baseball broadcasting, Voices of The Game. This work, Storied Stadiums: Baseball’s History Through Its Ballparks, is the definitive book on all major league parks.

The first enclosed ballpark opened in Brooklyn in 1862. Storied Stadiums (Carroll and Graf, 2001, 593 pages, $32.00) details each of the more than 125 big-league fields since then.

Smith began researching this book as a teenager in the early 1970s. The result is a monumental look at baseball’s past, present and future homes. Storied Stadiums boasts a foreword written by broadcaster Bob Costas. It also includes an index, comprehensive appendix, and 36 beautiful four-color lithographs of major league ballparks from Bill Goff Inc.

In a kinetic prose as full of surprises as a wind-aided knuckleball, Smith begins with great wooden palaces that grew from modest roots soon after the Civil War. From there he segues to the golden era of classic parks like bandbox Fenway Park, raucous Ebbets Field, triple-tiered Yankee Stadium, and the surreal Polo Grounds.

Smith then etches the all-purpose cookie-cutter stadiums of the 1960s through 1980s — clones resembling a K-Mart “without a K-Mart’s charm.” Finally we read about the “new old parks” of the last three decades like Camden Yards, AT&T Park and PNC Park – urban, personal, and unorthodox – taking baseball back to the future. By 2015, two out of every three major league parks had been built since 1992 — intimate and idiosyncratic, where loving baseball seemed as natural as a smile.

Many fans have yearned to take the Great American Baseball Tour, watching games in each big-league park. This book fulfills the wildest dreams of fans everywhere by traveling through space and time in a volume that spares readers the price of gas, food, lodging (and admission) and puts them in a field box at every park in major league history.

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