Reviews for Big League Ballparks : The Complete Illustrated History

Choice Reviews 2010 July
Anyone with more than a passing interest in baseball history will enjoy this coffee-table-style book, which looks at big league ballparks constructed within the last 100 years. The book contains hundreds of rare photographs, including full-color shots of long-gone classic parks like Crosley Field, Forbes Field, and the Polo Grounds. The 62 entries are grouped into four chapters, "Classic Fields," "Stadiums," "Superstadiums," and "Retro Ballparks," and arranged chronologically by the venues' opening dates. An introductory historical chapter on pre-1909 ballparks details the history of ballpark and stadium design and construction, emphasizing how the growth of baseball's popularity as a spectator sport, coupled with the ever-present danger of fire in early wooden structures, led to the building of the first steel and concrete venues in the early-20th century. The descriptions are understandably brief, but the informative narratives include the story of the building of a park and, when applicable, factors that led to the closing and demolition of a structure. The book is thoroughly indexed. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, general readers. Copyright 2010 American Library Association.