My 500th BlogSince this is my 500th blog on Humzoo, I thought I would take a look back. In my initial blog, I stated that my little chunk of Humzoo would be dedicated to the game of baseball. Five hundred blogs later, as well as, numerous photos and blurbs, that mission has remained intact. There have been a few exceptions along the way, but it's still the primary focus. It's so easy to get involved in deep political, religious or work-related banter, but those occur so often during day-to-day interactions with people in real life. What better way to provide relief from all the realities of day-to-day issues than focus on a game that I, and some other people out there, have loved since the beginning.
As I became older, I started looking back at the game that I loved. I started watching the game at an interesting time. Several players from the 1960s were still hanging around. Pitchers like Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver, all part of the 1969 Amazin' Mets, were still integral parts of the league. My Mom's favorite player, Carl Yastrzemski, was still playing for the Boston Red Sox. Old ballparks were still in use. Games were played in places like Tiger Stadium (Detroit), Yankee Stadium (New York), Metropolitan Stadium (Minneapolis), Memorial Stadium (Baltimore), and Comiskey Park (Chicago).
Yes, the game has changed in many respects since my early days. Some of these changes happened slowly and weren't necessarily noticed right away. New teams entered the National and American Leagues. During the 1990s alone, the Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondacks and Tampa Bay Rays became franchises. Sadly, the Marlins won two World Series titles, the Diambondacks won one, the Rockies won a National League pennant, and the Rays won an American League pennant. My fellow Cubs fans continue to wait. The Montreal Expos left Canada and became the Washington Nationals. Major League Baseball even considered "contracting the league" and dissolving the Minnesota Twins.
By no means do I consider myself a baseball purist, but when I reached college, old ballparks made way for newer "retro" parks. I knew then that I wanted to do what I could to document the game's history from my perspective. I wanted to get to as many parks as I could before the wrecking ball claimed them and they were replaced. As of today, we only have two classic old parks left standing: Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. I did get the opportunity to experience Yankee Stadium before it made way for new Yankee Stadium, and I even made stops at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh and to the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
Tonight, I am about to make my return to Fenway Park. My last visit there was just a few months shy of 10 years ago in 2000. Back then, there was talk of a plan to demolish the park and build a more contemporary replica nearby. All along, they made claims that due to limited seating, the Red Sox couldn't win there. I guess World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 proved that theory wrong. Ultimately, they opted to renovate and do what they could to keep Fenway Park a viable stadium heading into the 21st Century. I'll be intested to see how closely the new Cubs owners look at the Boston plan for Fenway Park. Fenway Park will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012, and Wrigley Field will do the same in 2014.
I hope visitors have enjoyed my baseball photos and stories. I've enjoyed sharing them.