Jarry Park, Joe Robbie Stadium, the Ted

I can’t find another big league ballpark with a shorter life than those three. I’m not counting Mile High Stadium or the LA Coliseum, which were always intended as temporary   homes for major league baseball. There have probably been others, but I’m not sure there’s been a park that was a baseball-only stadium that lasted just two decades as an MLB home.

It’s petty stupefying when you consider the mountains of services and things our public sector lacks (decent pay and proper training so that cops don’t shoot people who are lying on the ground, for one thing). Yet we in metro Atlanta scare up half a billion bucks for Liberty Media and Arthur Blank. Shameful, really. But what’s done is done.

So the Ted’s career will last but 20 years. Many memorable Braves had more longevity: Henry Louis Aaron, Phil Niekro, Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux, Julio Franco, to name a few. If A. J. plays next season, he’ll match the career of the stadium on Hank Aaron Drive. Chipper had 19 seasons in the bigs. Had he not gotten hurt in the spring of ’94, he would’ve had a 20-year big league career.

Speaking of Hank Aaron Drive, will they rename the street in Cobb after Tim Lee, or John Malone, or Greg Maffei, or Mike Plant, or some other stooge? It’d be appropriate to call it Soulless Alley or Corporate Way.

As for the product on he field, the home nine closed out the unofficial first half in good fashion, winning 3 of 4 in Chitown. We’ll be along soon with our midway season report. As for today, it was especially encouraging to see Folty dominate. Striking out the side in his last inning, and firing his last pitch at 98 — impressive. I think he had just one three-ball count. One key seemed to be throwing his curve and change up for strikes, so hitters couldn’t essentially just sit on his fastball. Big league hitters can hit a 100 mph fastball if they’re looking for it and it’s not well located.

 

Advertisements

5 comments

  1. Not to nitpick, but I think the first Expos stadium was spelled “Jarry”. The rise and fall of the Montreal Expos would make for great reading when told from Rowland’s viewpoint. Skip Caray’s comments, barbs, and insults regarding the saga of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium were also very enjoyable. All of us out here in Braves’ land still miss Skip’s trademark: “This would have never happened if Commissioner Selig were still alive!”

  2. I think Jarry would fall under the same rubric as Coors and the other temp places. Montreal hadn’t gotten the Olympic bid when the Expos debuted but there was already (apparently, according to my cursory reading about the subject) an understanding that an enclosed stadium of some sort would be necessary for that climate. Anyone who remembers the playoff game in ’81 would agree with that.

    In any case, in spite of Sutton’s odd fondness for it, Jarry was a minor league dump (and OS was a wretched boondoggle.)

  3. That sounds right, pepe. They were only in Jarry for seven or eight years. I recall watching the Braves play there on TV. The pool beyond the right field fence was fascinating to me as a kid. It looked like they were playing major league baseball in some municipal park, which I guess they were.

  4. Technically, the ballyard in Montreal was Jarry Park Stadium, as it originally was a baseball field in Jarry Park. But the facility was always intended as a temporary MLB facility, so I’m not sure it counts. (By the way, the stadium has been repurposed, refurbished, and renamed, and now, as Stade Uniprix, hosts the Canadian Masters tennis tournament.) And, I suppose the same could be said for Joe Robbie Stadium. The Marlins’ owners, whether it was Wayne Huizenga or Jeff Loria, never intended to play at Joe Robbie any longer than it was necessary to extract a sweetheart stadium deal out of South Florida taxpayers. And Colt Stadium, the home of the Houston baseball team before the Astrodome was built, was similarly short-lived. Relief pitcher Jim Ubricht, who died of cancer after the 1963 season, had his ashes spread over the pitching mound of Colt Stadium. A year or so later, his final resting place was paved over as part of the Astrodome parking lot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s