MIAMI, FL – Major League Baseball in South Florida has been a disaster since day one. The elements certainly played a big part. Miami in the summertime is unbearably hot and there are constant thunderstorms due to the heat and humidity. Even when the Marlins were winning two World Series, they failed to sustain any sort of fan base. In order to survive in Miami, a new stadium with a retractable roof was built. Located on Fidel Castro Way in downtown Miami, this new stadium has some flashy new features that are tacky even for Miami standards. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria decided to spend millions of tax payer dollars for a home run sculpture. If this monstrosity is any indication, then this place is going to go over as well as EuroDisney.
Here is Grote’s look at some of the home run features from other ballparks around the country.
US Cellular Field – The Chicago White Sox rebuilt Comiskey Park about twenty years ago and kept the exploding scoreboard feature that made it’s predecessor so great. Bill Veeck wanted to make a statement after every White Sox homer, and what better way to send a message in Chicago’s south side than lighting off three tons of explosives.
Minute Maid Park – The Houston Astros are greeted by a steam locomotive that runs along the left field wall after every home run. Too bad the Astros bats have gone back in time to the dead ball era when steam engine trains were popular.
Miller Park – By far the best home run celebration of all time was Bernie The Brewer’s slide into a mug of beer at County Stadium. Bernie still slides after every homer but now he ends up in something called The Kalahari Splash Zone. No doubt Bud Selig worked behind the scenes to screw that up. Hopefully, Bud will be found floating face down in Bernie’s old mug of beer one of these days.
CitiField – Who doubts that The Magic Is Back at CitiField? Technically it never left, since the Mets brought over a replica of their Home Run Top Hat from Shea Stadium. An apple emblazoned with the Mets logo rises out of a top hat every time a Met hits a homer. The hat and apple team debuted in May 1980 with the words Mets Magic written on the top hat. The original hat and apple are now sitting outside the entrance to CitiField. These days Abbott & Costello come to mind more often than Hat & Apple at the new Flushing digs.
Citizens Bank Park – The Phillies left the courtrooms and jail cells behind at Veteran’s Stadium. They now have an nice new stadium with a Liberty Bell which lights up and rings after every dinger. Unfortunately, if you root for the opposing team in Philly some moron will look to ring your bell.
Target Field – The Minnesota Twins new ballpark has two steroid looking freaks named Minne & Paul shaking hands after each Twin home run. These guys look like they are pleasuring each other at a Jersey Turnpike men’s room rest stop instead of celebrating a home run.
Stay tuned tomorrow for a man who has tapped a fair share of feet in rest stop men’s rooms, Angry Ward.