In the previous post I mentioned the train track high above left-field at Minute Maid Park in Houston. That park also features a steep hill in center-field.
There are other new ballparks that have odd features to try and make them unique and different.
To me they are trying too hard with some of these parks.
One of the nice things about the old time parks is the quirks they had were natural and many times necessary with the lay of the land. The reason Fenway Park is Fenway Park is because they had to wedge it into a city block. Plus, if you've ever been to Boston, the city blocks there are not always a simple square or rectangle.
The same with Wrigley Field. They had to fit into the environs of the neighborhood.
Look at pictures of the old classic parks that have met the wrecking ball, like Ebbets Field, Forbes Field or League Park. They were looking for a practical way to build a baseball park within the limitations that were presented. They didn't have vast acreage to just plop down a giant facility surrounded by parking lots.
Plus, many of the oddities of the old parks were a result of expanding the stadium. Fenway has had to be creative to wedge more and more seats into the place.
The old parks looked the way they did due to necessity. The new yards just look to throw in kooky stuff which to me doesn't make it unique. It makes it seem desperate, a stadium crying out for attention.
One nice thing about Camden Yards in Baltimore is that the warehouse wasn't built as a feature of the park. It was already there and the park was constructed to blend into the imposing warehouse.
At Coors Field, they have a purple row of seats in the upper deck to signify the one mile above sea level mark. That isn't gimmicky, that was just a good idea.
Another good idea was to have the right-field wall at PNC Park in Pittsburgh stand 21-feet high, to honor Roberto Clemente who wore number 21.
Do you think Minute Maid Park needed a train track above the left-field stands? No, of course not. However, if there was actually a train track there before the park was erected then it would be a neat feature, not a gimmick.
The great new parks, like in San Francisco, fit into and enhance the surrounding area which in turn enhances the ballpark. Or, subtle things, like the purple row at Coors or the 21-foot high wall in Pittsburgh are just neat ideas.
The parks that have to invent things like Comerica Park and the stupid ferris wheel outside the gates or the swimming pool in Arizona leave something to be desired.