Thursday, July 26, 2007

Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

I grew up in Houston, back in the days when baseball was played in the Astrodome. I knew I would miss those days when I moved away, and I did. I was very sad when they moved from the 'Dome to their new downtown ballpark, and was saddened to think I'd never sit in another game in the Astrodome on my trips home.

I wouldn't stay away from games, though, no matter how begrudgingly I went to the then-named Enron Field the first time. My dad raved about it, but I knew it wouldn't be the same for me.

And it wasn't. It still isn't, when I go. But I have to admit that not being the same still doesn't detract from the charm of the place.

Although Minute Maid Park gets some ribbing from the national media and baseball fans across the country, often being called "The Juice Box" (referring to the ease of hitting a ball into the Crawford Boxes in left field, mostly), it is actually a very nicely made park. The alleys are terribly long, creating opportunity for some exciting plays.

The park is a very postmodern development, which surprised me considering it sits in Houston. It is a real bricolage of a place, with bits and pieces taken from baseball history and the history of its own locale and making of them a new integrated whole. I like that and find it makes for something interesting in the place.

You can read more about it at the official site of the Houston Astros. Tours of the park are available during the offseason. You can find some interesting facts about the park here.

If you are an Astros fan, maybe you'd like to visit this guy.
EDIT: and there's another new blog dedicated to the Houston Astros that you might like too.

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