I wish I had been old enough to appreciate that day. There I was sitting at Wrigley Field, one of the greatest ballparks in America. I was only seven years old and I enjoyed myself, but I didn’t realize the significance of where I was. Ballparks are the cathedrals of baseball. One of the great ballparks of the 20th century was Yankee stadium, which was recently demolished after seventy-five years. I believe that the city of New York lost something when they took down Yankee Stadium. In the same way that a cathedral was the center of a medieval town, a major league baseball stadium is the center of a great American city today. A ballpark has a mystic appeal to it, and when you sit in the seats of a ballpark talking to an old-timer you can be drawn back into the games of yesteryear. To me, baseball is something that unites me with my father. Some of my fondest memories of my dad and brother come from going to baseball games. The ballparks bring back the games from my dad’s era. Sitting in the seats of a great stadium – Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, or even the youthful Turner Field where my beloved Braves play – is just special. Sitting in a ballpark, it is easy to become enchanted. You form a connection with the other fans, the team, and in a weird way, the games of tomorrow. A ballpark has its own personality, its own little quirks, its own unique flavor. Even in my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, we have a stadium that, in my highly biased opinion, rivals Fenway. Yes, it was only minor league, but that big green ballpark was our baseball cathedral in Chattanooga, and it still had that same “wow” factor when you walked inside. Engel Stadium was the heart of Chattanooga, and my favorite place to go as a child. So yes, I believe that ballparks are the cathedrals of baseball. These great American landmarks unite a city to its history, and a father to his son.
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