Tusa: The secret lives of two disappeared ballparks

From SABR member Alfonso Tusa at The Hardball Times on September 10, 2019:

I still remember my first time at a ballpark. It was late October, 1971. My beloved Navegantes del Magallanes visited the Tiburones de La Guaira at the stadium of the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas. My dad couldn’t come, so Uncle Rubén took me.

I marveled at the light towers from the highway. We went into the stadium through the third base entrance. The first 10 or 12 rows from the dugout up to the stands were filled with benches. There we took a seat. I was paralyzed. There it was — all that green grass, the light blue outfield bleachers and, the monster scoreboard. The game stayed scoreless for a long time. The church silence of the bottom of the eighth inning was broken only when a dog ran out into right field. Any time I have gone back to that ballpark, I remember the crowd shouting during the ninth inning, the sound rebounding from the mountain beyond the stadium. I remember crying because Uncle Rubén decided to leave before the game was over.

That archaeology — that sentimental chemistry — felt by any baseball fan about the places they met the game for the first time, remains intact. You can always go back to it, even if the place where you found it is gone.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/the-secret-tales-of-two-disappeared-ballparks/

Originally published: September 11, 2019. Last Updated: September 11, 2019.