Few American structures have been invested with as much mystical juju as the baseball stadium. It is a kind of civic talisman, if for no other reason than it makes grown men think about their daddies. A good one is said to be timeless, but even the best -- Wrigley Field, say, or Fenway Park -- are very much of their time. Indeed, you could construct a sort of history of the 20th-century American city merely by looking at 100 years of ballparks (no one calls them stadiums anymore). They've been, over the years, a fenced-in meadow, a glorified piece of kindling, a lyric little bandbox wedged into a downtown lot, a doughnut along a freeway at the edge of town, a spaceship, and, most recently, a lyric little bandbox wedged next to a Barnes & Noble. A ballpark, in other words, is never just a ballpark. It is a psychic projection of its era -- a... More >>>