FEATURES OF THE BALLPARKS DATABASE
Besides the basic field dimensions and batting event factors, there are some other features of the ballparks database that Iâ€™d like to highlight:
Starting with the index page, youâ€™ll see that the default order is number of games played in the stadium.Â Â Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are at the top. Â Â This can be an interesting list.Â Â You can see that only three parks have hosted over 7,000 major league games (Fenway and Wrigley obviously â€“ Iâ€™ll let you discover the third one yourself).Â Â You might also notice that Kauffman Stadium just passed the 3,000 game mark in 2010. Â However, this list can be sorted by any of the listed columns, such as Location, First Game, Last Game, Seasons, Altitude, etc. with the sort order reversed by simply clicking a second time.
For example, if you sort on Seasons you can discover:
This is the 100th season for baseball at Fenway Park.Â Itâ€™s also the 50th season for baseball at Dodger Stadium.
If you sort on First Game you might notice that only two new parks were introduced between 1915 and 1953.Â Â Sort on Altitude, and you notice how much higher the two Denver parks are than any other parks.Â Â Phoenix and Atlanta being near the top may not be surprising, but did you know about Kansas City being â€˜high altitudeâ€™?Â Reverse sort on Altitude and see coastal parks like Sun Life Stadium, AT&T Park, PetCo, Safeco, plus various New York and Boston parks on the low end of altitude.
One other KOOL feature of the index page is the current and historic overhead photos of the park locations.Â Â Be warned though that this can be a sad experience – check out Griffith Stadium and go from the 1963 to the 1964 photo and you can actually see within just one year the disrepair that was happening to the old field.
Navigate away from the index page and to the YEARS page to see summarized data on parks by season.Â Â Here you can discover information such as:
Artificial turf parks started with one park (5% of parks) in 1965, rose to 39% of all parks in 1977, and was still in 28% of all parks in 1999.Â With Target Field replacing the Metrodome only two parks are left that have artificial turf (7%), the lowest percentage of turf fields since 1968.
Straightaway Centerfield dimensions have held steady at an average of 404-405 feet since 1982, but go back a few years and the average was 410 feet in 1970, 421 feet in 1963, 428 feet in 1942, and a whopping 446 feet on average in 1923.
So please try out some of these features on your own, discover some interesting information about parks, and let us know how you like the database.