Truth in Advertising: If you build it, they will come (to MLB stadiums)
CEDARVILLE, OHIO, UNITED STATES, July 11, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — One of the most popular sports movies of all time is “Field of Dreams,” where one man’s passion for baseball was transformed into a baseball field for legends of his day.
For Mark D. Weinstein, Cedarville University’s executive director of public relations, this voice rings true. He’s been attending major league baseball games for all of his life, and when Weinstein sits through an official game in Toronto later in July, he will have seen all 30 major league teams play a game in their home ballparks.
During his quest to see a major league game in every city, Weinstein has been part of some baseball milestones. While living in Pittsburgh, he attended one of the Detroit Tigers’ final games in historic Tiger Stadium (“The Corner”). During the last series ever at “The Corner,” Weinstein and friends saw the Tigers lose 7-3 to Kansas City. Two years later — August 9, 2001 — he joined colleagues from Robert Morris University at the first game played in Pittsburgh’s PNC Park — an 8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
“It was a special day in Pittsburgh, with a great amount of pageantry,” said Weinstein. “I still have the ticket from that historic game.” Weinstein recalls Sean Casey of the Reds hitting the first home run in the stadium and the Pirates losing. “Still, it was a memorable day.”
The first opportunity to see a major league game, as best as he recalls, was in the 1960s, on the north side of Chicago. One of his favorite childhood memories was attending a Cubs game — just a two-hour drive from his southern Michigan home — on “camera day.” This special event allowed fans on the Wrigley Field outfield to take photos of Cubs players. Taking pictures of players like Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ron Santo was memorable for him.
Allowing fans on stadium fields today is rare. The financial risk to organizations is too high to allow fans on the playing field.
He has been able to achieve his goal of seeing a game in all major league stadiums using personal vacations as well as professional opportunities. As a sports journalist, it was easy to see games; later as a public relations director in higher education, he benefited from summer conferences in major league cities.
As a journalist in northern Indiana, Weinstein secured media credentials for games at both of Chicago’s professional stadiums. Two memories remain vividly etched in his memory. At old Comiskey Park, while waiting for a pitcher from the Detroit Tigers to join him for a pre-game interview in the Tigers’ dugout, an overthrow by a White Sox infielder squarely hit Weinstein in his stomach. The seam marks from the baseball remained for weeks.
Then there was the potential trip in 1984 to Wrigley Field for the Cubs’ first World Series in decades. Knowing its likely opponent in the Series would be the Detroit Tigers — his childhood favorite team — Weinstein secured media credentials for each of the Cubs’ potential home World Series games.
The Padres stunned Chicago fans by winning the series in seven games. Wrigley Field would have to wait another 32 years (2016) for the Cubs to play (and win) a World Series game and championship. It took Weinstein 22 more years (2006) before he attended his first World Series game — in St. Louis — where the Cardinals defeated the Tigers in five games.
In the late 1980s, Weinstein moved into higher education public relations. This career has taken him to positions at universities in two major league cities, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. And, it afforded him opportunities to see more baseball stadiums while attending national conferences.
He also stayed an extra day following a job interview in St. Louis to see a game in the old Busch Stadium.
The extra day proved to be beneficial. Not only was Weinstein able to cross off another stadium, but he was offered the public relations and marketing position at Maryville University. After accepting the position, he traveled to Milwaukee (with his brother) to see the Brewers — and cross off another stadium.
When visiting baseball stadiums, Weinstein doesn’t just take in a game, he evaluates each facility based on factors that he believes are important to fans, including views of the field, playing surface, cleanliness, the width of concourses, game atmosphere, food and the overall view.
“It’s hard to beat sitting in Busch Stadium, looking at the Gateway Arch and the old courthouse, or in Fenway Park, Wrigley Field or even in old Tiger Stadium in Detroit, and not get caught up in the history of baseball,” said Weinstein. “They’re all fabulous places to watch a baseball game, but even with all of their history and spectacular views, there are even better stadiums in major league baseball.”
“The best two stadiums, from my perspective, are in Baltimore and Pittsburgh,” said Weinstein. “The clear leader, though, is PNC Park in Pittsburgh because it gives the fans a great view of the game, a spectacular glimpse of the city’s skyline and traditions of Pittsburgh and it is very fan-friendly.”
The seats face slightly toward the center of the playing field, allowing spectators to be more comfortable when watching the game. Weinstein also believes the cleanliness and spaciousness of the concourses make it easy to walk throughout the stadium and get food from concessions — even on a date when the stadium is at capacity.
The clinching element, however, is the view of downtown Pittsburgh. Regardless of where fans sit, they can see the Clemente Bridge, the Gateway Clipper trolling up and down the Monongahela River and the historic buildings in Pittsburgh. It is most spectacular during evening games when the bridge and buildings are illuminated.
With his enjoyment of baseball, Weinstein has experienced many memorable days at the ballpark.
And following the game in Toronto in July, Weinstein will be able to say that he’s seen every major league team play in its home ballpark.
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Source: EIN Presswire