A chance encounter with a camera and a baseball game triggered a lifelong passion for Ira Rosen. His photographs of the game and its players earned him both fame and a livelihood. In this current book, Rosen turns his attention to minor league ballparks, those unseen (or seldom seen) gems that crop up all over the country, where denizens of the venerable game ply their troth at the professional game’s lower levels.
Rosen divides his book into parts, one for each level of minor leagues. The game’s players who had played in that ballpark annotate photographs of ballparks. McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island is the home of the Red Sox’s Triple-A team. This venerable park, photographed brilliantly in twilight, is the site of the longest game in professional baseball history. Cal Ripken, Wade Boggs, and Marty Barrett, played in a game that went 32 innings. It began on April 18, 1981 and had to be resumed and completed on June 23rd of that year.
Movie buffs will recall Durham Athletic Park, the “Dap”, which was the then-home of the Durham Bulls. Rosen’s photograph of the park, a panoramic view from behind the first base line, reveals both its small town charm as well as the intimacy of the game at the Single-A level, where future stars such as Chipper Jones and David Justice seem within touching distance of the spectators.
This is a book for those who love baseball and its pageantry. Rosen takes the reader through an absorbing tour of the game as it is played in small towns all across the country. The quality of the photographs, the charm of the subjects, and the short but often poignant quotes from ballplayers that are interspersed throughout the book make this a must-read book as well as a great gift for the lover of the game.