Baseball Executive Talks about Building Ballparks


Keith Allison photo/Construction on the B&O Warehouse outside Oriole Park began in 1899. The warehouse is an integral part of the design scheme of Camden Yards and helps make the park one of the most picturesque in the major leagues.

By Glen Sparks

Janet Marie Smith will take you out to the ballpark in this informal speech she gave last spring at the 26th annual Symposium on Baseball and American Culture in Cooperstown, N.Y. Smith, the senior vice president of planning and development for the Dodgers, worked on stadium projects in Baltimore and Boston before coming to Los Angeles.  She offers a brief history of ballpark design and talks about some of the updates at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the on-going renovations at Dodger Stadium.

You’ll also find out the answers to these all-important questions:

  • How far away did the scoreboard stand from home plate at Ebbets Field?
  • Who said this to Dodger owner Walter O’Malley: “The City of New York does not find it in the public interest to help you assemble a site for a private endeavor”?
  • What city in the 1970s bucked the multi-purpose trend of having baseball and football teams play in the same stadium?
  • How many Mayflower moving vans packed up and left Baltimore for Indianapolis under the cover of night in 1984?
  • How many feet long is the brick B&O Warehouse outside Oriole Park?
  • Which former big-league first baseman owns a barbeque stand on Eutaw Street near Oriole Park?
  • Since Oriole Park debuted in 1992, how many “parks” have opened, how many “fields” and how many “stadiums”?
  • Where did Dodger Stadium rank in 2013 among most Instagramed sites in the world?

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