Sunday, April 03, 2005

Obituary: NL Turf 1965-2004

As the Nats opened up RFK today (unofficially) and a new chapter in baseball, they also closed the book on another part of history-- for the first time since 1964, all NL teams are playing on natural grass. So the artifical turf era is over in the National League. I doubt many tears will be shed for this passing, but I would like to note the occassion. I grew up with the Phils in the Vet in the 70s, so much of my early baseball experience was on the turf: Phils versus the Big Red Machine, Phils versus the Pirates, Phils versus the Expos. In fact, in the late 70s/early 80s, the NL was dominated by turf, and the teams that played on it were good: Reds, Cards, Phils, Pirates, Astros, Expos. My wife, a longtime Reds fan, thinks turf at Riverfront is an integral part of the Big Red Machine -- if you consider Concepcion's candy arm at short bouncing throws to first, maybe she's right. In those days, I would never have thought it was going away.

But it has. So long turf. Can't say I'll miss you, though.


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