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American Lines 01:  Foul Ground, Fair Territory by thomaspollman
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American Lines 01: Foul Ground, Fair Territory by 


Illustrated here is a visualization overlaying the perimeters of all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums.


Nearly every major American city has one: just under three acres of manicured lawn, a singular large cleared site amongst the dense grain of tiny urban lots, prime real estate that is neither public park nor post-industrial development opportunity, a volume hollowed out of the city fabric that remains well lit on summer nights. Surrounded by the ebb and flow of capitalism’s creative destruction, this urban void has been preserved for the playing of baseball.

After surviving 19th Century ordinances prohibiting its play in the public square, the game now occupies significant sites in 30 American cities. Though the playing surface is always determined from the resultant summation of fair territory and foul ground, not one of these stadiums bears a playing field of identical dimension. Unlike any other major professional American sport, the game of Major League Baseball is played over a network of spatially inconsistent fields. Overlaid, these diverse spaces aggregate the singular landscape of Major League Baseball.

The singular story of any Major League Baseball Team accrues over time in a variety of political, environmental, and economic contexts by players that face a consistent set of regulations overlaid on a physical landscape that changes from night to night.

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