Nearly two decades ago, for awhile I managed a group blog for local Red Sox fans that shared the title of this post. It was so-named because if not for Asa Lovejoy losing a coin toss (or series of them, depending on your source) to Francis Pettygrove in 1845, we’d be living in Boston, Oregon.
Earlier this year thanks to Reddit, I got more or less caught up on the current effort to bring Major League Baseball to Portland. You can see older renderings on the project site and newer ones in the John Canzano newsletter.
I’ve said before that I basically had two requirements for MLB here: it needs to be an outdoor ballpark, and it needs be a National League team—because I already have an American League team, being a born and raised Red Sox fan, and because I think this market should have one of each rather than two American League teams.
On this particular effort, I unquestionably back the Lloyd District location, since if instead it ends up out between Tigard and Beaverton, I will never see a game because being autistic I can’t see myself making such a long haul.
(I should mention in passing that a north-south alignment for the ballpark is nonsensical, and we should stick with the tendency to face more or less to the northeast.)
Today I realized I have a third requirement, or really pitch (no pun). In honor of that lost coin toss, I would like the ballpark to have, in straight-away center, a narrow wall 37’ 2" high as a hitter’s backdrop. We’d call it the Li’l Monster. To make wall-balls interesting, the wall should not be completely perpendicular to the ballpark’s center line but instead slightly canted one way or the other.
All the renderings for this ballpark show a perfectly symmetrical shape. In other words, a completely boring one. Ballparks should have character by way of nooks, crannies, or walls that can make gameplay interesting.
Besides, imagine when the Red Sox come to town for interleague play, and we get to see if they can handle the Li’l Monster the way they handle the big Green one back home.
As someone who thinks narratively, this idea seems like a win to me. It provides an interesting hook, and sets up a tongue-in-cheek rivalry with the city whose name we almost took for our own.