I can only reflect my own time and space (born post-Big Red Machine; Riverfront Stadium), and so I welcome the input of others who have enjoyed different experiences. Oh, it’s lovely to have Skyline and cupholders so that one’s pop isn’t flavored by flecks of peanut shells from five innings of sitting between the Keds, but there’s something lost in the struggle.
-More than one or two random people keeping actual score with an actual pencil
-Giveaways of plastic helmets that wouldn’t protect against a slight breeze
-Leaving the car in absolutely terrifying parking lots that may or may not contain bodies buried beneath the concrete
-One JumboTron. Just one. If you sat underneath it, you simply accepted that you were screwed and got on with life.
-Occasionally, the player’s batting average was shown. Maybe. If there was room on the ribbon board. Otherwise you got the number and his position and that was pretty much it.
-The ghost of the Bengals field outlined on the Astroturf
-Organ in plain view. It was a musical experience you could trust.
-No one sits in the yellow seats unless they’re actual verifiable big shots. Maybe the President of the United States sits there. Or Norma Rashid. But mostly the President of the United States.
-Nothing was branded. The hot dog. The cheeseburger. The ice cream. It was all generic Baseball Food, and you would eat it and you would like it.
-Giant right field. Giant center field. Giant left field.
We never questioned it. This was how stadiums were constructed, and the matter was not even discussed.
-You were sitting in Riverfront Stadium. Could you see the river?
You could not.
-Maybe you would see American League scores during the game. Maybe not. Nobody asked for them. What did we care about what the stupid Red Sox were doing unless it was at least Game One of the World Series?
-Short-lived excitement when a Pittsburgh broadcast showed Riverfront Stadium but oh no wait that’s not Riverfront Stadium.
-Mr. Red was only on the franchise merchandise and in our hearts
-Polyester: On the field. In the press box. In the yellow seats. Synthetics were a way of life.
-Pre-game Baseball Bunch reruns on the tiny TV screens at the aisles
-Taking the Skywalk from far-away-from-the-stadium to… also far-away-from-the-stadium
-There weren’t just Topp’s trading cards… there were Topp’s trading stickers, and they went in exact places in a Topp’s trading scrapbook, and the entire set did not exist anywhere.
-If you wanted to yell at the players, you had to go all the way down to the stadium and do it in person, and they cared exactly as much as if you did it on Twitter.
What did I miss?