The Cleveland Plain Dealer informs us today that Jacobs Field will now, for a tidy sum as yet unspecified, be called Progressive Field, after the insurance company of the same name. Apparently the insurance folks figured the incessant television commercials just weren't enough.
What do these folks think? That anyone is more likely to buy whatever they're peddling because the ballpark sold off the naming rights? I suppose that's the idea, and it does make a dandy tax deduction that you, my dissatisfied fellow citizens, get to pay for.
Nobody will remember what happened at Enron Field, whether it is Enron Field or something else. Hell, they probably will never remember if it ever WAS Enron Field.
Here in Des Moines, Sec Taylor Stadium, named for a long serving sports writer, and Veterans' Stadium, became Principal Park and Wells Fargo Arena, for heaven's sake.
But the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field and the like....that's magic. Nobody shed tears when they ripped the Enron poiut off the front of whatever the place is these days....but my Mom was inconsolable when the Bums headed for Los Angeles. She's still kind of sore about it. I can still remember the tune Let's Keep The Dodgers In Brooklyn coming out of radios all over Jersey in 1957.
Nobody will shed tears when some nameless team deserts Megalomaniac.com Stadium for warmer climes, or make up songs about it.
Places like Ebbets and the Polo Grounds, although long gone, will live on in people's hearts as long as there are hotdogs and beer and a good afternoon game in high summer, long after the whores who sell naming rights and the johns who buy them, and the pimps who facilitate the entire process have all breathed their last and been dumped in Potter's Field-which is the only field they deserve.
Unwept, unhonored and unsung, as Sir Walter Scott put it.
Picture credits, a couple keepers of the flame:
Polo Grounds: Richard Lillard
Ebbets Field: Edward E. Steele. Buy his book.