Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Let's Hope a Miami Marlin Hits a Home Run Tonight So We Can See Red Grooms' Crazy Sculpture in Action

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Hey, it's major league baseball's opening day! Again. Sort of. (The season officially started in Japan a few days ago, and only two teams are playing tonight. The usual over-extension of a tradition to the point of meaninglessness.) Maybe you don't follow baseball. But you do like giant kinetic sculptures, right?

The newly monikered Miami Marlins (playing the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals tonight) have a shiny new ballpark, complete with fish tanks and, more importantly, a very large, very bright, loud motorized home run celebration whiz-bang. Lots of Serious Baseball People seem to hate it, but I think it's awesome. It was designed by none other than the Nashville-born artist Red Grooms, who told the HuffPo he was partly inspired by childhood trips to Florida, especially the motel signs: "There was a tremendous boom of motels at that time in the '50s, so it was a high period of jazzy signage."

In this case, maybe acid jazz. And hey, you know how lots of teams set off fireworks after a home run now? Well, when Bill Veeck started doing it at the old Comiskey Park — home of the majors' first exploding scoreboard — people thought it was tacky then. And it didn't even have twirling fish.

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