Not much time for thoughtful writing today, so I figured why not play a little more headline cleanup?
About five days ago, the Texas Rangers announced that it had reached a deal to sell the naming rights to its home ballpark. The playing field formerly known as The Ballpark in Arlington will now be called the Globe Life Park in Arlington, named after the Globe Life insurance company, who was the highest bidder.
I was ho hum about the news when I first heard it – this type of commercialization is the norm in baseball, and with the free agency money they’ve been spending of late who can blame the Rangers for wanting to open up a new source of revenue stream?
It also gave me the chance to hone my stadium name trivia skills. For instance, did you know that Fenway Park is actually named after a realty company? John I. Taylor, the owner of the club at the time the ballpark was built, claimed to have named it after the Fenway neighborhood of Boston where it was located, but his family just so happened to also own the Fenway Realty Company. Coincidence? I think not.
It’s also easy to forget that iconic Wrigley Field is named for the equally iconic chewing gum company.
In fact, of the 30 franchises, only seven play in home parks that are completely innocent of commercially-related pasts. Those ballparks are Angels Stadium (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers), Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees), Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals), Marlins Park (Miami Marlins; and it’s only a matter of time before owner Jeff Loria sells the naming rights, trust me on that), Nationals Park (Washington Nationals), and Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles). I am not counting Turner Field (Atlanta Braves), which could either be named after Ted Turner or the company that owned the team, also named after Ted Turner. Modest fellow, eh?
Trust me, by the time the season starts, Globe Life Park in Arlington will seem to roll off the tongue. I always thought The Ballpark in Arlington was kind of a clunky name anyway, so no real harm done.