Opening Day: The Geography of America’s Pastime
It’s Opening Day at ballparks around the country, and the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) offers baseball fans a glimpse at some baseball-related maps.
The GRMC includes a travel map locating all of the Major League Baseball stadiums. North America Baseball Travel Map also includes contact information for every major league, minor league, and independent professional baseball team in the United States and Canada.
The GRMC also includes historic and current U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps that show details about the location and surroundings of stadiums and how the sites have developed over time. Dodger Stadium located on the 1966 Los Angeles topographic quadrangle map is shown above (click to enlarge) just after it was completed in 1962.
Sanborn Fire Insurance maps are available for some cities, providing details about the stadium structures. The map of Fenway Park (above) is from a collection of 1975 Boston Sanborn maps available in the GRMC.
The GRMC has also created custom maps related to the history of baseball. Black Diamonds: Negro League Baseball Teams, 1920-1949, (shown above) marks the locations of the Negro League teams in the U.S. Photographs featured on the map are from the book Playing America’s Game by Michael L. Cooper. A copy of the map is available from the Cardinal Scholar digital media repository.
Another map, The Girls of Summer: All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Teams, 1943-1954, (above) commemorates the women who played professionally beginning during World War II. The map was created for Women’s History Month and is based on the book A Whole New Ballgame: The Story of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Sue Macy available from the Educational Technology and Resources Collection in the lower level of Bracken Library. This map is also available in Cardinal Scholar, and all of the maps from the GRMC can be borrowed via interlibrary loan.
The Atlas of Sport available in the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library features maps on the “American game,” including the map shown above (click to enlarge) depicting the number of high-school boys playing baseball in school leagues, with Iowa (the site of Field of Dreams) leading the nation.
For more information about these cartographic resources, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.