30 baseball books in 30 days of ’10: Day 12 — Uh one, uh two … take me out to the pop-ups …

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The book: “Wrigley Field: A Ballpark Pop-Up Book”

The author: David Hawcock, paper engineer

The vital stats: Universe publishing, 16 pages, $25

Find it: It’s at Amazon.com (linked here)

The pitch: Today, at 11 a.m., on WGN, the Chicago Cubs play their home opener at Wrigley Field against the Milwaukee Brewers.

If you can’t be there, open up this thing and pretend.

Pretend hard.

It’ll arrive in a package that looks as if you ordered a set of TV trays (ask your parents what those are). The dimensions call for it — 16 inches tall, almost a foot wide, and an inch thick. All for 16 pages. Actually 17. Because the last “page” is really the base for the pop-up version of the park.

From pages 1-16, just for your knowledge: An intro, Wrigley history, significant games and milestones, non-baseball moments at Wrigley (including the outdoor NHL game in ’09), stadium stats, a Cubs chronology and then ….

Open slowly.

On the corner of Addison and Clark, with Sheffield and Waveland circling the backside, you get a full paper version of the park unfolding and rising from the pages before your eyes. …

Now, what’s missing.

Fans, for one. Kinda wish there were fake people in the seats to make it look like the party that it truely is to be there.

Also, no ivy walls. There’s no outfield walls at all, for that matter. How do you not account for that?

Also, no buildings beyond the stadium … No apartments with seats on the roof?

Is this getting too nitpicky? Or do we just automatically think of those things automatically when we imagine Wrigley Field?

Maybe it’s because, well, that’s what the cover of the book shows. That’s the essence of Wrigley.

Maybe it goes back to the guy who built this.

David Hawcock (linked here) is from England. He’s done dinosaur pop-ups, White House pop-ups, even nifty calendars of ancient Egypt, horses and sea life.

Having recently reviewed “Wow! The Sports Illustrated For Kids Pop Up Book of Sports” (linked here) we became enamored with what Bruce Foster was able to recreate on so many levels. In fact his reproduction of Fenway Park is one of the highlights.

Hawcock has also done a Fenway Pop Up Book for MLB as part of this series (as well as, for whatever reason, Citi Park in New York). It’s just not capturing the same energy, emotion or iconic nature of the facility. Again, empty. Not the way we’d like to see it, really.

How it goes down in the scorebook: A nice try, and a marvelous result of what can be done with heavy-duty paper and a lot of imagination. It’s something anyone who’s a fan of the park will probably want want. But in some ways, it seems to be too kid-orientated — especially with all the lead-in pages — when it could really be much more.

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Also:
== The Fenway Park Pop Up Book by Hawcock (linked here)

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