30 baseball books for April ’15, Day 5: The 101 places you’ll visit again … with new discoveries

Pull up a chair at the Simpson's statues at the Albuquerque Isotopes' home field. (www.bloggerstobenamedlater.com)

Pull up a chair at the Simpson’s statues at the Albuquerque Isotopes’ home field. (www.bloggerstobenamedlater.com)

The book: “101 Baseball Places To See Before You Strike Out: Second Edition”
The author: Josh Pahigian
The vital statistics: Lyons Press
Find it: On amazon.com, on barnesandnoble.com, on powells.com

61sUah7yAnLThe pitch: You’ve had seven years since the first edition came out to hit all 101 places that Pahigan pitched the first time. Or, at least read about them and pretend.
Some stops were obvious. Many were so obscure, you just had to imagine when the heck you might ever get there.
And now, there’s more.
With 25 more places here that weren’t in the first edition, it means 25 places that were once vital visits aren’t any longer.
Some of that is because the places aren’t around any longer – Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant and Sports Bar in New York, and Joe DiMaggio’s Italian Chophouse in San Francisco and the ESPN Zone/Babe Ruth Photomosaic in New York’s Times Square have disappeared. Same with Lenny Dykstra’s Car Wash in Simi Valley.
Hey, stuff happens. They’re all washed up.
Pink’s Hot Dog stand on La Brea and Melrose made it at No. 72 in book one. Why it was left out of book two? Maybe because it just got out-wienered.
And don’t assume just because the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown remains the No. 1 destination spot in both books that the chapter from the first edition was just re-purposed in the second edition. The number of artifacts in the Hall has increased from 35,000 to nearly 40,000.
As far as rankings go, the Negro League Baseball Museum has swapped places with the “Field of Dreams” movie site – from Nos. 2 and 3.
The L.A. Coliseum has moved up from No. 80 to No. 56. San Diego’s Carroll B. Land Stadium has made a tremendous leap from No. 69 to No. 25.
As for the newness of this one, there’s “The Simpson’s” statues at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They came from Nick Metropolis Collectable Furniture antique store on La Brea. If only the Dodgers kept the team as their Triple-A franchise (they’re now affiliated with the Rockies).
10173725_771337199554501_1691256560943737961_nThe Bob Uecker Seats at Miller Park in Milwaukee also bulled their way in, along with the Backporch Seats at Banner Island Park in Stockton and the “Black Sox” trial court house in Chicago.
The site of the Midnight Sun Game in Fairbanks, Alaska makes its debut,too.
And for those really adventurous, check out the “Beyond the Vines Columbarium,” now in the No. 9 slot, located in Section V of the Bohemian National Cemetery on the north side of Chicago. The 24-foot-long replica of Wrigley Field’s famous ivy-covered center-field wall that has 288 niches to house the created remains of Cubs fans would make anyone envious.
We bow our heads in its honor. Maybe with ESPN covering today’s Opening Day from Wrigley Field, they’ll venture out for some video.
A Wrigley replica has been part of the Big League Dreams field in Cathedral City,  and it’s one place we continually frustrate ourselves by missing – just to see the replicas of that, plus Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.
By putting it in this second edition, we have new incentive to visit. Or, at least hit one of their 11 affiliates in West Covina (Fenway, Wrigley and Yankee Stadium, plus Angel Stadium and Tiger Stadium), Chino Hills, Redlands, Perris, Riverside and Las Vegas.
The Odekirk brother have proven that if you keep building them, they will come.
Now, after making this list, more will do so.

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