By Nick Bosman
Over Winter break, I travelled to Naples, Florida to stay for a few weeks. Actually, I just drove back from there on Sunday. Anyway, it was fun to get out of the cold and relax in warm weather. While I was there I hoped to get a tour of Marlin’s Park seeing how my thesis project is going to be a baseball stadium and I was able to do that. So one day, we travelled from Naples to Miami to meet up with Jeff King, the vice president of facilities at the park. I had called earlier that week to set up more than the usual tour and they connected me to him.
When I got to Miami, it was very surreal to see the park, a beautiful piece of modern architecture surrounded by low income housing. Driving up to it, it looked like a space ship behind a bunch of palm trees. And looking at the surrounding buildings, it seemed that way too. I couldn’t wait to get inside, but we were an hour early so we killed some time until the meet time.
When it was time, I went to the diamond club entrance and asked for Mr. King, and shortly after that he came down and brought me to his office. We started off slow and I found out that he was formerly and architect. He hasn’t kept up with renewing his license so he is no longer. Needless to say, however, he was the perfect person to show me around the ballpark. He has been with the park all through the design until now.
First, we walked around the concourse level and he pointed out certain things of interest. One was the mobile glass walls on the center field side. They are operable for open or enclosed space depending on the weather. Once we went around the full loop of the concourse level, we went onto the field. He showed me up close the famous fish tank back stop. He said it is made with bullet proof glass and then another inch and a half of acrylic to stop baseballs from cracking it.