It’s over, folks. Rosenblatt Stadium is no longer here.

Dead outfield at Rosenblatt
Rosenblatt Stadium’s dead outfield, June 2012 Photo by Lee Warren

Nearly two years have passed since the last baseball game at Rosenblatt Stadium. Yet when I browse the web in search of references about Rosenblatt I’m frequently surprised to see how many people still refer to Rosenblatt in the present tense.

Romancing The Blatt: Memoir of a Love Affair with Omaha’s Field of Dreams

This morning on Twitter I saw a few references to people having a trip to Rosenblatt on their bucket list. One gent was passing through Omaha on a road trip and stopped to share a picture he had just taken from the north side of the stadium. His caption was something to the effect of “the College World Series started here yesterday.”

Hello, buddy! Is there any evidence around you that indicates the greatest show on dirt is taking place at Rosenblatt this week? I can imagine the shock and horror he fealt if the lad continued around to the south side of the stadium to snap another instagram.

It’s over, folks. Rosenblatt Stadium is gone.

I don’t fault these innocent people who missed the news. It just means they took a year or two off from following the college world series. That happens. I’ve been guilty of the same in the past. I don’t get angry anymore (at the City of Omaha), I just get sad.

One evening last week the Omaha Storm Chasers, Triple-A minor league team of the KC Royals, hosted a gathering at Rosenblatt for their players and staff, plus a few members of the media. Rosenblatt was their home field until 2011. As I understand it, the purpose was to give folks one last opportunity to say goodbye to the Blatt before the demolition equipment comes in July to start bringing her down. The stories and pictures that came out broke my heart, again.

The Omaha Zoo Foundation, which has assumed ownership of the stadium and the ground it’s on has opened the stadium up to the general public for people to come in and throw the ball around, share memories and hang out in the dugout. The Omaha press billed it as one last opportunity to say goodbye. Apparently the foundation is trying to sell bricks for $250 each to help raise money for the demolition and removal of debris.

Mitch Sherman wrote a piece for that was about as subjective as it gets in today’s media. It was raw, direct, accusatory. And right on the mark.

“Enough. Why are they doing this, to sell bricks? Because it’s sure not conjuring any great memories.” ~ Mitch Sherman

Lee Warren, who I met at Rosenblatt in her final year of glory (2010), published an article of similar tone on Yahoo! Sports and shared a number of photos of the tour. Both described the experience as a wake for deceased family. The Associated Press even shared a piece about it.

At his retirement ceremony Jesse Cuevas, Rosenblatt’s legendary groundskeeper for the stadium’s last three decades, said it best: 

“The soul of the place is gone. It’s just a carcass now.”  ~ Jesse Cuevas

I was unable to make it to Omaha for the 2012 College World Series due to a recent move to Phoenix but I have to say I’m glad I missed out on the Rosenblatt wake. I hate funerals. I’m missing not being in Omaha for the CWS. But even more I miss all the good times and great vibes at Rosenblatt.

Related: What happened to Rosenblatt Stadium?

1 Comment

  1. I was in town this last weekend to visit family and attend the CWS like always.Our group felt the same way. It was like not going to a funeral becasue we wanted to rememebr the person the way they were in our memory not like they look in the casket. Rosenblatt has so many great memories for me that I could not go down there and see it this way. The last time I was there was for the final weekend and championship series in 2010. It was awesome! I had a lot of emotions when I left that place for the final time. Memories of many fathers day’s spent with my Dad watching a ball game, family tailgates, and great times spent with fans of college babseball. The CWS will never be the same to me, but I can say from being down by the new stadium last weekend that the CWS is growing by leaps and bounds and is still a great event for the city of Omaha. The next time I drive over the bridge into Omaha and look up on the hill and Rosenblatt is no longer there will be a sad day…R.I.P. Rosenblatt!

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