College : : Story
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

College traditions: Ode to Rosenblatt

Kendall Rogers        


ALSO CHECK OUT: 2014 College World Series coverage

OMAHA, Neb. -- Even four years after it was closed for good, the demolition of the iconic home to the College World Series for years, Rosenblatt Stadium, remains a hot topic in the City of Omaha.

There's no denying plenty of people in this city enjoy the newer, sparkling, TD Ameritrade Park. Creighton University, for instance, would still be stuck playing at a lackluster on-campus facility if not for TD Ameritrade Park, so add the Bluejays to the list of folks who love the newer downtown ballpark.

But for many in Omaha, Rosenblatt Stadium and its now memories signify what this city and state are all about. The words pageantry and tradition come to mind when talking about Rosenblatt. For the new ballpark? We might someday see something historical or traditional, but for now, there's not much around the ballpark unless you're a fan of makeshift beer gardens or corporate tents.

That perhaps may change someday. Or, it may not.

That remains to be seen, but for the first time since Rosenblatt's closure in 2010, I made a point this week to head by the stadium where my now flourishing career first started, and a place that includes so many great memories.

It was disheartening to say the least. The houses up and down 13th street were dilapidated for the most part, that area serving as a bustling area and a frenzied home during the College World Series, which called Rosenblatt Stadium home from 1948 to 2010.

Then, there was the iconic location of Zesto's, famous for its burgers and shakes -- now closed. To make matters worse, the "tribute" to Johnny Rosenblatt and Rosenblatt Stadium was rather underwhelming. Yes, the iconic rainbow seats were on display in a replica stadium, and it's cool there's a home plate marking where home plate at Rosenblatt sat. In addition, the foul poles from the last CWS at Rosenblatt are still standing. Those are all really cool things.

But it just doesn't seem like enough.

In the end, talking about the end of the Rosenblatt Stadium era seems like a broken record, but it's always important to reflect on those hallowed grounds this time of year.

Rosenblatt Stadium had its downfalls. For instance, the concourse was entirely too small, and there's that famous press elevator, and perhaps infamous is the right word for it. But for all of its downfalls, we all still wish we had some certain elements.

The iconic rainbow seats, the famous Henry Doorly Zoo desert dome in right field, the outstanding tailgating outside the stadium, and the best thing to me? The drive up 10th street to Rosenblatt each day for games, seeing the historical home to college baseball perched on top of a hill, overlooking Omaha as if it was better and bigger than anything else.

College baseball will continue to grow, but we must not ever forget where the craze for the sport essentially began.

It may change someday, but TD Ameritrade Park simply can't compare when you factor everything together.

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