As their contribution to the long-running contest to make new baseball stadiums as stupid and gimmicky as possible, the Florida Marlins announced that they will build a pair of huge saltwater aquariums into the backstop of their future ballpark. One of the fish tanks is going to be 24 feet long, and the other is going to be 36 feet. In the blank space between the two aquariums, a man will stand with a wooden club and will try to hit a baseball, if anyone is looking.
The aquariums will be made of inch-and-a-half-thick acrylic, supplemented by bulletproof Lexan, to protect the fish from the natural consequences of being hit by a baseball as they swim inside a wall that exists to be hit by baseballs.
Unless the plans are revised so that it becomes possible for a player to fall into a fish tank during game action, the Marlins’ aquarium feature will not be the stupidest ballpark gimmick in Major League Baseball. That distinction remains with the Houston Astros’
Minute Maid Park
, where the designers landscaped a hill into center field—in play—in tribute to the defects of long-ago ballparks that couldn’t afford proper grading. Baseball stadium designers hate baseball.