OMAHA, Neb. - It sits atop a hill along I-80 overlooking the Missouri River in Omaha and had hosted the college world series for 60 years, but it's headed for a date with the wrecking ball.
Rosenblatt Stadium on Omaha's south side has been called the Fenway Park or Wrigley Field of college baseball -- intimate and historical.
The last college world series game was played there in 2010 and now the annual lovefest for baseball is held at the new TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha.
The old stadium is being demolished to make room for expansion of the nearby Henry Doorly Omaha Zoo. The entire stadium will be razed, only the foul poles and a park commemorating where home plate was will remain.
Fans can buy pavers in the home plate park, along with sales of the remaining seats in the park, as a zoo fundraiser.
For a few days this week, the old stadium has been opened to fans of the stadium and of college baseball. Joyous yet sad too, fans gaze upon sights seeing the glory of old and the pain of reality.
The scoreboard, a stripped carcass, is far removed from its duties tallying the digits of runs scored.
The field, showing two years of neglect, still holds a place in the hearts for the many great plays once seen on it.
Jason Biniker, a former Kent State University starting pitcher, and wife, Kristie, brought 3-year-old son Drew to see the ballpark before its demise.
"We wanted to come see it before they tear it down and show our son the great field," Kristie said.
Drew, too young to appreciate the history of the field on which he was playing, tapped his tiny replica baseball bat on home plate as mom and dad took pictures.
In town from Ohio to root on the KSU Golden Flashes, it was a the perfect opportunity for the family to pay homage to the center of the college baseball universe.
"To see us play at the world series is unbelievable and then come here and look at this field, I remember being young, watching the world series games on TV, it's pretty cool," said Jason.
Charles Strun from Fayetteville, Arkansas, stood near second base, plastic cup in hand, having his picture taken with son Hayden and his souvenir from the stadium, a cupful of dirt from the home plate area.
"It's on my bucket list, get dirt from home plate," he said showing off his dirt. "Bucket list complete."
Families posed for pictures in front of a replica backdrop of the seating area, children ran the bases as fathers and sons played catch on the field.
"We went to a lot of games here, but never thought we'd be on the field," said Eric Williams of Omaha.
Williams played catch with son Quinn while his other son, 25-year-old Holden, went in search of a stadium seat to purchase.
"Where he's going to put it, I don't know." Prodded by Quinn, Dad has a thought, "Ya, if he gets a mancave, he'll probably put it in there."
While many appreciate the new stadium, the old place's charm will always have a special place for them, whether it was for the hundreds of games they saw or just the final visit before it came tumbling down to become nothing but rubble.
As Drew ran from home plate, making his own base paths, Dad summed up the feelings many felt on the field.
"We have a lot of pictures and a lot of memories, that's for sure," said Eric.
Demolition is expected to begin shortly after the end of the college world series, which ends June 26.
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