The best objective record of old ballparks can be found in Sanborn fire insurance maps.

Samples of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps.

Samples of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. Original map pages are in color. Black and white versions are microfilm copies that are available either online or in libraries.

From the Penn State University Libraries – “The Sanborn Map Company, the best known of the US fire-insurance map producers, has made maps since 1867. The fire insurance maps produced by Sanborn show building footprints, building material, height or number of stories, building use, lot lines, road widths and water facilities. The maps also show street names and property boundaries of the time. This collection of maps is historically significant as it is sometimes the best detailed map of a town or city dating from the mid 1800s.”

These maps are used as a basis to create rough 3D models in Sketchup. No need to make super finished highly detailed models. We’re just looking for basic shapes. Sanborn maps have a compass rose on them, so we know that once North is established we can expect reasonably accurate shadows.

Samples of rough Sketchup models with accurate shadow patterns.

Samples of rough Sketchup models.

Once the 3D model is constructed shadows can be studied to find a pleasing historically and seasonally accurate shadow pattern. Shadows in early October can be more dramatic than those in early April. The artwork is then created in photoshop using the chosen viewpoint as a base.

The team’s multipacks and the multi park prints are designed to enable one to buy complete sets inexpensively and enable you to make a grand statement on your wall. I’ll add more ballparks as time goes on.

Epson rates these prints to be light fast for 72 years under glass. I have found these frames at Arttoframe.com to be very cost conscious and reliable. They are shipped with real glass and the glass is clean, unlike the dirty grimy glass in many bargain frames you find in your local store.

sample framed print

sample print in arttoframe.com 13×19 frame

sample print with 13x19 frame

sample print in arttoframe.com 13×19 frame

wall arrangements2Visit my watercolor site while you’re at it. It has a totally different feel to the art! Lots of spontaneity as opposed to these ballpark illustrations.

Jeff Suntala


historic ballparks blog – historicballparks.blogspot.com
illustration website – suntala.com
Watercolor website – suntalawatercolors.com
watercolor blog – blogofthebackrun.blogspot.com
Terrific historic and current ballpark discussion site (you have to log in to see a lot of the photos that are posted) Baseball-Fever.com