Play Ball! Old Seafloor and a New Stadium

Submitted by Deborah Cramer

Play Ball! Old Seafloor and a New Stadium
The New Yankee Stadium
Photo © Stevetheump.com

The granite in the gates of the new Yankee Stadium comes from Crotch Island, Maine, where it was quarried by Red Sox fans. The rock of Crotch Island, today at the tip of Deer Isle in Penobscot Bay, wasn’t always part of Maine. In fact, much of Maine’s landscape wasn’t always in Maine.

Millions of years before baseball became a national pastime, a land mass known as Avalonia broke off the ancient continent Gondwana (now part of Africa), and drifted north as the Iapetus Ocean narrowed. The journey was rough. Iapetus seafloor descended deep into the earth and melted. Five miles down, it formed granite. About 383 million years ago, Avalonia crashed into what is now North America, building the coast of Maine. It was mountainous then, but eventually the mountains eroded, exposing the deep granite used in Yankee Stadium.
Deer Isle granite isn’t just for Yankee and Red Sox fans. It’s found in parts of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Arlington, Virgina.

p.s. The bulk of Yankee Stadium’s exterior façade also comes from the ocean, from Indiana limestone formed on a reef when Indiana was covered by a shallow sea.

References and more information

Yankee Stadium
http://workingwaterfront.com/articles/Maine-granite-graces-Yankee-Stadium/13090
http://stories-in-stone.blogspot.com/2009/04/unconformity-at-yankee-stadium.html

Deer Isle granite
http://www.coacommunity.net/downloads/serpentine08/GeoHistofDeerIsle.pdf

Map of ancient sea when granite in Maine coast was formed – Devonian
http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~rcb7/namD385.jpg

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