City Baseball Magic is a polemic on behalf of the traditional urban baseball park, and an exercise in "pragmatic idealism." Todays new "retro" baseball stadiums look wonderful, but they are outrageously expensive and do not provide the intimacy nor foster the sense of community that was possible with the classic neighborhood ballparks (built in the early 1900's) because they are conceived as suburban buildings. They are a drain on taxpayers, they yield seating arrangements that are worse for the average fan in the upper deck, they result in huge ticket price increases, and they tend to destroy the physical and spatial fabric of cities. But most of these liabilities can be ameliorated by once again understanding the baseball park as an urban building subject to the physical constraints of urban networks of streets and blocks. To demonstrate this thesis, Bess offers the wonderfully conceived Armour Field plan, a proposal for neighborhood design and a new ballpark that was originally presented in the late 1980's as an alternative for the new stadium that the Chicago White Sox were determined to have built to replace the venerable old Comiskey Park on Chicago's south side. Still relevant today, the proposed ballpark addresses social, cultural, and economic issues, as well as issues of baseball and urban aesthetics; and demonstrates the superiority of the traditional urban baseball park over the modern stadium in ways both tangible and intangible. Includes 46 illustrations and photos.