Home runs have been ingrained in baseball. We watch balls fly out of yards at high rates and multiple times per game.
The balls have been made tighter, the fences built closer, and the bats made lighter. All have combined for home runs to be an important part of a club's success.
What also plays a factor is one's park. We saw how Yankee Stadium launched balls out into the seats at an eye-popping rate in 2009.
That got us thinking about which parks are the easiest and the hardest to hit a ball out of.
Inside is the list of the toughest places to hit home runs from easiest to most difficult.*
*The Metrodome is excluded from the list as it is no longer open in 2010*
We watched as home runs exploded out of Yankee Stadium at a ridiculous rate in the first half of 2009.
Yankee Stadium eventually cooled off, allowing 237 home runs in 2009 which was short of the 300 it appeared destined to allow last April.
Nonetheless, the dimensions are not true to the dimensions of its predecessor. The straightaway left and right field fences are not only closer, but the walls are shorter.
Combine that with the fabled Yankee Stadium jet stream, and the Yankees' new home is the easiest place to knock one out of the park.
Citizens Bank Park allows 2.56 home runs per game, making it the easiest place in the National League to hit a home run.
Limited dimensions to both pull directions make the place a home run haven for left-handed hitters with power to the opposite field and pull-happy right-handers.
Regardless, the Phillies, like the Yankees, have found a way to overcome the amount of homers flying over the fences from opponents by smashing more of their own.
A high wall in left field and deep power alleys have not prevented Ameriquest Field from becoming a homer haven. With raising summer temperatures in Texas come eye-popping home run numbers.
The Rangers have long been a homer happy team and they can directly attribute that to their offensive-minded ballpark.
There is a reason why the Cincinnati Reds' home has been coined the "Great American Smallpark."
Great American Ballpark is a launching pad.
Small dimensions and winds blowing out of the ballpark make fans wonder not if balls will leave the yard, but how far they will go.
Miller Park, like Great American Ballpark, is a small NL Central park with small dimensions and favorite conditions for launching home runs.
The home run derby held in Miller Park in 2002 was barely a challenge for the game's biggest mashers and it translates to the regular season as well.
Miller Park's 2.48 home runs per game allowed in 2009 was second only to Citizens Bank Park.
It's one of the most picturesque parks in baseball, but it is also one of the easiest to collect round trippers.
A short left field—364 feet to the left field power alley— and short right field (despite the high scoreboard) make Camden Yards a favorable launching pad.
Camden Yards' 2.53 home runs allowed per game were third most in the American League behind Yankee Stadium and Ameriquest.
Angels Stadium is another inviting atmosphere with its eye-catching backdrop, but it is also another significant offensive park.
Angels Stadium allowed 2.40 home runs per game last season, aided by very low fences in the corners and average depth in the power alleys.
A high wall in right center field rejects some home run balls, but the low bullpen wall in left counters it.
Few hitters go deep to straightaway center field in the White Sox home field, but a shallow left field makes for an artillery range for right-handed hitters, where nearly 65 percent of all home runs were hit in the park last season.
"The Big Cell Phone" allowed 2.37 home runs per game in 2009.
Minute Maid Park features one of the best quirks in baseball with the in-play hill in straightaway center field, 436 feet away.
But the Astros home ballpark is also a right-handed hitter's haven with a wall so close down the line, hitters feel like they can spit over the wall.
Warm, dry air and close fences down the line make the Diamondbacks home park a favorable home run park.
Low walls in both left and right field make Chase Field a fairly easy place to hit home runs, but teeters on the back half of the middle of the pack.
Nationals Park can get tricky when hitting home runs out to straightaway center but favorable trajectories to straight away left and right field give hitters the opportunity to stack up home runs.
Center field and a higher wall in right-center field keeps Nationals Park's numbers in check.
The Rogers Centre (which will always be The Skydome to this baseball fan) has symmetrical dimensions around the playing field bordered by a uniform high wall.
However, when the roof is closed Rogers Centre plays like a warehouse.
There is almost no natural deterrent to slow a ball's flight path. Home runs fly out of Rogers Centre at a near equal rate per capita to left and right field.
Tropicana Field—or what I nickname "The Big Tuna Can"—equally plays to left and right-handed hitters with home runs sailing out at a near equal rate.
Low and fairly close walls to straight away left and right allowed for 2.28 home runs per game last season.
The park gets deep as the outfield pinches off towards center field, but The Trop does not prove to be much of a challenge to hitters.
"The Triangle" in center field opens a deep cavern in Fenway Park, but Pesky's Pole, a low right field wall and even The Green Monster can't deny Fenway's prowess as a favorable home run park.
Fenway surrendered 2.30 home runs per game and sees plenty of the game's best power hitters step into its batter's box.
The Royals home ballpark got a face lift (which looks fantastic) and remains an average place to hit home runs.
Kauffman Stadium allowed 1.65 home runs per game in 2009, which is solid for today's game.
The amount of home runs leaving Wrigley Field often depends on which way the wind blows.
When the wind blows in, Wrigley can be a tough place to homer.
If the wind blows out, balls have a habit of flying out of baseball's crown jewel.
Wrigley allowed an even 2.00 home runs per game last season. However, do we really need the basket-aided home runs?
The Marlins' current home park goes through different names like water, but one constant is that the place begins the stretch of stadiums where home runs are tougher to come by.
The very deep center field wall, high wall in left field, and a fairly deep right-center field gap turn back many long drives.
However, a shallow right field help keeps the Marlins in the middle of pack with its 2.09 home runs allowed per game.
Once upon a time, Coors Field was a home run haven.
Things have changed in recent years as the installation of a humidor combined with the large outfield landscape combined to temper the amount of home runs flying out of the Rockies' home field.
The Pirates' PNC Park looks favorable to hitters on paper with its short right field and low wall in center, but the park yielded only 1.77 home runs per game last season.
On top of being one of the game's most beautiful parks, and underrated, PNC Park plays well for pitchers.
Safeco Field is the home of one of the American League's largest outfields.
A deep center field and spacious power alleys make it more challenging place to homer in comparison to the rest of the American League. Safeco allowed 1.93 home runs per game last season.
The Oakland Athletics home park poses challenges to hitters from left-center field to right-center field with its distances and high walls, but McAfee's low walls to direct pull side frees up home run opportunities for hitters.
McAfee yielded 1.73 home runs per game last season.
Progressive Field was once the home of some of the game's biggest home run hitters over a decade ago, but in recent years the place has become more pitcher friendly.
The high wall in left field, a deep center field, and a somewhat deep right-center field gap surrendered only 1.70 home runs in 2009.
The Cardinals upgraded their new home in 2006 and built a park that is one of the most difficult to hit home runs.
Busch Stadium yielded a National League-best 1.48 home runs per game last season. However, its dimensions are not so challenging that the numbers should not climb in the future.
Uniform dimensions, an above-average wall, and deep center field make Dodger Stadium one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball.
Dodger Stadium allowed 1.55 home runs per game in 2009, but has long played well for pitchers.
Turner Field ranks this high up the list not only for its 1.52 home runs per game allowed in 2009, but its spacious outfield and distance from home plate between left and right-center field.
All of these factors combine to make Turner one of the hardest places to homer in all of baseball.
The Giants catered right field of their ballpark to Barry Bonds, but the rest of the park remains one of the most challenging places to homer across baseball.
A very deep center field and right-center field, and a challenging left-center field, leads to just 1.59 home runs per game.
The spacious outfield does not help the offensively-challenged San Francisco Giants.
When Comerica Park was built, its dimensions hearkened back to Tigers Stadium with its deep power alleys and deep center field. The Tigers later brought the fences in and raised the home run rates.
Nevertheless, Comerica remains a challenge in center field, but a low wall in left field bumps the home run average up.
Citi Field became notorious for its lack of home runs last season. Tall walls, a significant cut out in the right-center field power alley, and a deep center field limited home run totals in the park's debut season to 1.60 per game.
The Mets have since decided to lower the wall in center field in hopes of sparking some offense. We shall see.
PETCO Park remains the hardest place in to homer in the big leagues.
A very spacious outfield has kept balls in play since the park's opening in 2004.