Baseball's Oldest Stadium Still Attracts New Fans

Erin MaweContributor IJune 4, 2010

BOSTON - OCTOBER 13:  The Boston Red Sox mascot, Wally the Green Monster stands on the dugout inbetween innings of game three of the American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2008 MLB playoffs at Fenway Park on October 13, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

In my time as a baseball fan, I've had the pleasure of visiting four MLB parks: Three Rivers Stadium, Camden Yards, PNC Park, and Fenway Park. 

Sure, Camden Yards was pretty cool, and it was fun getting to see the Yankees play there. Baltimore is a beautiful city and it was a great game. 

Three Rivers was my favorite stadium in Pittsburgh, and I'm still kind of sad that it was torn down. Of course, it followed the stadium design popular in the 1960s and 70s, which essentially was a giant donut with seats surrounding the entire field. 

PNC Park, the current home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country. And that isn't just my own opinion, most who visit the stadium agree. 

The view from the seats is just magnificent. The ballpark is perfectly placed, so that the view above the outfield perfectly highlights the city skyline. PNC Park is modeled after the early stadiums, which provide both a view and an intimate setting for the game.

But Fenway is in a league of its own. While walking through the park, you can feel the electricity from the excitement of the fans and the all-time great players that have played there over the 98 years since its opening game.

If you're a baseball fan, Red Sox or otherwise, this is a place to add to your bucket list. 

Seeing the Green Monster in person is nothing like seeing it on TV. 

On TV it looks like... well, a giant green wall. But in person, it's a giant green mountain. 

The wooden seats, while small and not as comfortable as the contoured ones of today, have clearly stood the test of time.

It also doesn't hurt that the Sox beat the New York Highlanders, the Yankees predecessor, in the first major league game in Fenway. (The first official game was held a few days earlier when the Red Sox defeated Harvard University.)

One of my other favorite things about Fenway is that people actually watch the game. I am sure you are probably familiar with the pitfalls of the Pirates in recent (as in 17) years.

In an attempt to distract fans at PNC Park, officials have a series of escapades that, while entertaining, take fans attention away from the game. The Pirate Parrot shoots hot dogs into the stands, people dress as pierogies and race around the stadium, there are smile contests, trivia competitions...see? I've distracted myself. 

But at Fenway, people focus on the game. And that's how the team wants it. The only distractions for me were the John Hancock sign, the Green Monster, and the CITGO sign, and this was just because I was awed by their proximity to me.