Fenway and Wrigley are the two most iconic baseball parks in Major League Baseball today. They are so iconic that just saying their first name, you automatically know which stadiums they are and who plays in them, unlike Minute Maid or Petco Park, which could have you guessing, even for just a second.
Baseball stadiums are the key to America's past time. They are some of the most beautiful and unique parks in all of professional sports. Each stadium has their own unique identity, and in some way, each stadium has one iconic image. The warehouse out in right fight in Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles, or The Green Monster in Fenway. The Ivy of Wrigley. The giant Coca-Cola bottle and baseball glove at AT&T Park, home of the World Series Champs, San Francisco Giants.
Then, there are also ball parks like the following five listed. These, in my opinion, are the five worst ball parks in all of Major League Baseball, with explanation.
The stadium that the Oakland Athletics play at, simply known as the Coliseum, has seen its glory days.
Starting in 1986, the Coliseum was home to Jose Canseco, the first 40/40 man in Major League Baseball history (40 home runs and 40 steals). One year later, the Bash Brothers were formed when Mark McGwire teamed with Canseco to form one of the deadliest 1-2 punches in baseball. From 1988 to 1990, the Athletics won three straight American League Pennants, winning the World Series in 1989.
The stadium itself is widely known for the acreage of foul ball territory available. In most parks, a typical foul ball could end five to ten rows deep, but at The Coliseum, there's a good chance that that same foul ball is an out.
The Coliseum is shared by both the Oakland Athletics and Oakland Raiders of the National Football League.
Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, is one of the more appealing ball parks in the Majors today. For just $10, you can stand in the left-center field area, A.K.A., the Tunnels.
But here's the biggest letdown about Minute Maid Park: In terms of baseball stadium, it's kind of a joke. It looks like a generic baseball stadium that you find in a video game.
Left field is a whopping 315 feet deep, making it one of the shortest corners in all of Major League Baseball. A home run to Minute Maid's Crawford boxes out in left field would be in many other parks, just a long fly out.
And then there's center field, which resembles more of a mini-golf course than a professional baseball stadium. with it's incline.
Overall, Minute Maid Park is nice. It's very appealing, but as a Major League Park, it's laughable.
Please do not kid yourself, New Yankee Stadium wasn't built because the original Yankee stadium was unsafe. New Yankee Stadium was built for one thing and one thing only, to make money.
With New Yankee Stadium, George Steinbrenner had what he wanted all along: luxury boxes. New Yankee stadium added almost 40 new luxury suites as well as over 4,000 club seats.
My problem isn't the luxury boxes or club seats; no, my problem is center field.
First of all, in dead center field, New Yankee Stadium has a seating section they call the "Batter's Eye" view. Under these seats is the Mohegan Sun Sports bar (the dark-tinted area under the "Batter's Eye" seats), and below that is Monument Park.
In the original Yankee Stadium, Monument Park was in left-center field. Here's the problem with the new configuration: If you are sitting on the right side of Monument Park, you cannot see anything hit to left-center, or left field, and vice versa. If you are sitting to the left side of Monument Park, you cannot see anything hit to right-center or right field. This applies to the bleacher section of Yankee stadium, where for an amazing $5, you get to see half of the baseball field. Whoopee!
The other default with Yankee Stadium is the park itself has become a launching pad for home runs during its opening season. New Yankee Stadium even broke Minute Maid's (No. 4 on the list) record for most home runs through the first 23 games of the season. Although the number of home runs hit at New Yankee Stadium have dwindled down, possibly due to a number of factors (wind, weather, tearing down old Yankee Stadium), New Yankee Stadium will always be known for its almost comical home run numbers, which have been criticized by everyone, from ESPN Baseball Analysts Buster Olney and Peter Gammons to former Yankee great, Reggie Jackson.
Tropicana Field will always be remembered as the ball park where then 16-year-old high school phenom Bryce Harper belted a 502-foot home run during a high school home run derby competition back in January 2009.
The home run is the longest ever recorded at Tropicana Field.
Tropicana was also home to Game 7 of the 2008 American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays, won by the Rays 3-1.
Here's the biggest letdown with Tropicana Stadium; it is the only ballpark in the league today that has it's own set of rules to determine play in a game. The catwalks, which act as part of the support structure for the domed stadium, are named in order from the inner to the outermost ring (A-Ring all the way to D-ring). For example, and try to keep up...if a baseball strikes either the C or D rings, and any supporting or hanging material regarding C and D rings, the ball is a home run. If a baseball strikes A or B rings along with all supporting or hanging materials, it is a dead ball.
Or to put it better, is this baseball or ping pong?
And then there was one...
Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, opened the same year as New Yankee Stadium, in 2009. Citi Field is like a Monet painting, from afar it's appealing, but up close, it's a huge mess (Yes, i just quoted the line from the movie Clueless).
In terms of baseball appeal and dimensions, Citi Field is enclosed and looks crammed together in comparison to the wide open spaces that Shea Stadium offered. Shea's 86-foot high and 175-foot wide score board was the stadium's trademark.
Seating dropped from some 56,000 to only 42,000 at Citi Field.
Shea's outfield was absolutely symmetrical all around: 338 feet to the corners, 378 in the gaps and 410 feet to dead center, along with eight-foot high walls all around.
Citi Field offers something that looks like a stock market ticker full of dips and valleys and in the end, a complete mess. Citi Field's walls at some points are eight-feet high, then 12, 15 and even 18 feet in right field. Then there are the dimensions: 335 to the left foul pole, 371 to left field, 384 to the left-center gap, 408 dead center, 415 to the right-center gap, 378 to right and 330 to the right field foul pole.
According to the website www.hittrackeronline.com, which monitors anything and everything regarding home runs, Citi Field allowed the fewest home runs in the National League, an average of 1.36 per game, good for third overall in the league.
Former Mets outfielder Jeff Francoeur once said, "Citi field is a damn joke".
Third basemen David Wright said he felt sorry for power hitters because the park was so big and their home run numbers would dwindle. "The days of them hitting 35, 40 homers- they're over".