MLB Power Rankings: Ebbets Field and the Top 50 Stadiums in Baseball History

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2011

MLB Power Rankings: Ebbets Field and the Top 50 Stadiums in Baseball History

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    With the addition of MLB Network and expanded coverage on ESPN and other networks, a baseball fan can literally watch hundreds of baseball games each year from their own home. That said, nothing beats attending a game in person, as it is as much a part of summer as anything.

    I have the privilege of living in the Chicago area and going to several games each year at the baseball mecca that is Wrigley Field, and with so many stadiums being rebuilt in the last decade it is one of the few classic stadiums still standing.

    Baseball went through a stretch in the 1960 and 1970 when "cookie cutter" multipurpose stadiums were all the rage, and because of that there was an era of stadiums that were uninspired to say the least.

    Still, there have been some truly great stadiums over the years, and what follows is the 50 greatest stadiums in baseball history.

No. 50: Tropicana Field: Tampa Bay Rays

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    Opened: 1990
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    Originally known as the Thunderdome during the early 1990s, Tropicana bought the naming rights in 1996, and even though they were since bought out by Pepsi Co., the name was left unchanged. 

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    Originally opened for an Arena Football team, and as a multipurpose stadium, it is currently the only stadium with a non-retractable roof.

    It is widely regarded as baseball's worst stadium, and the overhead cat walks may be the most asinine feature of any park ever, as they come into play all the time and serve absolutely no purpose.

No. 49: Sun Life Stadium: Florida Marlins

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    Opened: 1987
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name

    Originally Joe Robbie Stadium, the name has changed a number of times over the years, as it was also Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, and Land Shark Stadium, before they reached a five-year, $37.5 million with Sun Life Financial prior to last season.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

     The most notable feature of the stadium is the fact that it is always incredibly empty, and is another example of a stadium that is clearly a football stadium where baseball happens to be played.

    The stadium seats as many as 68,000 for baseball games, and the Marlins would struggle to sell out a standard sized stadium.

No. 48: Qualcomm Stadium: San Diego Padres

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    Opened: 1967
    Closed: N/A (Used by Chargers)

    History Of Name 

    Originally named Jack Murphy Stadium, after a local sportswriter who played a large role in getting a stadium built in San Diego, the naming rights were eventually sold to the Qualcomm Corporation for $18 million in 1997 and they hold the rights through the 2017 season, as the stadium is still used by the San Diego Chargers.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    One of the "cookie cutter" multipurpose stadiums.

No. 47: RFK Stadium: Washington Senators/Nationals

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    Opened: 1961
    Closed: 2007
    Demolished: Still Standing

    History Of Name 

    Originally named D.C. Stadium, the stadium name was changed in 1969 to honor senator Robert F. Kennedy who had been assassinated the previous June. 


    Notable Stadium Features 

    One of the "cookie cutter" multipurpose stadiums.


No. 46: Atlanta Fulton County Stadium: Atlanta Braves

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    Opened: 1965
    Closed: 1996
    Demolished: 1997

    History Of Name 

    Named rather boringly after its location in Fulton County, the stadium was also known as "The Launching Pad", although it was not all that much of a hitter's park.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    One of the "cookie cutter" multipurpose stadiums.

No. 45: The Kingdome: Seattle Mariners

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    Opened: 1976
    Closed: 2000
    Demolished: 2000

    History Of Name

    The Kingdome was actually short for King County Multipurpose Domed Stadium, as the stadium itself was owned by King County where it was located.



    Notable Stadium Features

    One of the "cookie cutter" multipurpose stadiums.

No. 44: Three Rivers Stadium: Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Opened: 1970
    Closed: 2000
    Demolished: 2001

    History Of Name 

    The stadium was obviously named after three rivers, as the Allegheny River and Monongahela River converge to form the Ohio River near the location of the stadium. 


    Notable Stadium Features 

    One of the "cookie cutter" multipurpose stadiums.


No. 43: Veterans Stadium: Philadelphia Phillies

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    Opened: 1971
    Closed: 2003
    Demolished: 2004

    History Of Name 

    Veterans Stadium, or "The Vet" as it came to be known, was named to honor all of the veterans who have served our country over the years, in one of the classier stadium naming decisions of all time.


    Notable Stadium Features

    One of the "cookie cutter" multipurpose stadiums.

No. 42: Riverfront Stadium: Cincinnati Reds

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    Opened: 1970
    Closed: 2002
    Demolished: 2002

    History Of Name 

    Built a block from the Ohio River, Riverfront stadium was clearly named for its close vicinity to the river. It was renamed Cinergy Field in 1996 when the team struck a deal with Greater Cincinnati's energy company. 


    Notable Stadium Features

    One of the "cookie cutter" multipurpose stadiums. 


No. 41: Oakland Coliseum: Oakland Athletics

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    Opened: 1966
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The stadium has also gone by the names of Network Associates Coliseum, McAfee Coliseum, but when the club chose not to renew a deal with McAfee, it returned to its old name of Oakland Coliseum.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    One of the more generic stadiums in the league, its only real defining feature is its spacious foul territory.

    The team is currently in the process of proposing a new stadium, as they look to get a baseball-only stadium so they no longer have to share with the Oakland Raiders.

No. 40: U.S Cellular Field: Chicago White Sox

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    Opened: 1991
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    After years as Comiskey Park, dating back to the team's old stadium, the naming rights were finally sold to U.S. Cellular for $68 million over 20 years.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    As far as modern stadiums go, U.S. Cellular is among the most generic out there, and the fact that an iconic park in the old Comiskey Park was torn down to build it does little to make up for how generic it is.

No. 39: Rangers Ballpark at Arlington: Texas Rangers

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    Opened: 1994
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    Originally opened as The Ballpark at Arlington, and went by that name until 2004, when the naming rights were sold to Ameriquest and the stadium was called Ameriquest Field in Arlington. That partnership was severed in 2007, however, and the present name was adopted.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    As far as standout features, the Rangers park is as generic as they get. It is not a bad park in any way, but there is really nothing that stands out either.

No. 38: Great American Ballpark: Cincinnati Reds

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    Opened: 2003
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    Despite the fact that the name sounds like it may just be patriotic, the naming rights in fact belong to the Great American Insurance Group, as their chairman is the majority owner of the team.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    While it looks plain at first glance, there are a number of quirks to Great American Ballpark.

    There is a 35-foot gap in left-center field, that provides a view of the skyline from inside the park.

    There is also an ode to the infamous Crosley Terrace of Crosley Field outside the main entrance.

    In right field, there are a pair of smokestacks that resemble a steamboat, and steam blows from them every time a Reds pitcher strikes someone out.

No. 37: Comerica Park: Detroit Tigers

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    Opened: 2000
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The stadium's corporate sponsor is Comerica Bank, who was based in Detroit at the time the stadium opened but is now based in Dallas, Texas.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    Much like Monument Park in New York, the Tigers have an area on the left field concourse with statues for all the players whose numbers have been retired by the team.

    The field has a dirt strip between home and the pitchers mound, an ode to classic parks but a rarity today, as they are one of just two parks with that feature (the other, Chase Field in Arizona).

    There is also a giant water fountain behind the center field wall, that goes off whenever the Tigers score and between innings.

No. 36: Turner Field: Atlanta Braves

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    Opened: 1997
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The Braves field is named after their eccentric owner Ted Turner, who has been one of the more hands-on owners in his time at the helm.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The stadium as originally built as the centerpiece of the 1996 Olympics, built as Centennial Olympic Stadium, and was converted after the games to be the Braves new stadium.

    The need to build a track made for an interesting looking foul territory, and the stadium is also quite symmetrical because of it.

No. 35: Progressive Field: Cleveland Indians

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    Opened: 1994

    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    Originally called Jacobs Field, after former team owners Richard and David Jacobs, the team sold the naming rights to Progressive prior to the 2008 season.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The fences at Progressive Field may be the most interesting part of the stadium, as the distance and height of the fence varies throughout the outfield.

    There are also 19 huge light towers that are roughly 200 feet above the stadium that are among the stadium's more noticeable features.

No. 34: Rogers Centre: Toronto Blue Jays

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    Opened: 1989

    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The stadium was purchased by Rogers Communications, who also own the team, and named it the Rogers Centre.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The retractable roof was the first in any stadium in North America.

    The stadium is often knocked for its sterile feel, brought about by their blue plastic seats and often empty stadiums, but there was a time when the Rogers Centre was the place to be in the early-90s.

    Aside from standard seating, there are a number of unique ways to watch the game, including a Hard Rock Cafe in center field, and a hotel built into the side of the stadium where you can watch from your room.

No. 33: Angel Stadium of Anaheim: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    Opened:1966
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    This, like Tiger Stadium, is no great mystery when it comes to the origin of the team's name. It was once Edison International Field of Anaheim, but was returned to Angels Stadium

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    One of the "cookie cutter" stadiums, originally built as a baseball-only stadium, but changed to accommodate the Los Angeles Rams football team, then changed back again when they moved to St. Louis.

    While the recent addition of the Rally Monkey was a fun addition, for the most part, the stadium is much like the other efficiency stadiums of the time.

No. 32: Safeco Field: Seattle Mariners

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    Opened: 1999
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The stadium naming rights were won by Safeco Insurance, a Seattle-based company that paid $40 million for a 20-year deal.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    After threats of relocating for the team, the Mariners used a 1995 ALCS victory to renew interest in baseball in Seattle and earn themselves a new stadium.

    A move from the "cookie cutter" Kingdome where they came from, Safeco has a brick facade, and deep, asymmetrical walls in the outfield.

    The retractable roof on the stadium is different in that it serves only as a rain-blocker for the field, and does not allow for a climate controlled inside.

No. 31: Busch Memorial Stadium: St. Louis Cardinals

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    Opened: 1966
    Closed: 2005
    Demolished: 2005

    History Of Name 

    Originally opened as the Civic Center Busch Memorial Stadium, and eventually shortened to just Busch Stadium, the field was named after the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch beer fame, as they owned the team until 1996.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    This was one of the dreaded "cookie cutter" stadiums as well, but alterations were made to make it more baseball friendly, and therefore it is higher up on the list.

    One of the most noticeable features of Busch Stadium is its red seats, which add just a little more red to what is already generally a sea of Cardinals fans wearing red.

    The stadium was originally used by the St. Louis Cardinals football team as well, and renovations were made to convert the stadium to baseball-only as much of the outfield seating was closed off and many advertising signs and a scoreboard were added. The end result was one of the most decorated outfields in all of baseball, and made for a fuller looking stadium.

No. 30: Shea Stadium: New York Mets

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    Opened:1964
    Closed: 2008
    Demolished: 2009

    History Of Name 

    The stadium was named after William A. Shea, the leading figure in bringing National League baseball back to New York for the first time since the Giants moved to San Francisco.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    One of the "cookie cutter" multipurpose stadiums.

    However, it was eventually renovated to be a baseball-only stadium when the New York Jets left in 1983, so it was a little better than the rest of its kind.

    It also had a quirk in the "Home Run Apple" which was a giant apple that came out of a magic hat in the outfield. Installed in 1980, it was part of an advertising slogan "The Magic is Back!".

No. 29: Nationals Park: Washington Nationals

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    Opened: 2008
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The name of the park is not just a reference to the team's name, but pays homage to the park in which the Washington Senators played in which was known as National Park.


    Notable Stadium Features

    The Nationals are the first LEED-certified green stadium in major professional sports, as they have taken a genuine interest in the environment.

    Their 101-foot long, 47-foot high scoreboard is more than five times larger than the one that the team had at RFK Stadium.

    The Capital Building is visible from the upper deck of the stadium, while the Washington Monument can be seen from certain places down the right field line.

No. 28: Chase Field: Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Opened: 1998
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    Originally named Bank One Ballpark, the name was changed in 2005 when Bank One merged with JP Morgan Chase.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The stadium was the first in the United States to have a retractable roof, and was the first stadium to have natural grass and a retractable roof.

    One of the more original stadium features is the swimming pool in right center field, as fans can pay to rent the suite area which holds 35 guests, for the price of $3,500.

No. 27: Dodger Stadium: Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Opened: 1962
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    Commonly referred to as Chavez Ravine for the area of Los Angeles where the stadium is located, but the stadium has always been named after the team that plays there.

     

    Notable Stadium Features 

    Dodgers Stadium is currently the third oldest park behind Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, and it was one of the last baseball-only stadiums before the wave of multipurpose facilities.

    The stadium was built to be earthquake resistant, which was wise considering its location, and it has survived a number of sizable quakes.


No. 26: Citizens Bank Park: Philadelphia Phillies

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    Opened: 2004
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The park was named for Citizens Bank, who earned the naming rights when they agreed to a 25-year, $95 million contract.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    Ashburn Alley, located in center field, is named in honor of Phillies Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn for whom many fans wanted the stadium to be named. It is a strip of restaurants and shops and has a statue honoring Ashburn.

    The area of the stadium is open two hours before game time, and features 12 different shops.

    Finally, the Phillies have what is universally accepted as the rowdiest fans in all of baseball, making their stadium that much more of a home field advantage.

No. 25: Camden Yards: Baltimore Orioles

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    Opened: 1992
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name

    The stadium was built on what was once Camden Station, a major stop along the Baltimore-Ohio Railroad's route. 


    Notable Stadium Features

    Camden Yards officially marked the end of the era of "cookie cutter" concrete stadiums that ruled the previous several decades and were usually located in the suburbs.

    The most recognizable feature of the stadium is the warehouse building in right field, as the stadium was built on the site of the former B&O Railroad Company's station.

    The stadium also has the first two-tiered bullpen in all of baseball, an idea that was submitted by the Baltimore fans.

No. 24: Coors Field: Colorado Rockies

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    Opened: 1995

    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    Prior to the park's completion in 1995, the Coors Brewing Company purchased the naming rights to the stadium.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The most notable thing about Coors Field is its location and altitude, as the ball tends to carry better there than anywhere else, although in recent seasons balls have been kept in a humidor to cut down on what became known as the "Coors Effect".

    The forest area in right center field is one of the more interesting backdrops to launch home runs into, and makes for a strange batter's eye.

No. 23: Kauffman Stadium: Kansas City Royals

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    Opened: 1973
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name

    The stadium, originally just called Royals Stadium, was changed to honor the team's founding owner Ewing Kauffman in 1993. 


    Notable Stadium Features

    One of the "cookie cutter" stadiums.

    However, it was one of the better examples of them, as it had a number of original features, and it was built as a baseball-only stadium as opposed to a multipurpose stadium.

    Its fountains in the outfield are one of the nicest backdrops in all of baseball, and their logo shaped scoreboard makes for an overall unique outfield appearance.

No. 22: Petco Park: San Diego Padres

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    Opened: 2004
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The pet supply company Petco, which is based in San Diego, won the naming rights to the stadium and the stadium actually came under some protest from PETA because of it.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    A notorious pitchers park, the stadium's dimensions are among the largest of any stadium today, as it is over 400 feet to the alleys, 367 to left field, and 382 to right field.

    They have what is called the "Park at the Park", a grassy area where fans can watch the game for just five dollars.

    Down the left field line is the Western Metal Supply Co. building, a 100-year old building that was supposed to be demolished but was instead worked into the design.

No. 21: Miller Park: Milwaukee Brewers

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    Opened: 2001
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The Miller Brewing Company won the naming rights to the Brewers new stadium, signing a deal that runs through 2020 and is worth $40 million overall.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    One original feature of Miller Park ties in its mascot Bernie the Brewer, as he slides down a giant slide in left center field every time the Brewers hit a home run.

    It also has a rather odd looking retractable roof, as it is fan shaped and looks like no other stadium from the outside.

    While not a stadium feature, the stadium hosts its infamous sausage race in the middle of the sixth inning, an idea that has since been borrowed by the Nationals in the form of a president race.

No. 20: Minute Maid Park: Houston Astros

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    Opened: 2000
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    As far as naming rights go, Minute Maid park has had one of the more entertaining histories in that department. Originally opened as Enron Field in a 30-year, $100 million naming rights deal. Then Enron went bankrupt in a messy corporate scandal. The Coca-Cola Company then swooped in, however, and named it after their juice brand.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    Minute Maid is a ode to the quirky older parks, and has its fair share of oddities, the biggest of which may be Tal's Hill in center field, which is a 90-foot wide, 30-degree incline which also contains a flag pole which is on the field.

    Then there are the Crawford Boxes down the left field line, which are a cozy 315 feet from home plate, although they are 19-feet high.

    Finally, there are the train tracks that stretch from the left field line to center field, and the train that rides them back and forth after each Astros home run.

No. 19: Target Field: Minnesota Twins

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    Opened: 2010

    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The Target Corporation won the naming rights to the new Twins stadium, agreeing to a 25-year, $125 million contract, giving them two major naming rights in the same city.


    Notable Stadium Features

    The same architect that designed Camden Yards and PNC Park, two largely brick stadiums, went a different route in Minnesota, using limestone.

    In an odd decision, the design did not include a retractable roof, as the late season games in Minnesota could get interesting.

    Still, the stadium was voted the No. 1 sports stadium in North America by ESPN the Magazine.

No. 18: New Busch Stadium: St. Louis Cardinals

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    Opened: 2006
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    Opened right next to the old Busch Stadium, the new Busch kept the name of the old park, although there were a number of structural changes made.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The new Busch Stadium is turned so that the St. Louis Arch is centered perfectly in center field, which may be its most impressive feature.

    Aside from that, the outfield is much more open compared to the stadium, which was largely enclosed due to the fact that it also served as a football stadium.

    All in all, the fact that it was made specifically as a baseball stadium makes it head and shoulders better than old Busch, while still keeping the same atmosphere that made Busch great.

No. 17: Citi Field: New York Mets

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    Opened: 2009
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The stadium was named after Citigroup, a financial company that is based in New York.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The stadium has a number of features that pay honor to some of the best stadiums of all time, none more evident than than the front facade which looks very similar to the legendary front of Ebbets Field.

    The outfield has a pedestrian bridge, named Shea Bridge, that is modeled after Hell Gate Bridge.

    The front entrance features a rotunda that is dedicated to Jackie Robinson, which is a further honor to Ebbets Field and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    A new Home Run Apple was built, four times the size of the one at Shea Stadium, while the old one is still displayed outside the stadium.

No. 16: Municipal Stadium: Kansas City Royals

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    Opened: 1925
    Closed: 1972
    Demolished: 1976

    History Of Name 

    The stadium was originally built for the Kansas City Blues, a Double-A team, and was named Muehlbach Stadium after the Blues owner, George Muelbach.

    When the Blues were sold to the Yankees, the stadium was changed to Ruppert Stadium and then to just Blues Stadium, until it was purchased to be used by the Athletics, who were moving to Kansas City from Philadelphia and was named Municipal Stadium.

     

    Notable Stadium Features  

    The stadium itself was fairly boring as far as its features. Luckily, the Athletics were owned by one of the craziest owners in baseball history, Charlie O'Finley, and he was never short on new ideas for the stadium, below are a few of his better ones.

    -A device that came out of the ground named "Harvey" that was a rabbit holding a basket of balls for the umpire when a new ball was needed.

    -A compressed air device named "Little Blowhard" that blew dirt off of home plate so the umpire didn't need to dust it off.

    -A petting zoo with goats, sheep, monkeys, bats, and birds among other things down the left field line.

    -A flock of sheep wearing Athletics blankets, complete with shepherd, down the right field line.

    -He attempted to move the right field wall in to 296 feet, putting some bleachers in right field with a makeshift fence around them. The league shot that idea down, however.

No. 15: Astrodome: Houston Astros

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    Opened: 1965
    Closed: 1999
    Demolished: Currently Still Standing

    History Of Name

    The stadium was named the Astrodome for its futuristic design and the role that the city of Houston played in the country's space program. The team itself, originally named the Colt .45's was changed to the Astros to follow suit.

     

    Notable Features 

    The Astrodome was the nation's first domed sports stadium and was incredibly far ahead of its time.

    After originally trying a natural grass made to be grown indoors, the team switched to Astroturf in 1966. However, the supply of Astroturf was low at the time, so for the first half of the season the outfield was just green painted dirt.

    Aside from that, the four-story scoreboard called the Astrolite, was also a sight to see, with thousands of light bulbs and elaborate animations.

No. 14: New Yankees Stadium: New York Yankees

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    Opened: 2009
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    With so much history at the old Yankee Stadium, and so much of the old stadium incorporated into the new one, it was only right that the stadium kept its name.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The stadium itself is much the same as the old one in terms of quirks and special features, but the right field porch has been moved in five feet and the ball carries much better at the new park.

    Simply put, this was a face-lift for the old Yankee Stadium, and the team did a great job keeping all of what made Yankee Stadium great while bringing it into the modern age.

No. 13: AT&T Park: San Francisco Giants

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    Opened: 2000
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    Originally named Pac-Bell Park when it first opened, the name was changed to SBC Park when SBC took over Pacific Bell. Finally, the name was changed to AT&T in 2003 following a merger between SBC and AT&T.

     

    Notable Stadium Features 

    McCovey Cove is the park's most prominent feature, and if left-handed power hitters can turn on a ball and clear the 24-foot high right field wall (24 feet in honor of Willie Mays) they can hit a home run into the cove which is usually littered with fans in kayaks.

    In left field marking the Coca-Cola fan lot is an 80-foot long Coke bottle, next to which is a giant old fashioned baseball glove.

    The entire concourse of the stadium is connected, so that fans can make a full lap of the stadium and enjoy the numerous stores, restaurants, and attractions that stadium has to offer.

No. 12: PNC Park: Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Opened: 2001
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The park is named after PNC Financing Services, who bought the naming right for the stadium all the way back in 1998 before it was even constructed.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    PNC was built in the mold of some of the older stadiums in its steel truss work and archways, and seems to have found the perfect mix of new and old in their design.

    The stadium has a short right field at just 320 feet, which is offset by a 21-foot high wall, set at 21 feet to honor Roberto Clemente who was No. 21. On the wall is also the most complete out of town scoreboard in all of baseball, telling not only the score and inning, but also how many outs there are and where base runners are located.

    The stadium has a great cityscape look at downtown Pittsburgh, and is located right on the Allegheny River with a view of what is now named Roberto Clemente Bridge.

No. 11: Crosley Field: Cincinnati Reds

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    Opened: 1912
    Closed: 1970
    Demolished: 1972

    History Of Name 

    Originally opened as Redland Field in 1912, the stadium and the team was bought by local businessman Powel Crosley, Jr. in 1934, at which time he renamed the team after himself and his car business.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The quirkiest feature at Crosley park was a 15-degree incline in left field, much like the one in center field of Minute Maid Park today, that was known only as "the terrace". While such inclines were fairly common in older parks, this was the only one that was made intentionally.

    Aside from that, the most distinguishing feature of the stadium was its large scoreboard in left-center field.

    Also there was a building across the street owned by Superior Towel and Linen Service that had a sign advertising Seibler Suits and rewarded any player striking the sign with a free suit.

No. 10: Comiskey Park: Chicago White Sox

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    Opened: 1910
    Closed: 1990
    Demolished: 1991

    History Of Name 

    Originally built simply as White Sox Park, three years later, the park was named after Charles Comiskey the White Sox founder and then owner. The name was switched back to White Sox Park in 1962, but eventually was again returned to Comiskey Park in 1976.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The stadium itself was built for the team the White Sox had at the time, and ace pitcher Ed Walsh was largely considered in the design of the stadium.

    The stadium was the fourth concrete and steel stadium in the league, and when it was built it held a league high 29,000 fans, earning it the temporary nickname "The Baseball Palace of the World".

    At the time it was demolished, it was the oldest stadium in all of baseball.

No. 9: Forbes Field: Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Opened: 1909
    Closed: 1970
    Demolished: 1971

    History Of Name 

    In one of the more original stadium name choices, Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss bucked the trend of naming stadiums after yourself and instead chose to honor British general John Forbes, who fought in the French and Indian War and is credited with naming the city of Pittsburgh.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The stadium was the finest of its day when it was built, made of steel and concrete, the stadium was built to last and had a number of what were then modern amenities.

    The Pirates owner Dreyfuss hated what he called "cheap home runs" so the original dimensions of the park were 360 feet to left, 462 feet to center, and 376 feet to right.

    When right field grandstands were added, the distance to right field was cut to 300 feet, so Dreyfuss had a 28-foot high screen built to limit home runs.

    The batting cage was actually placed on the field during games, tucked into what was referred to "Death Valley" just left of dead center field and over 460 feet from home plate.

No. 8: Shibe Park: Philadelphia Athletics/Phillies

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    Opened: 1909
    Closed: 1970
    Demolished: 1976

    History Of Name 

    Named for Benjamin Shibe, one of the original owners of the team, along with Connie Mack. Mack eventually gained full control of the team but kept Shibe's name on the stadium until 1953 when he changed it to Connie Mack Stadium.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The stadium was the first of the modern era, as it was the first built entirely of concrete and steel.

    Its most noticeable feature is its 34-foot high right field wall. This was done to prevent building owners who were located across the street from erecting bleachers and allowing fans to watch the game, much like Wrigley Field today.

No. 7: Sportsman's Park: St. Louis Browns/Cardinals

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    Opened: 1902
    Closed: 1966
    Demolished: 1966

    History Of Name 

    Baseball was played on the site of Sportsman's park as early as 1867. It was originally called Grand Avenue Ball Grounds, but was re-named Sportsman's Park in 1876. Five years later, the first grandstand was erected as it slowly made its way towards being a legitimate stadium.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The left and right field walls ran towards each other in center field, and parallel to the foul lines, so in essence the field itself was shaped like a diamond.

    At just 310 feet to right field, and 322 feet to right center, the field played well for right-handed hitters, and the Cardinals had a good one for years there in Stan Musial.

    Its gaudy left field scoreboard is also among the most recognizable features of any of the classic stadiums.

No. 6: Tiger Stadium: Detroit Tigers

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    Opened: 1912
    Closed: 1999
    Demolished: 2009

    History Of Name 

    The stadium originally opened in 1912 on the same day Fenway Park opened, under the name of Navin Field, and held 23,000 fans. That became 36,000 when the foul poles were extended in the upper deck in 1936.

    More renovations inevitably needed to be made, and a second deck was added in left field in 1938 when the city moved an entire street, as the capacity was upped 53,000, while the stadium was renamed Briggs Stadium after its new owner. Finally, in 1961 when new owner John Fetzer took over, the stadium was named Tiger Stadium.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The most notable features of the stadium are its right and left field decks, which give the stadium a symmetrical and enclosed feel.

    The light towers in right field may be the most famous part of the park, as they will forever be remembered for Reggie Jackson's monster home run in the 1971 All-Star Game that bounced off of one of them.

No. 5: Yankee Stadium: New York Yankees

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    Opened: 1923
    Closed: 2008
    Demolished: 2010

    History Of Name 

    Originally the Yankees played at the Polo Ground with the Giants, but after Babe Ruth joined the team in 1920, they outdrew the Giants, and then won the pennant the following season. So while the stadium came to be known as the "House That Ruth Built", the team never changed its name from anything other than Yankee Stadium.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    Monument park in center field was home to a Hall of Fame that honored the best Yankees of all time with statues just beyond the outfield wall.

    The white facade in the outfield is one of the stadiums most recognizable features, and it like many of the other features of the stadium was replicated in the New Yankee Stadium,

    The short porch in right field is among the most distinguishable home field advantages in all of baseball, and left-handed power hitters thrive in Yankee Stadium.

No. 4: Polo Grounds, New York Giants

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    Opened: 1890
    Closed: 1963
    Demolished: 1964

    History Of Name 

    As evidenced by its odd dimensions, the stadium was in fact made for the sport of polo, and because of that the newspapers referred to it as "the polo grounds" and the name was eventually accepted as the official stadium name.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The upper deck in right field extended out over the field, reducing the already short lower deck distance of 279 feet to a ridiculous 250 feet, and actually making it hard to hit a home run into the lower deck, although Bobby Thompson did just that with his "Shot Heard 'Round The World".

    Center field, which was already a ridiculously far 483 feet away, also had an overhang that was part of one of the clubhouses, and therefore made a home run to dead center a whopping 505 feet away. Regardless, no player ever hit a home run to straight away center field in the stadium.

    Right field, although without a deck, was still just 258 feet away. However, right center was nearly 200 feet farther away at 449 feet. Simply put, we will never see a baseball stadium with as unique of dimensions as the Polo Grounds.

No. 3: Ebbets Field: Brooklyn Dodgers

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    Opened: 1913
    Closed: 1957
    Demolished: 1960

    History Of Name 

    The stadium was named after Charlie Ebbets, who began acquiring the land needed to build the stadium in 1908, including a local garbage dump known as Pigtown, finally purchased what he needed and began construction turning what used to be a dump into a stadium.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The facade of Ebbets Field is among the most recognizable in all of baseball, and the stadium as a whole is revered not only for the teams that played inside it, but for its outward appearance in downtown Brooklyn. In fact, the Mets modeled some of Citi Field after it.

    The cozy atmosphere of the stadium, which held only 25,000, and its overall lack of parking was its eventual downfall, as the Dodgers packed up for Los Angeles after the 1957 season, leaving the city and the stadium without a team.

No. 2: Fenway Park: Boston Red Sox

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    Opened: 1912
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    The oldest venue still used in all of professional sports, Fenway was named by then team owner John Taylor for the section of Boston in which the stadium is located. However, the owner also happened to be the owner of the Fenway Realty Company so he may have had his own motives as well.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    The "Green Monster" may be the single most unique feature in all of professional sports stadiums, standing 36' 2" tall, but only 310-315 feet from home plate the wall is as enticing as it is intimidating to hitters.

    On the other side of the field is Pesky's Pole, which marks the incredibly 302-foot right field line, and is named after former Red Sox infielder Johnny Pesky, who despite just 17 career home runs, won a game by blooping one over the right field wall, and the pole was then associated with him by pitcher Mel Parnell.

    Then there is "The Triangle" which is a section of right center field where the walls form a triangle and the section is 420 feet from the plate, compared to just 390 feet in dead center.

    It also has the narrowest foul territories in all of baseball, which is a marked advantage to hitters as more balls find their way out of play.

No. 1: Wrigley Field: Chicago Cubs

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    Opened: 1914
    Closed: N/A

    History Of Name 

    Originally built for the Chicago Whales of the Federal League and their owner Charles Weeghman, the park was known as Weeghman Park when it first opened.

    When the Federal League folded in 1915, Weeghman joined a group that included William Wrigley Jr. of chewing gum fame to buy the Cubs from Charles Taft, and the Cubs moved from West Side Grounds. In 1918 Wrigley gained controlling interest in the team, and in 1926 he renamed the stadium after himself and his brand.

     

    Notable Stadium Features

    Take your pick when it comes to Wrigley Field, as both their manually operated scoreboard that is still used today, and their ivy covered walls, are as much a part of baseball history as anything.

    Along with those two, the more recent addition of rooftop seating across the streets as added a new feel to Cubs games as there are literally fans as far as the eye can see when standing at home plate.

    Say what you will about me being a Cubs fan here, but there never has been and never will be a better place to watch a baseball game than Wrigley Field.