MLB Ballparks: 5 of the Biggest Stadium Design Flaws in Baseball History
Every MLB ballpark has its nuances. Some are deemed nostalgic tributes to past generations of ballplaying, and some are considered eyesores by the average fan.
Whether it's a structural oddity in the stands or the the field itself, fans remember that aspect of the park for better or for worse.
Every ballpark is made with some sort of issue, and these five have some of the biggest design flaws in the history of the game.
Obstructed View at New Yankee Stadium
The New Yankee Stadium is one of the most amenity-filled sporting venues that exist today, but it’s not without its faults.
Many diehard Yankee fans felt betrayed when they realize that a new-fangled sports bar, dwarfing monument park in center field, would obstruct a good majority of the bleacher seats in right and left center.
Because of the location and size of the walls, it’s impossible to see some of the angles of the park when sitting in the bleachers.
Ivy at Wrigley Field
The ivy that covers the expanse of the outfield at Wrigley field is one of the most iconic symbols in baseball history.
But, it has little practical value. Balls often get stuck in the vines, interrupting play and resulting in an automatic ground-rule double.
The Ivy doesn’t provide much padding for the brick surface beneath it, either, and outfielders are at a risk whenever they go crashing into the wall.
Aesthetically, the ivy provides one of the most recognizable sights in the game. But, it serves no purpose other than providing a decorative and nostalgic characteristic for the park.
There was plenty wrong with Candlestick park.
Because of its location on the San Francisco Bay, the weather often came into play. Fog, wind and cold often tormented both the players and the spectators. Because of a piping design flaw, heating never worked in the stands or dugouts.
There was also way too much foul territory, which often irked the players, and the away clubhouse wasn’t attached to the dugout.
Tropicana Field Catwalk
The four catwalks that hang from the roof of Tropicana Field are one of the biggest architectural oddities in the game.
Balls that touch one of the catwalks, if deemed to be fair by the umpires, can be ruled a home run, double, or a live ball. When the ball is ruled live, fielders can catch the ricochet for an out, or the ball can fall in for a hit.
It’s stickball on the grandest stage.
Duffy's Cliff at Fenway Park
From 1912 up until 1933, there existed a ten foot high inclined slope, running along the base of the left field wall all the way out towards the triangle in center field.
The slope occasionally served as overflow seating whenever a particularly large crowd came to visit the game. The hill became known as “Duffy’s Cliff” of Duffy Lewis, who perfected the art of running up and down, often through crowds of spectators, to track down long fly balls.
As if the Green Monster wasn’t hard enough to play already.