For whatever reason, baseball stadiums bring out the best in the nation's architectural geniuses. I don't know if it's the plush green grass or the smells or just the history that makes baseball fields so different than any other arena or stadium atmosphere in sports. Fortunately for the United States, we are blessed to have 30 of the best stadiums in the world. The following is one word to describe each one.
The oldest ball park in the majors is still one of the most beloved. Sure it’s not up to date with all the bells and whistles that some of the new ball parks have, but there is something to be said about “old school.” This park is flat out awesome.
The jewel of Minnesota is the two-yeaold Target Field. With the threat of contraction over a decade ago, the Twins made it a priority to get a new field and they did it up right. Very few transportation issues and not a bad seat in the house make this the best ball park in the Midwest.
The host of the 2012 All-Star game has been changed from turf to grass, then got the much needed face lift a few years ago. It still is one of the most aesthetically pleasing fields in baseball and it looks like the product on the field will be more pleasing as well.
Yankee fans were in need of a new “House that Ruth Built." What they got was an updated carbon copy of the old Yankee Stadium. I don’t mean this in a negative way but you would expect nothing less from “the Boss” and he put his money where is heart was with this gem.
The third time for a Busch stadium doesn’t disappoint as well. The Cardinals, being the center piece of sports in St. Louis, should have the best field. The view of the arch is one of the best in baseball.
According to ESPN, the Ballpark in Arlington has given up an average of 1.5 home runs a game during its existence. The next closest ballpark is Coors Field which has yielded 1.3 dingers a game. Of course, when you have an offense like Texas has had, balls will fly out, but that is a huge discrepancy in home runs from first to second.
When trying to come up with one word that described U.S. Cellular field, my mind went blank. I tried to think of anything I could connect to old Comiskey Park but still nothing. Then for some reason, a picture of Pres. Obama came to me in his White Sox coat. I guess that will have to do.
Once upon a time in the Pacific Northwest, one man saved a franchise. When the M’s drafted Griffey and he “grew” up to be the player he would become, fans flocked to the old Kingdom. After the 1995 divisional series, baseball was embedded in Seattle which led to the building of the beautiful Safeco field.
Petco Park is where power hitters go to die or pitchers go to maintain their career. The Padres, not having a true power hitter, have built their franchise around defense and pitching. Ryan Ludwick is the only guy with any pop that still plays for the Friars. Even Adrian Gonzalez lost a lot of potential big flies because of the dimensions of this park.
When the season starts, you can see the bricks in the outfield and frankly it looks like a typical city field. But once May comes around, the outfield fence turns green with Wrigley’s famous ivy and that city ball park turns into a fabulous venue to watch a ball game. One of the treasures of the major leagues.
Citizens Bank Ball Park is smack dab in the middle of the City of Brotherly Love. If you look up the word "fibrous," it means tough like most of the Philadelphia fans that inhabit the ballpark throughout the summer. Plenty of runs are scored with the Phillies offense but fans are showing up more so to see the “four aces” with the hope they could witness history any night.
The first of the retro ballparks, Camden Yards is still the gold standard for retro fields. Even though the Orioles aren’t playing like they did in the 1990’s when the field just opened, it is still a ballpark that makes you think back to the days of Robinson and Palmer.
"High" is a descriptive word of the Mile High ball park because of the purple line in the upper deck that is exactly a mile high from sea level. When I was doing the research on home runs, I couldn’t believe that Coors was second on average home runs a game behind the Ballpark at Arlington. Still, the ball flies out of there but nothing close to that purple line.
In my humble opinion, this has the best view in all of baseball and is the best looking ballpark in all of baseball. With the view of the skyline and the pedestrian bridges, it provides an outstanding view of what Pittsburgh has to offer. The seating is more like a bowl so that there isn’t a bad seat in the house. It also looks like the Pirates are improving so maybe the rest of the nation can see what PNC is all about.
The Angel’s franchise was mediocre at best until Mike Sciosica began his tenure as the Halos' manager. Scisocia has won a world series with the Angels as well as been in the playoffs in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. They put steady, gritty teams out year after year that is a direct throwback to the way Scioscia played the game. A great hire and one of the best managers in the game today.
For a small market team, this is one of the best stadiums around. The Brewers did it right when they put the retractable roof on and still made it where natural light can be seen through the windows. It also allows natural grass to grow, well, naturally. Of course it helps that the Brewers are winning these days and that has helped the "Crew" to the tune of three million or more fans each year since 2008.
AT&T Park reminds me of Barry Bonds and all the home runs hit into McCovey Cove. Bonds tattooed the fences all over the ball park and hit his 73rd home run there as well. The best way to describe the park weather wise in an otherwise turbulent San Francisco day is from Bert Blyleven when the Twins played out there earlier this year: “it could be 85 degrees downtown and 65 degrees here. One of the best fields in all of baseball." My sentiments exactly.
I had to think of a synonym for the GAB because of all the balls that fly out of there. Sitting only behind the Ballpark in Arlington and Coors Field, the Great American Ballpark surrenders the third most home runs on average a game. The highlights of the field are the steamboats that represent the steam ships that used to float down the Ohio River, as well as the artwork just inside the entrance that pays homage to the great Reds teams of the past.
The Nationals are an up and coming team in the NL East and their field is arguably one of the best in baseball. It was tabbed as one of the most environmentally friendly stadiums in the world and has seen its fair share of baseball history as well in its short time of existence.
Prior to Turner Field, the Braves played at Fulton County Stadium which also looked like a county ball park with all the trash that always blew across it. However, even with all the success that the Braves have had, they still struggle putting fannies in the seats. I wonder if it’s because the lighting there stinks?
This is not a jab at the high unemployment rate in Detroit. Quite the contrary, it’s a positive spin on the amount of passion and drive the Motor City has for its teams. The Red Wings are perennial playoff contenders and the Lions look like they are for real. Owner Mike Ilitch has made it a point to put a winning team on the field at Comerica Park, and he has done a pretty nice job of that. Well done Mr. Ilitch.
What’s that hush in Chavez Ravine? Oh that’s the crowd that showed up in the third inning and has just left in the seventh. This is a beautiful ballpark overlooking the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains and where the temperature is never above 80 degrees. Maybe that’s why everybody leaves early. To go out and enjoy what California has to offer.
I have no idea what this place is called anymore. Once upon a time it was Oakland-Alameda County stadium. Then it was Network Associates Coliseum, then McAfee Coliseum, next it was Overstock.com and now O.co. You can see how I would get confused. The talk though, is it may be Empty Coliseum as the A’s are looking to build a park in San Jose and the Raiders are looking to build as well.
Oh the good old days when Minute Maid Park was Enron Field. Oops. That isn’t meant to be mean or anything like that, but literally overnight the field went from one of the most lucrative naming rights in sports (Enron the energy company), to one of the best orange juices around. Still, the Park hasn’t lost its luster with its trademark train engine or Tal’s Hill in straightaway center field.
One of two remaining, consistent multi-purpose stadiums still in use today, but one of the worst because of the turf. In any other division, the Blue Jays would be winning division titles or at least competing for them, but in the tough AL East, you have to win 90-plus games just to be mentioned as a contender and the Blue Jays aren’t there. Yet.
This one actually kind of ticks me off. If you are a fan of baseball in the St. Petersburg area, why wouldn't you go support a team that defied all odds last year and made it to the Divisional Series after having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball? It doesn’t seem to matter with this franchise as they have established themselves as winners. Too bad the people of the area don’t see it that way.
I chose the word "gone" for this one but the more I think about it, I’m not sure why. The Marlins aren’t terrible by any means, but still can’t draw at all. Maybe it’s South Beach or maybe it’s the chance of rain, but it doesn’t make sense to build a new ballpark when you draw less than 20,000 a game. Maybe Ozzie can bring some fans out. Otherwise, this is wasted money.
There is a reason why baseball has its spring training in Arizona, it’s not 100 degrees. Fast forward to the summer when 100 degrees is considered a cool day. The hiring of Kirk Gibson as manager and the fiery style he brings to the ball club has made this team “red hot” and hopefully will establish itself as a team to reckon with in the NL West.
With all the cash troubles the Mets had this year, it’s really unfortunate this field gets overlooked. Sure the Yankees are the prize of New York but Citi Field is right up there as far as what fans want in a field. Too bad they are cash strapped and not going to field much of a team for a couple of years.
The building of the ball park helped downtown Cleveland rejuvenate itself and has since then been surrounded with Quicken Loans Arena as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With the season the Indians had this year, hopefully it will continue to provide Cleveland with much needed commerce and bring back the success of the 1990’s for the franchise.