Monday, July 23, 2018

The Great American Ballpark Ranking

Since THC completed visiting all 30 major league parks, he thought it only proper to present his completely objective ranking of the sun-dappled (except for domed stadiums and night games) fields of play.  Our methodology was to arrive at least an hour before the game (we couldn't do this in all cases), walk the entire stadium, sample the food, and then stay until the last out.  Below are my top three parks, along with the rest divided among three tiers.  You may notice that there are not an equal number of teams in each tier.  I don't care.  This is my post.

Bottom line, any park is a good place to watch a baseball game.

Extra bonus feature - learn which park is best suited for you to survive a zombie apocalpyse!

Top Three

Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox, 1912) - Hey, I'm a Red Sox fan, what'd you expect?

AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants, 2000) - Views of surrounding area, sight lines to field, and food all top notch.

PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates, 2001) - Views of the bridge and city.  Good seating and food.

Top Tier

Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs, 1914) - Some advice; don't go to a June game on a sunny day if there's a brisk wind blowing in from the lake, or at least sit in the bleachers where you are protected.

Petco Park (San Diego Padres, 2004) - Tied for best food with AT&T.  Also like that factory facade built into the stadium.

Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners, 1999)

Kaufman Stadium (KC Royals, 1973)) - An older stadium with a nice feel to it.  Very comfortable and open.

Coors Field (Colorado Rockies, 1995) - I may have been unduly influenced by the magnificent fireworks display at the end of the game.

Busch Stadium (St Louis Cardinals, 2006) - Great atmosphere, great fans and food.  And that's even with us ending up in last row of third deck in left field.

Middle Tier

Marlins Park (Miami Marlins, 2012) - A lot of folks don't like this one but I did except for the stupid statute in center field which they should blow up.  Instead, they blew up the team.

Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers, 2000) - Much better than anticipated.

Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers, 1962) - Great location, memorable history, but the park itself is looking old and tired.

Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles, 1992) - The state of the art stadium when it opened, it's now been surpassed by the competition.

Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks, 1998) - I've developed a soft spot for the park of my new hometown team.  Decent in every category, plus you can buy a Paradise Valley Burger there.  On the other hand, team management wants out of the stadium because of dispute with city over deferred maintenance.

Globe Life Park (Texas Rangers, 1994) - Interesting park to walk around with good vantage points.  My advice: don't get seats on third base line for afternoon or early evening games in the summer.  I left some skin.

Target Field (Minnesota Twins, 2010) - Fun place, right near downtown.

Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati Reds, 2003) - Like the river setting.  Good BBQ in left field corner.  So, do you think Joey Votto takes too many pitches?

Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers, 2001) - Fun place to watch a ballgame.  Also the ballpark best suited for you to survive a zombie apocalypse.

Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillie, 2004) - Like the promenade and food area around the outfield.

Citi Field (New York Mets, 2009) - If you go try to tie in a visit to the Louis Armstrong House Museum in nearby Corona, Queens.

Nationals Park (Washington Nationals, 2008)

Bottom Tier

SunTrust Park (Atlanta Braves, 2017) - We saw it last year when it opened. It left me cold.

Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees, 2009)) - Yes, I hate the Yankees but hear me out.  I've been to both the original Yankee Stadium and its 1970s replacement and thought highly of both of them.  The new stadium, which I've been to several times, is a nothingburger, and a number of my Yankee friends agree.

Rodgers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays, 1989) - Nothing special in any way.  Needs renovation.  My view is admittedly colored by our seats behind the right field light stands.  Devoted fans however.  48,000 showed up for a mid-week game with the Tigers with neither team in contention.

Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians, 1994) - Impressed on my first visits to the stadium, but it had aged badly by my last in 2012.  The field was renovated in 2014 and 2015 so maybe some of the old glory has been restored.  I hope so.

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland Athletics, 1966) - Last there in 1972.  I'm told it's not gotten any better.

Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros, 2000) - Like watching a game in a shopping mall.  Great scoreboard though. The team is not too shabby either.

Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago White Sox, 1991) - Winner of Worst Name for a Ballpark award.

Angel Stadium (Los Angeles Angels, 1966) - Low-rated otherwise, but don't miss the bacon and cheese sandwich which comes with a ton of bacon.  This Trout kid may amount to something.  Keep an eye on him.

Somewhere Between AAA and Major League

Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays, 1990) - Like watching a game in a circus tent.  It was so ridiculous I found it enjoyable, at least for one game.

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