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9 Must See Baseball Parks

You may be thinking, why nine? Well, nine is baseball. Nine players. Nine Innings. This concept is taken from the Prime 9 show on the MLB Network. It is not intended to be a final list to end all conversation but just the opposite. It is intended to be a list to start conversation. So if you have something to add or delete, let me know what and why.

9. The Ballpark in Arlington: I know. I know. It it really called Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, but the classic name it started out being is one of the best all-time and any Ranger fan, such as I, has never called it anything but. This makes the list not because it is the place I have seen more games than any other, but because of the simplicity, atmosphere, and architecture. Every seat is a good seat to see some great action. During the summer months there is a jet stream going out to rightfield resulting in one of the most offensive stadiums in baseball. That in itself makes it a great place to watch a game, but when you add in the old style architecture with new technology, you have #9 on my list. Oh and don’t forget to try a cold Shiner Bock while you are there. It is liquid gold from Texas.

8. Rickwood Field: Where would this list be without the oldest field in the country in Birmingham, AL. Rickwood was built in 1910 and is still in use today. Even though it no longer houses a permanent professional team, the field is used for amateur, semi-pro, and the Rickwood Classic. The Rickwood Classic is a yearly AA game for the Birmingham Barons. Here they celebrate a different era of the Birmingham baseball with a throwback game. This is the best opportunity to experience Rickwood Field and many travel across the country just for the 1 game.

7. Coors Field: Coors Field in Denver, CO offers great views with high octane offense. Again one of the more offensive stadiums due to the high altitude, Coors also offers its patrons a great view of the Rocky Mountains. A row of purple seats in the upper deck mark the mile high line where you can sit and look out onto the beauty of the mountains. Games here during the hot summer months are typically quite pleasant. Due to the altitude the weather cools at night even during the summer offering a great time for all. Be sure to grab some Rocky Mountain Oysters if you dare, and a seat in the Sandlot Brewery, where Blue Moon was invented, is a must before the game.

6. Dodger Stadium: Built in 1962 in Chavez Ravine, Dodger Stadium is the 3rd oldest MLB stadium. This is a classic park with views of LA, the tree-lined hills of Elysian Park and of the San Gabriel Mountains behind the outfield pavilions. A lot of history has taken place here in its 47 years of existence, but if you truly want the LA experience its a must to arrive late and leave early. However, great baseball is to be had on any visit to Dodger Stadium. Passionate Dodger fans are some of the best in the game, and you must not forget to have a famous Dodger Dog before you leave.

5. FirstEnergy Stadium: Home of the Reading Phillies, this park was built in 1951. History abounds here for the Philly fan. Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, and Greg Luzinski all played here along with the current crop of Phillies stars. Too hot for you in the summer to see a game? Then relax in the Eagle Pool Pavilion beyond right field and be sure to catch some pre and post game entertainment at the Classic Harley-Davidson Cafe

4. Oriole Park at Camden Yards: Two blocks from the birthplace of perhaps the greatest player of all-time in George Herman “Babe” Ruth (that is a discussion for another day), stands Oriole Park in downtown Baltimore. One of the more picturesque views of a city, Baltimore stands just behind the outfield walls here. A few blocks from the harbor, Camden Yards was the first MLB park to go for the “retro” feel. Be sure to check out Boog Powell’s BBQ stand on Eutaw St between the park and the famous B&O Warehouse that left handed hitters take aim at.

3. PNC Park: Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, PNC Park is the 2nd smallest in terms of capacity held. That shouldn’t stop you from having an easy time getting tickets as the Pirates, at least for the past 10+ years, have not put contending teams on the field. However, this park is one of the more picturesque. Great views of downtown Pittsburgh abound here. Park and walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge, which is in view when looking out of center field. Ticket prices here are some of the lowest in the country for MLB games, and be sure to have a Primanti Brothers sandwich while at the game. They are a Pittsburgh specialty.

1. Fenway Park: Notice there is no #2 on my list. Instead I am going with two #1’s for the simple fact that I can not choose between the two. Fenway is the oldest stadium still in use in MLB. Known for its Green Monster in left field, there have been many historic games held here over the past 97 years (it was built in 1912). Many of the games greats have graced this field and it stands as a testament to baseball’s staying power in the United States. Packed with history, Pesky’s Pole, the Triangle, Williamsburg, and the Lone Red Seat, Fenway is a landmark in itself. Red Sox Nation, as the fans have become known in recent years, are very passionate and will show any fan a good time.

1. Wrigley Field: Home of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field is another landmark in itself. Built in 1913, it has been the home of the Cubbies since 1916. Known for its ivy covered walls in the outfield, the Friendly Confines is the last Federal League park. The Federal League was the last major attempt of an independent professional league challenging the National and American Leagues in the US. Enough of the history lesson, back to Wrigley. The bleacher bums in the outfield are always fun but the atmosphere is great anywhere in the park. Be sure to check out Wrigleyville before or after a game, and if you can try and catch Wrigley at its finest during the day.

Honorable Mention:
New Yankee Stadium (the old stadium would have made the list but I am cautious with the new one so far.)
Dell Diamond in Round Rock, TX – Home of the Round Rock Express
Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, TX – Home of the Frisco Roughriders
Keyspan Park in Brooklyn, NY – Home of the Brooklyn Cyclones
Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL – Home of the Clearwater Threshers
Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, AL – Home of the Montgomery Biscuits
Safeco Field in Seattle, WA – Home of the Seattle Mariners
AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA – Home of the San Fransisco Giants

So that is my 9. What is yours?

About Eric Bynum
I taught ESL for three years in South Korea and now I am looking to set out on a new journey after just finishing my teaching certification in the US. I hope to continue teaching and traveling and you can follow his journeys here.

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