The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
May 19, 2016, 4:33 PM | Updated: Aug 19, 2016, 9:57 am
The best Major League ballfields provide fans with an exceptional game-viewing experience, but insiders know that truly great stadiums also offer beautiful landscapes and exceptional eats. With dozens of pro fields scattered across the country, it may be difficult to determine which are worth visiting. There’s no need to scour the internet filing away dozens of fact sheets about every stadium because we’ve got the answer right here. In the following list, we present a few insider secrets to help you choose the best stadium to visit.
Wrigley Field – Chicago Cubs
This field is actually built on holy ground as it was constructed on the site of a former seminary. As America’s second-oldest ballpark, it features the original hand-operated scoreboard. Fans don’t seem to mind that their team hasn’t won a championship since 1908. They’re too busy enjoying the camaraderie at neighborhood-wide parties in Wrigleyville or listening to celebrities such as Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Murray deliver their own renditions of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” For those who enjoy the past, but still want the comforts of the present, the stadium has been upgraded in recent years.
Yankee Stadium – New York Yankees
Fans of the team that has won more championships than any other in the major leagues will want to tour their home stadium and be sure to visit Monument Park. Once located onsite, but now relocated across the street, the park still honors legends such as Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. While you’re here, be sure to grab a meatball parm sandwich from Torrisi’s. You’ll find it in the Great Hall between gates four and six.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Baltimore Orioles
Camden Yards seamlessly blends the old and the new. This park is built over an old railroad station and a café owned by the father of Babe Ruth. Built in 1992, the stadium is now credited with starting the trend of parks being built to integrate with surrounding neighborhoods. Going hand-in-hand with neighborhood integration is serving local cuisine. You’ll want to be sure to try a pit beef sandwich from Boog’s Barbecue topped with sliced onions and secret sauce.
Chase Field – Arizona Diamondbacks
Chase Field may be best known for its on-site swimming pool. Located in right-center field, it can be reserved as a suite for 35 people for $3,500. Mark Grace was the first to hit a home run into the pool. Chase also boasts a dirt strip between the pitcher’s mound and home plate. This used to be a common feature in ballparks, but it’s rare today. Only one other ballpark (Comerica Park, Detroit) has this dirt strip, also known as a “keyhole.”
AT&T Park – San Francisco Giants
There’s plenty to attract baseball fans to this waterfront park built in 2000. The City by the Bay hosted three World Series games and saw some of Barry Bond’s record-setting home run hits. Fans can enjoy wines from nearby vineyards or check out park attractions like the Coca-Cola Fan Lot which features four twisty slides and a kid-size park replica called Little Giants Park. If you don’t have tickets, it’s no problem. Make your way to the right field wall for a free peek of the game through one of the wall’s portholes.
Coors Field – Colorado Rockies
It’s hard to believe, but a bleacher seat at Coors Field begins at the rock-bottom price of only 4 dollars. For fans who are interested in viewing the spectacular Rocky Mountains, as well as the game, seats are available perched at exactly 5,280 feet above sea level. You’ll want to keep your eyes on the ball because games in the Mile High City move faster. Baseballs fly nine percent more quickly in the mountains because the high altitude dries and hardens the balls. Be prepared for an exciting game when visiting Coors Field. It’s known as “hitter’s park” because it tends to have more than its share of home runs.
Comerica Park – Detroit Tigers
Every home run made in this stadium is celebrated with a liquid fireworks display. Regardless of your seat, you’ll have a great view of this synchronized light and music fountain display as it rockets 150 feet in the air through 900 nozzles. If that doesn’t grab the kids’ attention take them down for a ride on the carousel or 50-foot Ferris wheel near the food court. If your tots are under 14, bring them on Sunday when they can ride for free. Of course, grownups haven’t been forgotten. They can enjoy the 1940s-era feel of the Cigar Bar of the Tiger Club which offers 20 cigar varieties.
Citi Field – New York Mets
Opened in 2009, Citi Field offers a sun-filled rotunda honoring Jackie Robinson, enhanced sightlines and gourmet ballpark food. Fans can feast on ribs from Blue Smoke or lobster rolls created by chef Dave Pasternack. For truly homegrown flavor you must try the “Meat the Mets.” This pizza is topped with pepperoni, jalapeno, Creole chicken and Italian sausage. For your sweet tooth, there is ice cream by Coolhaus and you can top it all off with a local brew.
PNC Park – Pittsburgh Pirates
This is the only two-level park in the MLB, but even the highest seat in the park is only 88 feet from the field. Every seat provides a great view of the field and the Pittsburgh skyline and Allegheny River. You can take a pleasant and safe walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge and the adjoining river walk to the stadium. The bridge is closed to traffic on game days. Local fare served at the stadium includes Quaker Steak & Lube wings and Primanti Brother’s Almost Famous sandwiches.
From East Coast to West Coast, whether you’re eating BBQ or pizza, the magic of baseball lives in the memories you make along the way. Make sure to choose your ballpark and enter to win a trip to any major league baseball stadium this summer.
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