I can’t help but write today about the greatest game in the world: baseball.
And while I am in such a celebratory mood, I’ll let my mind flow over to my other favorite pastime, making lists. When I’m bored or stuck somewhere and want to pass the time, I make lists. Any topic will do, but more often than not my mind turns to about baseball. My favorite baseball list is listing my favorite baseball parks. I’ve been to most of them. And this debate within myself goes on infernally. It’s elastic. The list changes with my mood and my emotional connection to the park. But as of now, the top five baseball parks of all time are, in reverse order:
All-Time Best Baseball Parks
#5) Seattle Mariners, SafeCo field. This one never stays the same. I love the skyline, the roof is a work of engineering art and it’s right downtown, which is basically a requirement for my list. If you have to drive, it’s disqualified, which painfully removes Chavez Ravine. The Brewers Stadium is fun, but also gone. The Braves.. what were they thinking… sigh, Arlington is a great looking ballpark. All disqualified. So for now it’s M’s, which is AT&T Park on Steroids, and I hate steroids, which makes me want to kick this off the list in favor of St. Louis, Pittsburgh or Detroit. The Rockpile is pretty cool ($1 tickets) and nearly makes the list on that alone.
#4) Wrigley Field – Some days this has ended up #2 on my list. But that’s an emotional decision. The venerable stadium is simply a perfect place to watch a day game. The vibe, the surrounding areas, the EL and the Ivy. When drinks at the Billy Goat Tavern followed the game (a place a bartender kept open until four in the morning for just me and couple of guys) was included in the package, this topped the charts at #2. Now that I’m sober, it’s #4. Still an epic stadium.
#3) Camden Yards- Purely the most innovative, art-changing, visionary stadium in this class. It set the stage for every stadium that’s been built and single-handily destroyed the horror story that was multi-use stadiums and domes of the 1970s. If this list was “most important stadiums” Camden would be number 1. It’s a gem.
And the biggest, hardest, emotional decision between #1 and #2, subject to change in a moment’s notice….
#2) AT&T Park- This stadium and the surrounding area is perfect. Crampt and beautiful with the uniqueness of the splash homers to right, Mssrs. Mays and McCovey watching the front and the back… it’s just… brilliant. Absolutely nothing beats a day game in the sun, in my beloved SF. Even when the team sucked (which people forget HOW much they sucked last decade) you can grab a $5 ticket for $3 from a scalper in the second inning and just enjoy the moment. The surrounding area is SOMA, my home, which makes it the very best.
And finally, #1….
The single greatest seats in any stadium ever is upon the Green Monster. But even when you are behind a post, you are in love with Fenway. Boston is the best–by far!–crowd. The surrounding area is not AT&T standards, but it works and its near the heart of the city in Boston’s Back Bay. The stadium aura is magical. The above view is what I saw when I proposed to The Bride on Fenway’s big screen (corny, yes, but absolutely memorable). Fenway Park is the fulfillment of the Lord’s Prayer: On Earth as it is in Heaven, especially the greatest opening day ever (2005) when The Bride and I watched the 2004 Championship Banner unfurl on the Green Monster. Epic.
Want to argue? Reply below.
Want to vote?
I’m so excited it’s like I’m a kid again. I love, love, love this day.