Friday, April 20, 2012

The Best Baseball Stadiums to Visit

The Best Baseball Stadiums to Visit

Despite what some may say, baseball is still America's pasttime, and for good reason: warm weather, a leisurely pace of game allowing for relaxation and conversation, and community parks where the words "play ball!" can be heard almost every afternoon or night. Despite the charm and allure of every team's home field, some venues are certainly better than others. In order to judge which stadiums are the best out there, we consider factors such as fan base, atmosphere, aesthetic appeal, the team that plays there, and the history of the particular stadium.
So, without further ado, here are the stadiums that came to mind when thinking about the best.
  • Wrigley Field
The "friendly confines" of Wrigley Field--home of the Chicago Cubs and home to the most depressed and inebriated fanbases in all of baseball. Besides Fenway and since the Yankees destroyed their old stadium, One of the last stadiums of yore in America, your exit (it seems like there are only two in the whole stadium) will be all the merrier if the Cubbies get a win. You will get to sing the famous victory song for the Cubs: "Go Cubs, go! Go Cubs, go! Hey Chicago, what do ya say, the Cubs are gonna win today" or something like that.
  • Dodger's Stadium
Home of the storied Dodgers franchise, Dodger's Stadium is a must-do if spending time in So-Cal. Literally built inside a parking lot, the stadium is a bastion of garish 70s style, drama, and a loyal fanbase. Students of architecture will either love it or abhor it. The great California weather (and Matt Kemp to a certain degree) make a ticket to Dodger's Stadium one of the best possible plans for an evening in L.A. Seating over 54,000, Dodger's stadium is also one of the larger ballparks, which also makes it more fun.
  • Comerica Park
Comerica Park sticks out in Detroit like a tropical oasis in the middle of the Russian tundra. It also makes this list in part because you are likely to watch Verlander, Cabrera, and Prince Fielder when attending a game here. The stadium is clean and new, and features largescale and ferocious looking Tiger sculptures all over. The fan base is a friendly mix of old-time baseball fans (the kind with all the pins on their letterman jacket and a chip on their shoulder from fighting in Korea), families, and the rest of the best Detroit has to offer. Nonetheless, the Tigers are the team to beat, and this beautiful stadium is a great place to be on any day in baseball season.
  • Citi Field
Sure, the Mets may not be worth watching, but their home field features some of baseball's most devoted fans, as well as the type of "charm" New York is famous for. I say that Mets fans are devoted because if you grew up in New York, it would take some kind of devotion to root for the Mets over the Yanks. Unlike that other N.Y. team's stadium across the way, Citi Field is accessible, affordable, and unpretentious. Its a great, no-nonsense baseball experience, and you are bound to see at least one professional-level team on any given night. It also puts a lot of graduates who have had electrician training to work (if you get a chance to go, try to remember that quip--you will get it).
For more information on America's baseball stadiums, check out the following resources.
Five Thirty-Eight Blog - from the NY times, this blog post presents each stadium from the perspective of its yelp.com rating.
abcnews.com - an article that reviews each and every baseball park in America.

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