The Top 5 Major League Baseball Parks to Attend
5. Yankee Stadium
Yes, it lacks the historical significance of "The House that Ruth Built," but this park is still undoubtedly worth a visit. Monument Park, a very important feature of the old park, has been transferred into the new stadium. This center field establishment displays plaques of all the retired Yankee numbers, along with descriptions of what that particular player contributed to the team. Altogether, the new Yankee Stadium is just like the old one, but with some nice additions. The dimensions of the field of play remain the same, the seats were made larger and more comfortable, and many more dining and club areas were implemented. Although ticket prices are quite high here, the cost of admission will be well worth it. The park is as clean and professional looking as it can get. The quality of baseball will always be above average, as well. Since 1995, the Yankees have made the playoffs all but 3 years. The short fences in right and left field pave the way for offensive explosions due to an increased number of home runs in this ballpark. It would be wrong to leave the home field of the winningest team in baseball history out of the top 5.
4. Wrigley Field
The "Friendly Confines" of Wrigley Field will go down as one of the best parks in baseball history. Just this year, the Chicago Cubs celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the opening of their home park. Ironically, they have never won a World Series title while playing here. The last time the Cubs won it was all the way back in 1908- a 106-year drought. The first thing many people will notice is that the outfield walls are covered by thick, green ivy. In 1937, this was implemented to make the park appear more "beautiful," according to the team's general manager at the time, Bill Veeck. The ivy is only one of many intricacies unique to the old ballpark in the Windy City. Wrigley retains an old-school manual scoreboard, that adds a "back in the day" feel to the park. The only ballpark in baseball to have a scoreboard like this is Fenway Park, the home of the Red Sox. A cool tradition has been how the Cubs go about singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Unlike other teams who simply play a recording, the Cubs have a different guest sing it every game. Previous guests have included Tracy McGrady, Jeff Gordon, Ozzy Osbourne, and Bill Murray. A visit to Wrigley will throw you back in history in a way only one other ballpark can do.
3. PNC Park
PNC Park is quite the sight to see. There is no better-looking combination of ballpark features and surrounding area in Major League Baseball. A fairly new park, built in 2001, should be on any baseball fan's list of places to visit. With some of the lowest ticket prices in the majors, PNC really gives you a bang for your buck. The Roberto Clemente Bridge and Pittsburgh skyline above the center field fences really give the ballpark some personality. The word "Pirates" shaped into the shrubbery in center field is a nice touch. Since the city is close proximity to the park, there are plenty of things to do before and/or after the game. Don't like ballpark food and want to go to a nice restaurant? Just walk right across the yellow bridge and you'll be all set. PNC Park is located right net to the Pittsburgh Steelers' home stadium, Heinz Field. The ample parking available around these sporting venues minimizes transportation headaches and inconveniences. On top of all this, the Pirates are finally playing some good baseball, making the playoffs for the last 2 seasons. Previously, they hadn't made it to the playoffs since 1992. Their center fielder, perennial MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen, is always an entertaining player to watch. A nice breeze off the water will keep you cool on a warm summer night. There is too much to like about this place.
2. AT&T Park
While AT&T Park is still fairly new (opened in 2000), it has already built up quite the historical significance. Just this year, the Giants won their 3rd World Series title in the past 5 years. This means that the World Series has come to AT&T Park in 20% of the seasons it has been in operation. A hugely significant and controversial event occurred here back in August of 2007. That day, Barry Bonds blasted his 756th career home run, surpassing Hank Aaron for most in Major League Baseball history. While this record is obviously cloudy due to Bonds' alleged steroid use, it is still a very notable event. A unique aspect of AT&T Park is its location along San Francisco Bay. This area of water has been dubbed "McCovey Cove" due to the former Giants 1st baseman hitting many balls over the right field seats into the water. Since the park opened, there have been 68 recorded "splash hits" into the water. A counter has been established on the wall in right field for whenever this happens. Players and fans alike get excited by this unique feature only occurring in San Francisco. On game days, numerous kayakers can be seen paddling around McCovey Cove hoping for a home run ball to come their way. Whether it be history, appearance, or uniqueness you're interested in, AT&T Park has a little bit of everything.
1. Fenway Park
There is a reason the Red Sox have the most expensive tickets in all of Major League Baseball- Fenway Park is the most desired stadium to attend in the league. Known as "America's Most Beloved Ballpark," Fenway attracts fans from all over the world, whether they root for the Red Sox or not. The rich history of the park is extraordinary. Debuting in 1912, Fenway has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of past and present Red Sox teams. In Fenway's first few years, it saw the home team take home 4 World Series titles. However, it was not until 2004 that the championship returned. In between those 86 cursed years, many of the park's physical characteristics have changed, but it will always live on as the venue that has seen more baseball than anywhere else in the world. Arriving early and looking around the park is a good idea. One thing that will grab your attention right away is the giant wall in left field. This was originally built in order to block pedestrians from getting a free view of the game from out on the street. In 2003, seats were added to the top, known as the Green Monster seats. Sports Illustrated actually conducted a poll and revealed that Green Monster seats are the most desirable seats in all of Major League Baseball. If you look into the right field bleachers, a red seat may be noticeable in a sea of green if the seats have not filled up yet. This red seat marks where the longest home run hit in Fenway Park landed, hit by the great Ted Williams. The manual scoreboard in left field is one of only 2 remanning in the majors (Wrigley Field is the other). Fenway Park is truly a living museum. The owners have done a terrific job of improving such an old landmark and making it as serviceable as ever. In the early 2000s, millions of dollars were poured into the park to make it more up-to-date. These upgrades included the monster seats, brand new scoreboards, and significantly upgraded bathrooms. The greatest aspect of Fenway Park is the atmosphere on game day. Some people may complain about the seats being too close together, but it makes for better fan unity and more seats closer to the action. If you could only choose one ballpark to pay a visit to in your life, this one is it.