Monday, August 6, 2012

My Favorite Baseball Stadiums

While visiting Target Field last week, I counted that I'd been to thirteen Major League stadiums in my life. Most of them are on the East Coast and I don't consider myself an expert on stadiums or anything, but I thought with that large a number it only makes sense to rank them.



Here's the complete list of every stadium I've visited (in no particular odor): Old Yankees Stadium, New Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Citi Field, Veterans Stadium, Citizens Bank Park, the Metrodome, Target Field, RFK Stadium, Nationals Park, Camden Yards, Fenway Park, and Turner Field. The standings, done in reverse order, are purely based on my own experiences at each place, so they are 100% right.




Thank God They Got Rid of those Pieces of Shit



13. The Metrodome--Minneapolis is an underrated place: it has good food, nice people, and a real downtown area. Unfortunately, the Twins were saddled with a carpet bag stadium for decades and decades. Even when they were good and winning, you couldn't take them seriously because the monstrosity that is the Metrodome, which somehow still existed for the Vikings until last year, looked so ridiculous. I went to see the 2001 Mariners there, one of the greatest regular season teams of all time, which made the game fun, but the stadium was still atrocious. Additionally, the Metrodome gave Cristian Guzman twenty triples one year, and for that it's the worst of the worst.


12. RFK Stadium--This stadium hosted the Nationals in their first years of existence. It was originally a football stadium, then became home of the DC United, and the Nationals lived there for a few years before Nationals Park was built. This was the only stadium where there was a legitimate concern that it would just collapse on you when the crowd was loud. The stadium actually shook when Nationals fans got up to cheer. It shook not because of their enthusiasm (the Jose Vidro years weren't exactly what Abner Doubleday had in mind), but because it was structurally unsound.

11. Veterans Stadium--This was the porno theater of MLB. It was ugly, it was depressing, and you didn't want to know why it was sticky. I also sat in the rain as Greg Maddux got pounded by Jim Thome and the Phillies. By the end of the 16-2 rout, it was just my family and a few diehard Phillies fans sitting behind the Braves dugout. Suffice to say that Philly kept it classy by repeatedly mentioning things that rhymed with pinch hitter Darren Bragg's last name.

10. Shea Stadium--This stadium peaked in Men in Black. No one was sad to have it go and no more than two sentences should be spent on anything to do with the Mets.


Meh State of the Art Stadiums

9. Citi Field--I got to sit right behind the Braves' dugout for a game in September last year which was an amazing experience. Other than that, this stadium is a piece of crap. The tickets cost almost double Yankees tickets and you have to watch the Mets play.

8. Nationals Park--I remember that I was in this stadium, I remember that it was nice and new looking, but I didn't feel anything when I was there.



Beautiful but Boring


7. Citizens Bank Park--The best baseball joke of all time occurred at a Phillies-Braves game I went to with fellow blogologists Steve and Jon. A drunk Philly fan, making his Ben Franklin proud, said to right fielder Jeff Francoeur, "Hey Francoeur.......you suck, your buddy Andruw Jones is going to get a big contract and you aren't." Francoeur likely cried himself to sleep that night, but everyone in the right field stands got a great kick out of his wit. This stadium has a cool Liberty Bell but that's about it.


6. New Yankee Stadium--It reeks of George Steinbrenner's money grubbing fingers. Every square inch that can be used for corporate advertising is used. It lacks the charm of the Old Yankee Stadium and is too large. Every Yankee fan I've spoken to about the new stadium says that it doesn't get as loud as the old one. But congrats, Steinbrenners, on getting richer. Good for you guys.


State of the Art with Personality

5. Target Field--Target Field looks pretty, it has all the modern features that you want, and it still feels like it has some personality. Unfortunately, the Twins aren't very good and the stadium they built hurt their two best hitters, Mauer and Morneau, by making it impossible for them to hit homers at home.


4. Turner Field--If I were a homer (I'm not), I'd have picked this first since it hosts my beloved Braves. Realistically, though Turner Field is a good but not great stadium. It has the new features you want in a stadium, even though it was built in 1997, and the team is consistently good. They withheld the urge to get goofy like most new stadiums, and as a result they have a classy stadium. Now if only fans showed up before the NLCS.

3. Camden Yards--Camden Yards defined what a modern stadium should look like. It is tucked into Baltimore, beautiful, but unfortunately it hasn't hosted a playoff game in nearly two decades. For a stadium to truly be considered in my top two, I need a little history to have taken place inside it. Which brings us to....



Royalty

2. Fenway Park--Fenway is iconic, it is old as hell and full of Red Sox fans, but it is still probably what most people think of when you say the words "baseball stadium." The Green Monster and the Pesky Pole are exhibits A and B in my fight for standardizing baseball fields (another post for another day) but they do have a certain old-timey charm. The negatives on Fenway are its tiny seats, bad views, and the fact that Red Sox fans do the wave. Seriously, Ted Williams' cyrogenically frozen head is shaking at all of you. ALL OF YOU!

1. Old Yankees Stadium--Fenway Park is iconic but the Old Yankee Stadium is baseball history. As much as it pains a Yankees hater to say, this is the best park I've ever been to. And those are all the god damn compliments I can muster for the Yankees at the moment because I just ate lunch.

2 comments:

  1. "in no particular odor" That's funny!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're the only person who thinks the old Yankee Stadium had "charm."

    ReplyDelete