One afternoon when I was five or six, I remember being told by my dad we were going on a road trip. Of course, I didn’t care where I was going or what I was doing.
I was going on a road trip with my Dad!
We ended up in Philadelphia and spent the day doing all the usual tourist attractions Philly has to offer. The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, etc.
But that night began something special for myself and has started a goal that will never truly be finished, nor will I ever want it to be.
We went to Veterans Stadium, the former home of the Philadelphia Phillies, and saw them battle New York Mets. We got to the game early enough that we explored the stadium and took pictures with the statues in and outside the park.
That was the first baseball game I had been to outside of Queens. And thus began my goal to go to every Major League Baseball Stadium.
I have currently been to 24 cities that host teams (keep in mind some cities host two teams New York and Chicago, and if you want to include Los Angeles be my guest, but Anaheim is not in LA people), and have been in 26 of the 30 active MLB stadiums (that number will go down one with the opening of Atlanta’s new ballpark this spring), I have been to 30 stadiums including stadiums that are no longer in operation.
Through my experiences thus far, I decided to list my five favorite stadiums to this point in my travels.
My Top Five (as of now):
5) Safeco Field (Seattle, WA) Home of the Seattle Mariners
Don’t let the retractable roof fool you, it literally acts just like a cover to the elements outside. It does not stop wind and fresh air from entering the stadium, which in result can still lead to chilly nights. The ballpark is a nice environment to watch a game and have a good time.
4) Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore, MD) Home of the Baltimore Orioles
This stadium is beautiful, with the warehouse sitting behind the ballpark entrances in right field. The unique black hole that sits in the corner of foul territory up the right field line is unique, and overall just another great place to watch a ballgame.
3) Petco Park (San Diego, CA) Home of the San Diego Padres
The host of this past summer’s “Summer Classic”, is similar to Camden Yards this time featuring a warehouse built into the ballpark’s structure. Petco has beautiful San Diego skyscrapers rising over the top of their stadium behind in the outfield. Also like Camden Yards both parks are modern with a flair of past stadiums designed to emphasize the beautiful game being played in front of their audience.
2) Wrigley Field (Chicago, IL) Home of the Chicago Cubs
Is there really a better experience in baseball than when you hear “Go Cubs Go” and see the W fly in Center field over the old time score board? And the beautiful green ivy lining the walls of this baseball cathedral. It is a step into the pass where you become thrown into the simplicity and beauty of the ballpark to appreciate the game in front of you.
1) Fenway Park (Boston, MA) Home of the Boston Red Sox
To answer my prior question, yes there is one greater experience than “Go Cubs Go”, and that occurs in the middle of the eighth at this true baseball cathedral and that is when “Sweet Caroline” comes on and the entire stadium regardless of fandom unites in singing. It pains me to admit this as a Yankees fan, but it’s hard to pretend this isn’t the best stadium in baseball. With the legendary Green Monster standing in left field always awaiting its next victim, its the holy grail of baseball experiences to enjoy a game here.