Yankee Stadium – old or new – will always have a certain special quality because of the Yankees place in baseball history. But not every park has the built-in advantage of being the place where one of the more famed teams in all of sports plays its games. Most stadiums have to bring something else to the table.
As I was reading Jason’s post this morning I found myself ticking off a list in my head of all the ballparks around baseball that have that “something” – the something which makes you want to go there almost regardless of who the home team is playing.
Everyone has different criteria for what appeals to them at a park, and mine aren’t particularly unusual – I like an open feel, good food and decent acoustics, not to mention a good scoreboard. Those aren’t ironclad rules, though; sometimes I just like the vibe of a park and that’s all it takes.
Here’s my list of top 5 most enjoyable parks to visit, non-NY division (and I listed them by city because I hate sponsor names). What’s yours?
1. San Francisco – Great view, great atmosphere, great food both in and nearby the park. One of my favorite cities, too.
2. Seattle – Fantastic sushi and the coolest roof ever.
3. Baltimore – Starting to lose a little of its luster over the years, but still a fave (though not if its the dead of August). Can’t go wrong with a pre-game crab cake at Phillips.
4. Pittsburgh – Great stadium, awful team.
5. Anaheim – Underrated park with great sightlines and cool rocks beyond the outfield wall. Plus, I like when the Rally Monkey pops up in bits from “Jaws” and “Pyscho.”
Honorable mention: Kansas City (great scoreboard), Cleveland (non-midge season), Philadelphia (about a billion times better than the Vet)