Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Canon Review List-A-Mania: Top Five and Bottom Five MLB Stadiums

The idea for this post came from reader Dickson S., who asked me to reveal the best and worst baseball stadiums. Before we begin, I must say that I've only been to two Major League Stadiums in my lifetime, so the results of this list is largely based on what I have seen on television. I know it's not the same as being at the actual stadium, but nevertheless, I will complete this list to the best of my ability. So, without further adieu, here is The Canon Review's list of the best 5 and the worst 5 stadiums in Major League Baseball.

5. Petco Park - San Diego, CA

The home of the Padres, Petco Park is a fairly new park, having been completed in 2004. What I like about this park is the view of the big buildings of downtown San Diego from home plate, as well as the incorporation of an old warehouse as part of the ballpark, as an old Western Metal Supply building serves as part of the left field wall. Bottom line, this is one of the most attractive stadiums in baseball. (image courtesy of ballparksofbaseball.com)


4. AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA

The home stadium of the Giants is everything that their old stadium, Candlestick Park, isn't, charming, attractive, and what generally seems to be a heck of a place to watch a ballgame. Built on the coast of the San Francisco Bay, this stadium has many unique features, including the "World's Largest Baseball Glove" and a chance for power hitters to hit homeruns in "McCovey's Cove" over the right field fence, an inlet of the San Francisco Bay where many boaters park each night hoping to catch a souvenir. (Image courtesy of mlbraodtrip.com)

3. Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

The longtime home of the Cubs, Wrigley Field is a landmark in Chicago, home to baseball for almost 100 years. There are quite a few unique qualities in Wrigley Field, from its brick walls covered in ivy to its "rooftop seats" where fans can climb up to the roofs of their apartment buildings and take in all of the action, to its giant green scoreboard in centerfield, one of the few hand controlled scoreboards left in the major leagues. Wrigley Field is often considered the most enjoyable place to watch a ballgame, and for good reason. (image from wikipedia.org)

2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD

Even though the Orioles play there, Camden Yards has always been a great place to watch a ballgame in. Debuting in 1992, Camden Yards is known for being the first of the many "retro" parks built, and its success inspired nearly every other baseball team to get their own brand new stadium. A unique feature of this park is the incorporation of an old building, the B & O Warehouse, into its design, as the warehouse serves as the backdrop for the right field bleachers. The park also features a great view of downtown Baltimore, although that has been altered to the building of two new skyscrapers which impair that view. (image from ballparksofbaseball.com).

1. Fenway Park, Boston, MA

I'm not a huge fan of the Red Sox, but I am a huge fan of its ballpark. In fact, if there is one stadium I want to attend a ballgame at, it would be this one. Built in 1912, Fenway Park is the oldest park still in use by a Major League team. The most famous feature of Fenway is the "Green Monster" the 37 foot high fence in left field. Another thing that makes Fenway unique is its wacky dimensions, as the left field fence is only 310 feet away, while the fence in right center is 380 ft away. The dimensions, lack of foul territory, and weird angles off the Green monster and the angular center field fence make games at Fenway an adventure for outfielders, and add a unique factor to games that aren't seen at other games. Another feature exclusive to Fenway is the hand operated scoreboard that resides at ground level on The Green Monster. Although there was talk of replacing Fenway, Red Sox brass wisely have decided against it, meaning that this great stadium will continue to host the Red Sox and their devoted fans for years to come. (image from ballparksofbaseball.com).

Well, that's the five best, but now it's time to get negative and name the five worst baseball stadiums. Unlike the last list of all current stadiums, this one will contain ballparks that are no longer hosting ballgames, so consider this the five worst baseball stadiums I have seen in my time following baseball.

5. Tropicana Field, Tampa, FL

I'm not sure why the people of Tampa Florida decided to build a dome for a baseball team, but that's what they did. Built in 1986, although not used for Major League Baseball until 1998, Tropicana Field often seems like a dull, lifeless place to watch a ballgame. It's indoors, there's nothing really to set it apart from other stadiums and is painted in drab, lifeless colors. The Rays are hoping for a new stadium soon, hopefully it will be better than this one (image courtesy of projectballpark.org)

4. Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN

The Twins opened up their new ballpark this year, meaning that there will be no more baseball inside of the HHH Metrodome. Personally, I find that to be good news, as I never liked how dark it appeared inside the dome. Not to mention the right field wall, which looked as if it was made of trash bags. On the other hand, the Atlanta Falcons finest moment took place in this building, so I guess I can't completely hate it (image from ballparksofbaseball.com)


3. Veterans Stadium - Philadelphia, PA

The old stadium of the Phillies had all of the charm of razor-wire. The only thing this stadium was known for was its artificial turf, considered to be the worst playing surface in baseball. The park was huge and cavernous, to the point where some seats required binoculars in order to see the action. The Phillies moved to their new ballpark in 2004, and it is a vast improvement over this one (image courtesy of ballparkreviews.com).

2. Minute Maid Park - Houston, TX

Formerly known as Enron Field, this park probably doesn't deserve to be on a list of worst stadiums, but it's my list, and I must admit that I've never enjoyed the quirks of this stadium. For one thing, why in the world is there a hill and a flagpole in play in centerfield? Also, I've never been a fan of the advertising on the foul poles, and the dimensions are so weird that balls off the wall can be considered home runs, provided they hit over a certain line, as the Braves found out in their 18 inning extra inning marathon in the 2005 NLDS. Actually, that game is probably a large factor in this stadium''s placing on this list (image courtesy of wikipedia.org).

1. Candlestick Park - San Francisco, CA

Candlestick is remembered by many baseball fans for its swirling winds, which made night baseball a challenge to stay warm, even in the summer. Add to that a field far away from even the closest seats, due to its expansive foul territory and outfield walls some 20 feet away from the stands, the chain-link outfield walls, and a drab, lifeless atmosphere, and Candlestick Park is my choice for the worst baseball stadium. It's no coincidence that attendance at Giants games improved dramatically after the Giants moved to AT&T Park (image courtesy of ballparksofbaseball.com).

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts, than let me know either by leaving a comment or by sending me a e-mail at KtheC2001@gmail.com.

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