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2004 MLB Parks List

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A great ballpark reflects its community to the core. It has a certain character, vibe, ambience, feeling, aroma, texture. It delivers, well, a certain experience. An experience that’s totally unique. This list is based on Joe Connor’s own experiences, leaning heavily on history reflected; uniqueness of design and dimensions; fan atmosphere; location and accessibility; and its overall quaint intimacy.


Factors such as ticket prices and availability; climate; amenities; and overall seat comfort - while important - are considered secondary (e.g., a first time visitor to a baseball shrine they’ve never experienced before like Fenway Park is willing to accept some of this in exchange for the benefits of the unique experience). BOTTOM LINE: Every ballpark has its faults - there is no utopia! To plan your ballpark trip, complete details on enjoying each is featured in the easy-to-use, annually updated, A Fan’s Guide To The Ultimate Ballpark Tour: Fully Loaded! available for purchase exclusively at the Buy Joe's Guides page.




1. Fenway Park - Fenway area, Boston, MA (Red Sox) First game: 1912

Biggest Plus: Who needs a new Fenway when you can add great seats to the right field roof, too?

Biggest Minus: Good luck getting tickets - and IF you get them, watch your wallet get lighter.


2. Wrigley Field - North side Chicago, Chicago, IL (Cubs) First game: 1914

Biggest Plus: The Cubbies and rooftop owners have kissed and made up. The result? Nothing has changed about Wrigley Field - YES!

Biggest Minus: Welcome to the dumbest tradition in professional sports - throwing a souvenir home run baseball back onto the playing field.


3. Yankee Stadium - The South Bronx, NY (Yankees) First game: 1923

Biggest Plus: Nothing better than watching an All-Star team in “The House That Ruth Built.”

Biggest Minus: Prepare to get frisked down to your privates.




4. SBC Park - China Basin/Mission Bay area, San Francisco, CA (Giants) First game: 2000

Biggest Plus(es): New name, same old beauty, plus some home runs record is closer in reach.

Biggest Minus: If you like you’re space, this ain’t the place: narrowest concourses among the new ballparks built since 1989.


5. SAFECO Field - Pioneer Square District, Seattle, WA (Mariners) First game: 1999

Biggest Plus(es): A “fair” ballpark offering great accessibility, feel, fan atmosphere, sight lines, grub - oh, and a great city, too.

Biggest Minus: Say it isn’t so, is 2004 Edgar’s Swan Song in the Emerald City?


6. PNC Park (Pittsburgh) - North Shore District, Pittsburgh, PA (Pirates) First game: 2001

Biggest Plus: Best sight lines in baseball, even from the highest seat in the top deck.

Biggest Minus: 11 straight losing seasons, and a 12th one in sight - no wonder the fan atmosphere is less than riveting.


7. Jacobs Field - Downtown Cleveland, OH (Indians) First game: 1994

Biggest Plus: Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the Jake took Cleveland by storm, but even better - this place still rocks.

Biggest Minus: Fan atmosphere no match for the glory days of the mid-1990s.


8. Oriole Park at Camden Yards - Downtown Baltimore, MD (Orioles) First game: 1992

Biggest Plus(es): Raffy’s reunion back in Bird colors en route to the Hall of Fame, plus nothing like cruising Eutaw Street and enjoying some Boog Powell barbecue.

Biggest Minus: A Dominican coming to see Miggy would say ticket prices es muy caro!


9. Kauffman Stadium - Suburban Kansas City, MO (Royals) First game: 1973

Biggest Plus: Still so beautiful, you can’t even notice the changes - this season, the left center field fence has been moved in and dirt replaces rubber on the warning track.

Biggest Minus: We could do better than a suburban parking lot.


10. The Ballpark in Arlington - Arlington, TX (Rangers) First game: 1994

Biggest Plus: Who says there’s no life after Pay-Wad? The most underrated new ballpark of the 1990s celebrates its 10th anniversary like Jacobs Field by ushering in a new era.

Biggest Minus: In summer it can be hot as HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!


11. Coors Field - Lower Downtown, Denver, CO (Rockies) First game: 1995

Biggest Plus: Location is everything and Coors’ location is sparklingly awesome.

Biggest Minus(es): Bring your overnight kit because we’re going to be here awhile. Also, would someone explain to me why they can’t heighten the fences or move them back?


12. Dodger Stadium - Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles, CA (Dodgers) First game: 1962

Biggest Plus: The ultimate trend-setting ballpark is amazingly the fourth oldest today, yet still feels as good as new.

Biggest Minus: Speaking of trends, it also unleashed one of the worst in baseball - driving and then parking in a gigantic lot (and then going nowhere after the game).




13. Citizens Bank Park - South side, Philadelphia, PA (Phillies) First game: 2004

Biggest Plus: Location and accessibility aside, it’s the best ballpark since PNC Park with great sight lines; unique dimensions; great food; better statues; cooler plaques; and fan atmosphere.

Biggest Minus: This is sensible urban planning - building a ballpark admist parking lots, stadiums and arenas, which results in among the worst accessibility in baseball? Boooooooooo. Also, if you build it, we’ll raise ticket prices - by more than 50 percent! Boooooooooo.


14. PETCO Park - Downtown San Diego, CA (Padres) First game: 2004

Biggest Plus: Now this is more like San Diego - a ballpark across from San Diego Bay and within a short walk of the happening Gaslamp Quarter.

Biggest Minus(es): “World’s Best Ballpark in America’s Finest City?” Not even close, with a major one for the dogs: a poorly designed outfield that results in significant obstructed views for fans, plus, like the Phillies, 'if you built it, we'll raise ticket prices' (by more than 30 percent).


15. Busch Stadium - Downtown Saint Louis, MO (Cardinals) First game: 1966

Biggest Plus: And on the eighth day, God created the smartest, friendliest and most under appreciated baseball fans on planet earth - Cardinals fans. A packed house on a summer afternoon along the Red Sea River of Saint Louie is an experience unlike any other.

Biggest Minus: Fans have to wait two more seasons before this city gets a new ballpark - and a big move up in the rankings, for sure.


16. Turner Field - Atlanta, GA (Braves) First game: 1997

Biggest Plus: Add last year’s division title to the outfield facade, plus an unsung, open-air ballpark, and Oh Atlanta!

Biggest Minus: Slim to no pre-game atmosphere.


17. Great American Ballpark - Riverfront, downtown Cincinnati, OH (Reds) First game: 2003

Biggest Plus: The Reds new ballpark continues its work-in-progress, adding a Hall-of-Fame this season; will there ever be a future Ken Griffey, Jr. statue outside the yard?

Biggest Minus: Least unique design and outfield dimensions of any recent new ballpark.


18. Minute Maid Park - Downtown Houston, TX (Astros) First game: 2000

Biggest Plus: Can’t really ask for more when Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens join your team, plus the All-Star game is coming to town.

Biggest Minus: Good luck getting tickets, and if you end up in the upper deck, expect to acquire vertigo.


19. Comerica Park - Downtown Detroit, MI (Tigers) First game: 2000

Biggest Plus: Location aside, a great ballpark showcasing the Tiger rich history - from decade-by-decade in the main concourse to the outfield statues. And, yes, fan atmosphere has returned.

Biggest Minus: What could be better than donning a bullet-proof vest as you drive to the most dreary section of Motown - and, as a result of the decadence - must pay out the ying-yang to park your car so it doesn’t get vandalized or stolen.


20. Angel Stadium (aka, Anaheim Stadium, 'The Big A') - Anaheim, CA (Angels) First game: 1966

Biggest Plus: Angel ticket haven’t been this hard to come by since all the fair weather SoCaler’s jumped on the Rally Monkey bandwagon in the fall of 2002.

Biggest Minus: Just getting good tickets.


21. Bank One Ballpark - Downtown Phoenix, AZ (Diamondbacks) First game: 1998

Biggest Plus: Watching Richie Sexson in his prime swing in a hitter-friendly desert (aircraft hanger) oasis.

Biggest Minus: Can we raise ticket prices any higher, Mr. Colangelo?


22. U.S. Cellular Field (aka, Comiskey Park) - South side, Chicago, IL (White Sox) First game: 1991

Biggest Plus: Kudos to the ChiSox for fixing that incredibly hideous upper deck that caused major vertigo.

Biggest Minus: You can fix the ballpark but the location is still among the worst in the Majors - nothing more unappealing than having to commute all the way out to the attractive south side projects.


23. Miller Park - Suburban Milwaukee, WI (Brewers) First game: 2001

Biggest Plus: No better place to have a brat, burger and a beer - and then buy the cheapest seat in the house and sneak down to better seats because nobody’s there anyway.

Biggest Minus: Bud "teams-must-have-new-urban-ballparks-to-survive" Selig couldn’t even get it done in his hometown. Not only that, the Brewers haven’t had a decent playoff hit since “Eye of the Tiger” topped the charts in 1982.



24. Shea Stadium - Queens/Flushing/Whatever, NY (Mets) First game: 1964

Biggest Plus: 81 games in Tokyo - Mets fans get to witness the Amazin’ Magic of Little Matsui as Shea celebrates its 40th.

Biggest Minus: With the Jets in a Manhattan state-of-mind, how ‘bout we celebrate the 40th anniversary by flushing this armpit down Flushing’s toilet for good?


25. Hiram Bithorn Stadium - Hato Rey, San Juan, PR (Expos Other Home) First game: 1962

Biggest Plus: The closest “Latin style” fan atmosphere you can get without visiting the Dominican, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Cuban, Colombian or Mexican Winter League playoffs.

Biggest Minus: How does a lush, tropical island ballpark not have natural grass?


26. Network Associates Coliseum (aka, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum) - Suburban Oakland, CA (Athletics) First game: 1966

Biggest Plus: Among the most affordable tickets in baseball while pushing for a new future pad.

Biggest Minus: Go figure - most foul-territory in baseball = least room to maneuver in aisles.


27. Pro Player Stadium (aka, Joe Robbie) - Suburban Miami, FL (Marlins) First game: 1993

Biggest Plus: The Marlins won the World Series, and hopefully they’ll now sucker enough politicians to get a new ballpark built as a result.

Biggest Minus: Only in America can you not allow a baseball fan to carry in an umbrella to a ballpark that experiences more rain in summer per capita than 10 months in Seattle combined.


28. Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodump - Downtown Minneapolis, MN (Twins) First game: 1982

Biggest Plus: A new ballpark is back on the table in the Twin Cities.

Biggest Minus: The new ballpark won’t be ready anytime soon, so for now enjoy baseball the way you played it as a child - remember, inside the world’s largest helium balloon!


29. SkyDump - Downtown Toronto, Ontario Canada (Blue Jays) First game: 1989

Biggest Plus: Plenty of good seats available inside the Spaceship Enterprise, Skydump.

Biggest Minus: Welcome to what feels like the largest indoor mall in the world.


30. Tropicana “Field” - Downtown Saint Petersburg, FL (Devil Rays) First game: 1998

Biggest Plus: Sweet Lou’s temper tantrums are the stuff of legend and now Tampa’s Tino Martinez gets to see them in person, too!

Biggest Minus: Welcome to the biggest indoor sports funeral home in the state of Florida.


31. Olympic Stadium - Montreal, Quebec Canada (Expos) First game: 1976

Biggest Plus: AWESOME sales on Expos merchandise. I mean really, really awesome!

Biggest Minus: I’m sure going to miss those corroding seats!




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