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"Unless you're leading the Dog, the view never changes." - sign just outside the Yankees spring training clubhouse, Legends Field, Tampa, Florida
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1. Fenway Park
What’s great about it: Its true uniqueness. From “Pesky’s Pole” to the “Green Monster,” no ballpark even comes close to Fenway’s one-of-a-kind dimensions and layout. Plus, its crammed in 33,000 seats in the heart of Beantown are a highlight in and of itself.
What isn’t: Tickets are very expensive and hard to come by, especially during the summer and on weekends. Chowdaheads support ‘dere Sox.
2. Wrigley Field
What’s great about it: Just about everything, from the “down home” feel of the ballpark, nestled in a neighborhood, to the Ivy in the outfield to the bleacher bums and fans on Waveland Avenue.
What isn’t: If bleacher tickets are your objective, buy early because they go fast – and don’t forget sunscreen! It’s hot (or cold) in the Windy City, so dress appropriately!
3. Yankee Stadium
What’s great about it: The celebration and appreciation of history. It’s not just Monument Park, it’s also legendary public address announcer Bob Sheppard, the outfield façade, the Jumbotron, the Yankee fans’ unique first inning tradition, and so much more.
What isn’t: Its location. Located in the South Bronx, make sure you arrive early or you’ll be throwing a hissy fit trying to make it to the game on time. Arrive early and soak in the history of the place.
4. Kauffman Stadium
What’s great about it: There are no “nosebleeds” at this quaint and long underrated ballpark where there is – literally – not a bad seat in the house. Besides the fountains in the outfield, the Royals also display their history well throughout the ballpark.
What isn’t: Located in the Truman Sports Complex, getting in and out of the facility can sometimes be a challenge.
5. Safeco Field
What’s great about it: The views – arguably the best of any of ballpark. Sit in the upper deck of right field on a summer day and you’ll have picturesque views of downtown Seattle and Puget Sound.
What isn’t: There isn’t the same experience when the retractable roof is closed, so make sure you visit in July or August if you want to truly enjoy the ballpark and surroundings.
6. The Ballpark in Arlington
What’s great about it: It’s tie to Texas and Texans. Large insignias' of the Texas Longhorn adorn the outside of the ballpark and are hard to miss, and inside – from the Texas-shaped scoreboard to the music and food selection, it’s all Texas in a very tight-knit and fan-friendly designed ballpark.
What isn’t: Access to the ballpark can be daunting, especially in summer, since it’s located adjacent to a water park. Fans must pay for parking – there are no other options unless you utilize public transportation.
7. Comerica Park
What’s great about it: The dimensions. It’s actually a professional ballpark from the standpoint of giving a pitcher half a chance to go seven innings without giving up a 315-foot homer in a middle school lot (Enron Field are you listening?). The views of downtown Detroit are also stunning and the concourses are wide and accommodating.
What isn’t: The ballpark faces the Detroit River so make sure you bring your windbreaker, especially if you’ll be visiting in the early fall or at night. Also, don’t stray off the beaten path. While Detroit is trying to revitalize the area around the ballpark, it’s still infested with crime and other problems, especially at night.
8. Jacobs Field
What’s great about it: Its location. Smack dab in the heart of downtown Cleveland and located 18-feet below street level, the Jake is just a great place to catch a ballgame – plain and simple.
What isn’t: Tickets – they can be hard to come by. Even though the Indians broke their consecutive sellout streak earlier this season, if you want a certain seat you best plan ahead.
9. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
What’s great about it: It’s bond with Baltimore. The warehouse in right field along with the fact that Babe Ruth was born in a house where the ballpark is now located is a further testament. The downtown location and easy access to the Inner Harbor make it a very enjoyable fan experience.
What isn’t: Tickets are pricey, no matter where you sit.
10. Dodger Stadium
What’s great about it: The fact that the key features haven’t changed much over the years. Sure, there’s the special section behind home plate for the rich and famous, but the incredible canyon views, unique scoreboard, overall charm and legendary organ playing remain.
What isn’t: The Dodger fans can be about as enthusiastic as a dead rat unless their team is in a pennant chase. Also, don’t get lost leaving the ballpark. The area nearby isn’t in any tourism brochures, if you know what I mean.
“A Fans’ Guide To…The Ultimate Ballpark Tour” is now on sale on the site for $5.95 (plus free advice on planning your trip from Joe!). Purchase what Jeff Dotseth, KFMB sports radio host, calls “informative, unique and very funny” right here on the site!
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Mar 31 2002, 02:09:34
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