By ZACH GILLELAND
As a lifelong baseball fan, I love the uniqueness of baseball stadiums. Unlike the NFL, NBA or NHL, in baseball, no two stadiums are alike, as each features its own specific set of dimensions. Long gone are the days of cookie-cutter stadiums that dominated the 1960s-80s; each stadium is filled with different quirks and amenities that sets it apart from others. From the Green Monster in Fenway Park, to the B&O Warehouse in Oriole Park and the ivy in Wrigley, here are 10 MLB stadiums that should be on your bucket list:
- Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays)
Back in the summer of 2015, I was able to attend two games at the Rogers Centre. Housing the MLB’s lone team to our friendly neighbors up north, it has seen its share of history, including two World Series and the last World Series walk-off homerun off the bat of Joe Carter. Opened in 1989, the stadium has some interesting features, such as the CN Tower overlooking. Fans can stay in the Renaissance Hotel in center field and watch the games from their rooms or eat dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. There are many things to do in the area from visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Toronto Islands or having dinner on the CN Tower.
- Nationals Park (Washington Nationals)
Call me a homer but, since I grew up an hour south of D.C., I have seen my fair share of Nats games. There is plenty to enjoy about the stadium. Located a few blocks from the DC Metro, the stadium is easily accessible to commuters. The racing presidents entertain spectators in the fourth inning and the growing skyline in center field gives a great view. Fans can also get a glimpse of the Washington Monument. There are many things to do in D.C., as well, including viewing the White House, the many memorials and the cherry blossoms.
- Petco Park (San Diego Padres)
While the Chargers could not find a new stadium in San Diego, the city’s baseball team sure has a spectacular park. With the growing skyline and the Western Metal Supply Warehouse in left, Petco Park is one of the finer stadiums in baseball, even if the Padres are not very good. And if you are bored with baseball, San Diego is home to many great beaches.
- AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants)
There is a reason the Giants hold the second-longest sellout streak in baseball history. Left handed power hitters can plant the ball in McCovey Cove where fans wait in boats to catch a souvenir. The Coca-Cola bottle and the Homerun glove in left add to the amenities this park features. With three World Series rings in the last decade, the Giants always give the fans a winning team.
- Oriole Park (Baltimore Orioles)
Students at SU are well familiar with Oriole Park. Built in 1992, the stadium set a modern trend for new ballparks with its retro-modern style. The B&O Warehouse in right field adds to the beautiful view of Downtown Baltimore, and Boog’s Barbeque, owned by former Oriole great Boog Powell, fills fans with delicious food. Nestled not too far from the Inner Harbor, Oriole Park gives fans many things to do.
- Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees)
The successor to one of baseball’s holiest cathedrals, the newer Yankee stadium is not as highly regarded as its predecessor. Fans will tell you that it lacks the awe and feel that the original stadium had, but do not get me wrong—this is still a great ballpark. With cozy dimensions down the left and right field foul lines, fans in attendance see a lot of balls leave the yard. While not at a game, fans can see a play on Broadway and visit the Statue of Liberty or Central Park. While it lacks what old Yankee Stadium had, it is still a nice ballpark.
- Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Opened in 1962, Chavez Ravine is the third oldest ballpark in the MLB. With beautiful temperatures and the San Gabriel Mountains in center field, it is easy to get comfortable. Celebrities and others of Hollywood’s most famous stars often attend Dodger games, so you may see one of your favorite movie stars at a game. Hosting eight World Series, fans at the ballpark consistently see winning teams. And when you are done watching baseball, there are a million things you can do in Los Angeles.
- PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates)
With family in Western Pennsylvania, I have been able to go to a few games at PNC. Boasting arguably the best view in all of baseball with the Roberto Clemente Bridge joining the Pittsburgh skyline above the Alleghany River, the park is one of the finest in all of baseball. Like AT&T Park, powerful left handed hitters can land splash hits into the river. The pierogi race also entertains fans during the game. Grab a Primanti Bros. sandwich and enjoy some baseball.
- Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox)
The oldest ballpark in the MLB (opening way back in 1912), fans routinely pack the stands to watch their beloved Red Sox. One of the most unique stadiums, Fenway has some quirky dimensions: 310 feet to left, 302 feet to right and 420 feet to right-center. Combating the short dimensions in left is the 37-foot high wall dubbed the Green Monster, whose wall allows foar unpredictable bounces that leaves opposing outfielders guessing. Pesky’s Pole in right field (named after Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky) allows balls that would normally be fly balls in other parks to become homeruns.
- Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
It was difficult to choose between Fenway and Wrigley. The friendly confines of Chicago just edge out Fenway for the top spot on the list. In a day where stadiums are built in a city’s downtown area, Wrigley field, unlike other parks during its opening, was built in a neighborhood. The ivy covered brick wall in the outfield and the manual scoreboard are features unlike any other. Across the street, fans can sit on rooftops and catch a glimpse of the action. Although nearly 500 feet away from home plate, balls have reached the rooftops before. Visiting Wrigley Field should be No. 1 on your baseball bucket list. Oh, and it does not hurt that the Cubs won their first World Series since 1908.