Just like some people want to tour around the United States in an RV to suck in all of the sites, MLB fans often make a resolution to visit all 30 Major League ballparks. This usually entails an ample amount of BBQing and tailgating.
There is something magical about baseball parks. Yes, football stadiums and soccer stadiums are cool too, but they just lack a little bit of the “je ne sais quoi” hidden inside MLB parks. There is a sense of magic to the air during a ball game, and even when you stand in the stands looking over an empty ballpark, it’s still amazing. It’s like in baseball, they pay particular attention to the design emotional impact the design will have on spectators.
So, today we are going to look at the Top 5 ballparks to visit if you are a baseball fan who wants to feel the magic for yourself plus travel the contiguous US and visit some really cool towns while you’re at it.
While this is a subjective topic and someone else might put other ballparks at the top of the list, here are my favorite parks in no particular order.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
The Baltimore Orioles have been a struggling franchise for the better part of two decades now. To give you an idea, the Orioles are currently +23000 at the MLB Odds to win the Fall Classic in 2021. This number means that a $100 bet would net you $23,000.00 if they won this year. Compare that number to the LA Dodgers at +450, the NY Yankees at +550, and the SD Padres at +900, and you start to see how far down the MLB pecking order the Baltimore Orioles are at the moment.
However, their ballpark is always near the top of the list for parks to visit. It’s simply classic. Parks that were built or went through remodels in the 1990s and 2000s tried to replicate the look and feel of Camden Yards … but none of them could.
Miami Stadium ca 1953 – This 13,500-seat ballpark with cantilever-style roof was built in 1948 and home to several minor league teams and spring training home to Dodgers and Orioles. After years of neglect it would get razed in 1999 and a housing project now stands in its place pic.twitter.com/jqGxJCunlz— Old-Time Baseball Photos (@OTBaseballPhoto) February 22, 2021
The B&O warehouse that stares over the ballpark’s rightfield wall give Camden Yards a truly retro feel. Then, as you look over centerfield, and see the tops of the Baltimore Skyline, it almost feels like you’ve been transported back to the old-timey days to watch America’s favorite pastime.
This field often ends up as the No. 1 ballpark in America. It’s truly beautiful There’s not a bad seat in the house and you have wonderful views of downtown Pittsburgh and Roberto Clemente bridge directly behind center field. What makes this park especially unique is that there are only two decks. So, it’s the first park to be built this way since the 1950s when County Stadium was constructed in Milwaukee.
With a 56,000 person capacity, Dodger Stadium is massive. Instead of one Jumbotron, there are two, so it doesn’t matter if you sit along the 1st base line or 3rd base line, you always have a clear view of the big screen. If you are somewhere behind home plate you have a clear view of both. On top of this, you have the scenic backdrop of the Chavez Ravine behind centerfield and of course, you get to visit Los Angeles while you’re at it. The stadium was recently revamped but it was originally built back in 1956.
Wrigley is one of the older fields still in the MLB. Built back in 1914, it’s a true gem of a ballpark with tons of history. Sure, the stadium has its details, like trying to find your way through its poorly planned concourse … but that is also what gives this park much of its charm; it’s like stepping back in time. The ivy along the walls and manual scoreboards make Wrigley one of the most ‘authentic’ baseball fields in existence today and perhaps, there is no better place to catch a game than here on a warm summer afternoon.
I have three words for you: Big Green Monster. Fenway Park is amazing. The franchise built Fenway back in 1912, and it remains much the same as it did well over 100 years ago. If you are looking for an MLB ‘experience’, then look no further than the field the Boston Red Sox call home.
There you have it. Those are my Top 5 ballparks to visit in the United States. What are your favorite fields? Let us know in the comments below!