Welcome once again to the official and unusual Major League Baseball power rankings, where we try to rank things other than the teams since we still aren't sure about if/when the 2020 season will be played. For this week, in our interminable march toward nothing, we'll be ranking ballparks.
Now, it should go without saying that accusations of bias are a waste of time. Of course ranking ballparks is going to be biased by the person doing the ranking. It's all personal taste.
For my personal taste, some things that matter:
- Ease of access to the stadium, including easily flowing traffic. Sorry, Dodger Stadium, I cannot possibly rank you any higher because it's absolute hell to get in and out of that damn parking lot.
- The surrounding area. That is, are there a lot of hotels and cool sports bars in close proximity?
- Aesthetics. The bridge views from PNC Park and Oracle Park are major pluses.
- A walk around the concourse should be possible and eye-pleasing.
- Features. That is, statues are pretty cool and things like the Green Monster in Fenway and Wrigley's ivy are key separation points, just like the Western Metal Supply Co. building in left field in Petco Park.
- Gut feeling. I can't properly explain why Wrigley Field is my favorite ballpark except for that it just is.
Things I don't care about:
- History. Yes, two of my top five ballparks are going to be historic, but that's not why they are ranked where they are. I truly don't walk into Wrigley and think "this is where Babe Ruth might've called his shot." I don't care about that.
- Prices. Sorry, it doesn't factor for me.
- Food. Generally speaking, I'm always going to be able to find something I like to eat.
- Beer selection. Again, I'd be able to find a beer that is acceptable. Most of the time I'm working anyway.
Let's get to it!
|Unapologetic Cubs fan here. You can't top Wrigley for me and there's no argument that would make me even think about budging.|
|McCovey Cove. The Bay Bridge. The right field brick wall. The sports bars in the area. The statues. There is so much to love here. It's a near-perfect experience.|
|The Gaslamp Quarter, the close-in-proximity hotels, the ease of transportation and the beauty of the city of San Diego are key selling points. The ballpark itself is amazing, too.|
|The Roberto Clemente Bridge. The skyline. Near-perfect architecture. This is a top-notch beauty.|
|Everything about Fenway is amazing except one thing: The seats are still built for people from the 1920s. We're bigger now. I'm only 5-foot-8 and find them cramped.|
|Camden Yards deserves so much credit for starting to get baseball stadiums back on track from the awful cookie-cutter facilities that permeated the game through the '70s and '80s. The warehouse in right is an excellent feature and this yard gets the job done at nearly every turn.|
|I'm a huge fan of the train horn on home runs and when the Astros take the field. I love the Crawford Boxes and how quirky the outfield dimensions are. I might be in the minority, but I'm so glad they got rid of that ridiculous hill in center. Also, major bonus to the area surrounding the ballpark for hotels and restaurants.|
|OK, so I've obviously never been to the yet-to-be-officially-opened Globe Life Field, but I love the area and it looks really similar to Minute Maid Park. We'll throw it here and shrug.|
|I feel like I often have Comerica Park ranked higher than most people. I can't really explain why I love it so much more than others. It's excellent. I love how many actual tiger statues they have all over the facade and there are also lots of statues of Tigers legends.|
|While I still wish they would have installed a retractable roof (I mean, what if they make the World Series and we have to play outside on November 1 in Minneapolis?), I have zero other complaints about Target Field. It's amazing.|
|Kauffman Stadium gets docked points because it's essentially in the middle of nowhere and Kansas City is really sprawling anyway. However, that's really the only downside and you don't need a sports bar before the game when the parking lot is full of tailgaters crushing barbecue.|
|Another blind one. I haven't been here, but all the reports are excellent.|
|It would be toward the top if not for the issues with travel. Entering the ballpark from behind home plate at the top level and looking down over the ballpark and the mountains in the distance beyond the outfield is breathtaking. I just can't get past taking three hours to get out of the parking lot afterward.|
|I can't put Yankee Stadium any lower.|
|There's so much stigma about Coors Field and what the thin air does to numbers, both offensively and pitching, that we might forget to mention just how beautiful a park it is. That it's here in the middle at 15 is much less an indictment of the park and much more a testament to how many excellent ballparks there are.|
|They'll keep rising the more the area around the ballpark gets built up. It's outstanding!|
|The train goes right to the park, the area surrounding Citi Field includes a zoo, museums and the Tennis Center where the US Open is played. The concourses feature several fun areas as well. It's a very good ballpark.|
|Citizens Bank Park gives us The Bell, and that's excellent in and of itself.|
|Blind ranking. Sorry. I have never had the pleasure of going to Seattle.|
|Some of us jokingly call Great American Ball Park "Serviceable American Ball Park." It's fine! The area around it has now been built up and made the entire experience much better than when it first opened in a sea of concrete (it had to, since they tore down Riverfront Stadium).|
|Progressive Field is in a great spot and re-working the upper deck to contain a bunch of party decks in the outfield instead of empty seats was a good touch. Plus, it housed the best game in baseball history (2016 World Series Game 7, of course)!|
|Similar to Kansas City, there isn't much around Miller Park, but there are seasoned veteran tailgaters filling the parking lot. Similar to Los Angeles -- but obviously on a much smaller scale -- it takes far too long to get out of the parking lot when there's a full house.|
|Much like Cincinnati, Busch Stadium is perfectly serviceable and now has a really fun area surrounding the ballpark.|
|Just because it's not Wrigley Field and also likely due to being the last pre-Camden park built, Guaranteed Rate Field is probably trashed too often. It's a good ballpark. It's just not great.|
|The outfield renovations made it pretty!|
|They have been docked for removing the amazing home run statue from left-center. Also, there is absolutely nothing around the ballpark in the way of restaurants or really anything except a residential area. There is basically no transportation and just huge parking garages. If there's ever a full house, it takes hours upon hours to get out of those, too. The setting is a nightmare for those attending games. The ballpark itself is fine, it's just everything around it that has it down here.|
|They shouldn't need a new ballpark with Chase Field being relatively new, but it's also kind of a dump in some areas.|
|Similar to the White Sox comments, Rogers Centre suffers a bit from being built just before the Camden Craze took over baseball architecture. It being a two-sport facility hurts it some as well, but it's fine.|
|I really wish they'd get their Tampa facility.|
|We shouldn't be writing about plumbing when it comes to ranking ballparks, right? Still, there are actually lots of things to like about Oakland Coliseum (maybe most that isn't Mount Davis). There are zero ballparks on here I actively dislike. It's just that I had to rank one 30th.|