The Unique Allure of the Ballpark
There are many storied sports franchises out there; the Montreal Canadiens, New York Yankees and Rangers, Dallas Cowboys, Manchester United, the Lakers, and many more. Many of these franchises also had, or have, historical Arenas or Stadiums that they have played in. Consider the Montreal Forum, Maple Leaf Gardens, Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden or Old Trafford. Many teams have stadiums that people call their home away from home where the atmosphere can be loud and euphoric or other times, sad and quiet. Regardless, on most days it is just a great place to be. There is one sport that has some of the most unique and fun buildings out there – Major League Baseball.
Do not get me wrong, hockey arenas and football stadiums are great and they are truly fun to be in, but when it comes to baseball stadiums, well that is a whole new ball game. Baseball stadiums come in all shapes and sizes and bring their own kind of fun to the game. It almost seems as though there are no rules as to how a baseball stadium should look like. There are the historical buildings that are still around such as the Chicago Cubs home, Wrigley Field, with the famous green ivy in the outfield, or the Boston Red Sox, who have Fenway Park and the giant Green Monster in Left Field. There are also older stadiums like the Dodger Stadium in LA, Rogers Center in Toronto and Kaufman Stadium, with its waterfall, in Kansas City. There are the newer stadiums like Marlins Park, with its unique design and home run fish, in Miami, Target Field in Minnesota, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and of course the new Yankee Stadium. There are also Stadiums like AT&T Park in San Francisco, Petco Park in San Diego, Minute Maid Park in Houston, Safeco in Seattle and Miller Park in Milwaukee that all feature their own fun and unique designs within.
There are of course many more stadiums I have not mentioned, and apologies if I’ve left your team’s off the list – there are just too many to name them all in tighly-packed article. I can say that each stadium has something that distinguishes it from the rest, and that is my point.
The smallest stadium capacity is Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, home to the Rays at 34, 078 seats followed by the Oakland A’s Alameda County Coliseum at 35, 067. The Largest capacity is Dodger Stadium at 56,000 followed by the Colorado Rockies Coors Field at 50,398 and Yankee Stadium at 50, 287. That is a quite a bit of people in one game, but it is also great fun when it is a large crowd. I have been lucky enough to see the National League Baseball and American League baseball played in Toronto and in Montreal (when the Expos were still around) and I loved every minute of it. I thoroughly enjoy baseball as a sport. Many people I know do not understand why I like it so much, but seeing as it was the first sport that I had ever played and watched it is hard not to pay attention to it. The ballpark just feels like a second home.
Three stadiums I would like to be able to visit in particular are Wrigley Field, AT&T Park and Miller Park. Yes, they are all National League Ball Parks and it is not because I prefer that league, but it is simply that I find those stadiums very interesting buildings. Baseball has always had a great environment and it is still a perfect family sport with affordable prices. Having these stadiums with their history, odd shapes and sizes make it a great place to be in the summer.
Next article I will expand onto why Wrigley Field, AT&T Park and Miller Park are the stadiums I would like to visit, and I might possibly throw in a few honorable mentions – stay tuned!
I hope life throws me a fat one over the plate and grants me a job that allows me to write stories and articles for a living so I can share my experiences of each stadium from around MLB. I think that would be heaven for me. Hey, LastWordOnSports is taking off… never know.