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Personal Ballpark Experiences 2004


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#1 of 81 OFFLINE   Doug Miller

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Posted April 07 2004 - 07:42 AM

One of the guys in the baseball thread mentioned the parks he'd been to, that made me think it would be fun to see/read about where everyone else had been. I'll start:

Kingdome -- Rest in pieces. I've never been so uncomfortable watching baseball.

Safeco Field -- The way baseball is supposed to be. A great looking ballpark with a moderate retro look. It's pure Ebbet's on the homeplate side. Great wide-open views. I love being able to turn around and watch the game while I'm waiting in line for a dog. (Although I recommend hitting the red BBQ trailer by Seahawks stadium during the summer and having a brisket sandwich -- good and zingy, do yourself a favor and buy the homemade brownie too.)

Edison/Angels Field -- First time going to this park was during my honeymoon in 1997, they hadn't finished renovating it yet. Went again a few years ago. Only a so-so park. Didn't have much in the way of good food. The corridors to the sections are dark and need upkeep. Anytime you put a big rock and water feature in dead center field is a signal that you've got attendance issues. I went before their World Series, fans were pretty mediocre (not trying to start a fan-flame, just a critique). Garret Anderson hit a home run of Kaz Sasaki to end the game... Yeah, OK, enjoy your World Series. grumble,grumble.

Network Associates -- I hit the NAC 2 years ago. My buddy and I walked up to the ticket booth an hour before game time. Asked for the best seats available. 8 rows behind home plate against the Angels for around $30 or so. Good value ticket. The fans that show up are dedicated. Bad food.

Wrigley Field -- My favorite field, period. If you've never been, get there early so that you can just walk the stadium, touch the foul pole in left, admire the ivy. I went to an afternoon game and had a terrific time. Worst hot dog I've ever had at a ballgame. Ever. Cubs won 2-1 or something like that. Went to work the next day, Sammy hits 3 home runs, but the Cubs lose. I love that I can sit and watch a game here and there's not a lot of chit chat, B.S., and getting up and down for people going to the bathroom. They're there to watch the game. I like that.

Fenway Park -- A very close second. I guess closing off the street out front of Fenway is something they just started; I'm glad they did. Just walking up to the park is great, it's a street fair feel with all of the food outside the park. A lot of fans, and a lot of fun. Touching the brick and reading all of the signs was fun. Again, get there early so you can touch the Monster. (No jokes please Posted Image) It's over 70 degrees outside on a Saturday, watching Pedro strike out 12. Yeah, that's a good day. Funny story, a friend of ours was going to come with us (my wife and I) to Boston so we'd bought an extra ticket, he ended up not coming, good thing. We got there, sat in the old school wood seats (which was awesome). 3 seats, 2 with great views, and one directly behind a support beam. You gotta love it. Posted Image Better atmosphere than Wrigley, but not quite as good. (I think of Fenway now everytime I here Sweet Caroline) I love the buns they use for the hotdogs, it's like Wonderbread. I wish I could buy those here.

Bank One -- Walked through it when we were leaving Spring Training a few years back. Nice looking park from the outside, I like the escalators to the upper decks. But, honestly, doesn't look like it has a lot of character.

I started, keep it going. I think all fans will like talking about their different parks. I mentioned it above, no flames intended towards fans or their parks, just how I felt. (You can bag on Safeco if you don't like it.) Feel free to link pictures too.

Doug

#2 of 81 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 07 2004 - 08:13 AM

I haven't been to a MLB game since the '94 strike, but here are mine:

Tiger Stadium -- Lots of great memories, since I saw games over a 25 year period there. It had some obstructed views due to the poles, but every seat felt like you were right on top of the field -- even in the farthest center field bleachers. The place was getting run down at the end, and the walkways and restrooms were cramped, but it was still a great place.

Fenway Park -- It was smaller than I expected. I sat in the center field seats both times. Just like Tiger Stadium, you are right on top of the action.

Exhibition Stadium -- The Blue Jays old home in Toronto. What a crappy place to watch baseball! The sight lines were terrible, since it was not built for baseball. I do not think anyone misses this place.

Joker Marchant Stadium -- The spring training home of the Tigers in Lakeland, Florida. It's a class A minor league park, so it's small but charming.

Coastal Federal Field -- new home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, a minor league affiliate of the Braves. It's only a couple of years old, so the park is very clean and modern for a small minor league park. It's a nice place to spend an evening for very little money.

#3 of 81 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted April 07 2004 - 08:39 AM

My professional visits have been sparce but here they are:

Wrigley Field: Day Game. Was probably one of the best "baseball" experiences I've had. It was rainy but not too bad. I wasn't prepared for the cold though Posted Image Otherwise the overall feel of the stadium is simply something I don't think you can reproduce. Paid $19 for seats about 20 rows back on the field.

Dodger Stadium: Dodger Dogs, Nuff said Posted Image The drive up to the stadium is unreal. Stellar experience. Seats I had were pretty good since I knew one of the players.

Busch Stadium: Another great place to see a game. Their fans are very supportive. The bonus to this trip was the fact during batting practice I got to sit in the dugout and shoot the breeze with Lasorda and the bunch(this was 1986). We even stayed at the hotel they did and my neighbor was Fernando Valenzuela. It pays to have your neighbor play for them Posted Image

Old Angels Stadium: Nose bleed seats that night courtesy of my relatives. Not much of a memorable stay except for the Canseco Home Run for the A's.

I plan to see more games at various parks before they get demolished or replaced so this is only the start.

Coming up this year(in about a month): Yankee Stadium!

#4 of 81 OFFLINE   DaveBB

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Posted April 07 2004 - 08:53 AM

Busch Stadium: The last of the horrible donut shaped multi-purpose stadiums but still well maintained. Now the 4th oldest park in the majors. (Will be replaced in 2006) Filled with some of the best fans in baseball. Even a weeknight game in late-April, 50 degrees and damp, playing a non rival and there's still 35,000 people in the seats. On a beautiful spring summer day a wonderful place to see a game. Food selection fair: typical FoodService crap.

Wrigley Field: even with my hatred for the Cubs it's a great place to watch baseball. One time got to sit four rows from the field and it was amazing. Great and knowledgable fans. The only thing that stinks is the horrible Aramark food.

HHHDome: there's no good reason baseball should be played here. Only a few seats properly face the field; if you're past 1st or 3rd base you have to contort horribly to face the action.

Kaufman Field: one of the few places that's good to watch baseball built during the mid 20th century. Upper deck is a bit steep and takes a while to get to. Lower level is good but the concourse is a bit dark. In the middle of humoungous parking lot which is good and bad. Good food selection.

Miller Park: A humoungous piece of crap that's already starting to leak and rust. Would help if there was a decent team on the field. Just because it's new doesn't mean it's good.


#5 of 81 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted April 07 2004 - 09:54 AM

Quote:
Fenway Park -- A very close second. I guess closing off the street out front of Fenway is something they just started
I'll be there this Saturday night!!! The closing of the street...they're trying to do like Camden Yards (which was a very cool park). I only went there (Camden Yards) once, but I got to meet Boog and have some barbeque! Posted Image The atmosphere in the street area was definitely much cooler than sitting in the seats. Plus you get to stand over the homerun wall (in the outfield). They even marked off spots on the walkway where home run balls fell.

p.s. I never saw a game at Shea Stadium, but I did get to see the offices inside the park and see the field completely empty. It was almost erie seeing a completely empty ballpark.

#6 of 81 OFFLINE   Jason L.

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Posted April 08 2004 - 02:43 AM

I have been to 26 different MLB stadiums. I have seen the old and new stadiums in Houston and Pittsburgh.

I have 6 more to go. Unfortunately, I probably won't see Montreal before they leave town.

I Haven't Seen:

Montreal
Tampa Bay
Detroit
Cleveland
Anaheim
San Francisco

Note: I have seen the outside of 3 of these, but that doesn't count

POWER RANKINGS

1. PNC PARK - Simply the most beautiful stadium today. Beautiful stadium and beautiful view of the river and downtown Pittsburgh.

2. CAMDEN YARDS - The stadium that started my quest to see them all. Nice downtown stadium, good crowds. Almost always close to full.

3. SAFECO FIELD - Nice Stadium, like the retractable roof. Downtown location. Points subtracted for numerous homeless/bums in the area.

4.[tie] COORS FIELD - When I was there, it was sold out for a regular season game. Nice crowd. Downtown location. Stadium dimensions are a joke. Need to move the fences back. Mountains in the background are picturesque. I like the row of seats that are painted differently because they are exactly 1 mile high.

4.[tie] THE BALLPARK IN ARLINGTON - Beautiful stadium. Points deducted for not being in a downtown area, or accessible by public transportation. I hate stadiums that are in the middle of nowhere and have no other entertainment nearby. I love the grass area behind the center field wall where kids chase after home runs and play "Kill the guy with the ball".

6.[tie] ENRON, MINUTE MAID FIELD - Very modern stadium. Very small. Downtown location. However, the dimensions area a joke. In batting practice, in left field, you wait for the ball to bounce off the wall behind you, and then catch the rebound - that's how small it is. Retractable roof is cool, nice view of downtown Houston at night. The center field ramp near the wall, [with the flag pole on the playing field!] is a trip.

6.[tie] BANK ONE BALLPARK - Nice modern stadium in downtown Phoenix. Today, there are probably lots of entertainment options nearby. I ate dinner at Thunder Dan "Majerle's" nearby.

WORST STADIUMS

1. COUNTY STADIUM - MILWAUKEE Old Stadium. Hideous. Support beams block views. Had the aura of a minor league team that no one cares about. Did I mention that it was old?

2. VETERANS STADIUM R.I.P. Philly fans suck.

3. THREE RIVERS STADIUM Veterans stadium without the Philly fans. I saw 2 outs and then the clouds poured. I took off.

4. HHH METRODOME Boring.


OTHERS

KAUFMANN STADIUM - Best bargain in the bunch. Nice stadium. I love the waterfall. Very laid back. No crowds. Right off the highway and right next to Arrowhead stadium.

YANKEE STADIUM - A must see. The most knowledgeable fans, along with Shea Stadium. Very rowdy crowd, always fun. Fights aplenty. Historic stadium. Major points deducted for being in a very bad area. Somehow I never get there early enough to see the monuments.

SHEA STADIUM - Crappy stadium. Old. Again, good fans. Rowdy, usually a couple of fights. Fond memories, of growing up following the Mets. I got to see the end of Game 7 of the 1986 World Series here.

DODGER STADIUM - I sat in the upper deck here, and I felt like I climbed a mountain just to find my seat. Very cold and windy up there. Not downtown, no public transportation.

WRIGLEY FIELD - Big time overrated. Old stadium with support beams that obstruct views. How the hell can it be cold in late June???

FENWAY PARK - Very tiny stadium. Walking around below gives a feeling of claustrophobia. Very weird when you see it in person. It looks like a normal stadium [like Yankee Stadium] except that there is no upper deck on the left and right sides - like someone cut it off. That is why is holds so few people.

PRO PLAYER STADIUM??? - very weird setup, playing baseball in a football stadium. I only saw two innings, as a typical Miami summertime downpour led to my exit.

ASTRODOME - I was at the 2nd biggest crowd in Astros history. The reason? Mark McGwire was in the middle of his record-breaking season. The biggest crowd ever was the night before. Not as bad of a stadium as others made it out to be.

NETWORK ASSOCIATES - Freaking Cold! Contorted football stadium, with weird angles.

The One Stadium That I Wish I Could Have Seen:

Old Tiger Stadium

The strange thing is that growing up I was a HUGE baseball fan, and collected baseball cards throughout my youth. I was the best at baseball trivia, and knowing statistics.

However, my love for the game has COMPLETELY died out [probably since 1990], and I am trying to finish this quest even though I hate the game now and find it to be soooooo boring.

I am going to have to start a "College Football Stadiums" thread.

#7 of 81 OFFLINE   BrianB

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Posted April 08 2004 - 03:06 AM

Quote:
4.[tie] THE BALLPARK IN ARLINGTON - Beautiful stadium. Points deducted for not being in a downtown area, or accessible by public transportation. I hate stadiums that are in the middle of nowhere and have no other entertainment nearby.

It's in Arlington - allegedly the biggest city in the US to have no public transport at all. And Arlington has no downtown area to be near.
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#8 of 81 OFFLINE   DaveBB

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Posted April 08 2004 - 03:13 AM

This was a roundup of ESPN.com Page 2's tour of all the baseball that ran back in 2002.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stadiums


#9 of 81 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 08 2004 - 05:00 AM

Fenway - Many, many times, all over the park. Cramped, claustrophobic, dirty, smelly, lousy facilities, lousy sight lines, lousy seats, lousy PA. Simply the best place to watch a ball game in the world. You are as close to the players as they are to each other and you really see and hear the action. Absolutely beautiful park up top, especially as you are walking up the stairs from the dank, corroded, cramped underbelly into the bright sun. What a baseball park is supposed to be.

Best Hot Dogs also. (Doug, those are New England style *rolls*, not buns. For anyone who does not know what they look like, they have the crust on the top and bottom, with white on the sides and a split down the top. I have a friend who picks up a few packages and freezes them everytime she visits me cause she can't get them at home in GA. Also used for the famous New England "Clam Roll" and/or "Lobster Roll". You can even coat the sides with butter and grill them for a special treat!).

Yankee Stadium - Didn't really see the park much, was too busy fearing for my life (both inside and outside!).

Camden Yards - Great seats, great atmosphere, great crowd, great park.

Shea Stadium - Yuck! A concrete monstrosity that reminded me of Sullivan Stadium, the worst facility in football.

#10 of 81 OFFLINE   MikeH

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Posted April 08 2004 - 05:09 AM

Quote:
4.[tie] THE BALLPARK IN ARLINGTON - Beautiful stadium. Points deducted for not being in a downtown area, or accessible by public transportation. I hate stadiums that are in the middle of nowhere and have no other entertainment nearby.


Nothing a $150 roundtrip cab ride back to the hotel doesn't fix. Posted Image My first and only MLB game was in Arlington. One of the coolest experiences I have had. Was eight rows from the field, why anyone with a choice sits above row 20 with tickets prices so low boggles my mind. Just missed an
A-Rod bp homer Posted Image

Mike

#11 of 81 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted April 08 2004 - 05:13 AM

Quote:
Best Hot Dogs also. (Doug, those are New England style *rolls*, not buns. For anyone who does not know what they look like, they have the crust on the top and bottom, with white on the sides and a split down the top.
If they are better than Dodger Dogs and the ones at Fenway, I'll be surprised but I'll be the first one to come here and say that they were better to. I just wish that I could have extended my trip in May to include Fenway Posted Image

#12 of 81 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 08 2004 - 07:17 AM

Quote:
If they are better than Dodger Dogs and the ones at Fenway, I'll be surprised but I'll be the first one to come here and say that they were better to.


Shane, not sure if you are asking if they are better than Fenway (never had a Dodger Dog) but I *was* describing Fenway Franks. Better than any of the fancypants stuff at the new ballparks and NO ONIONS, DON'T ASK FOR ONIONS, WE DON'T HAVE ONIONS!!!

The only thing that beats the dogs inside Fenway are the Italian Sausages on a roll outside (HOT SAUSAGES HEAH! GET YAH HOT SAUSAGES!). Be careful walking along the brick wall outside Fenway, cause it's easy to step in the sausage drippings (mustard, ketchup, peppers, onions, etc) that result from the "legs spread, bent at the waist" sausage eating technique.

#13 of 81 OFFLINE   Philip_G

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Posted April 08 2004 - 08:05 AM

I haven't been to a ballpark in probably 10 years. And even then, just two of them, the astrodome and whatever the stadium is in pittsburgh.

#14 of 81 OFFLINE   LewB

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Posted April 08 2004 - 09:58 AM

Quote:
Yankee Stadium - Didn't really see the park much, was too busy fearing for my life (both inside and outside!).

Jeff:
Leave the Red Sox' cap in the car (or caah) and you'll be fine Posted Image

#15 of 81 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 08 2004 - 10:04 AM

Quote:
Leave the Red Sox' cap in the car (or caah) and you'll be fine


No way Lew! This was around 1988 when the Sox were still good, along with the Celtics and Bruins. I was with 2 friends. At the 7th inning stretch, we dropped our pants to show our Sox, Bruins and Celtics boxer shorts. We were about to get killed when the obvious leader of our area said "leave em' alone, anyone that has the balls to do that is OK in my book!". I was much younger and more foolish then!

#16 of 81 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted April 08 2004 - 10:14 AM

Jeff, You definitely got some big ones to do that!

As a Red Sox fan, I went (with 3 other Sox fans) to the latest Florida World Series win at Yankee Stadium. We were in the bleachers and were having the HARDEST time holding in our glee. Not once did we even utter a word.

It was hard, but you gotta respect the home team no matter how much you don't like them. Posted Image

#17 of 81 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 08 2004 - 10:29 AM

Well, to tell the truth, it was not the playoffs and it was not a Yankees/Red Sox game. I think they were playing the Twins. We came up with the idea in a bar the night before and hoofed it up to the Bronx the next day.

Quote:
It was hard, but you gotta respect the home team no matter how much you don't like them.


Oh yes, just like every (Connecticut) Yankee fan that ever sat in Fenway. Respect just oozes out of their poresPosted Image .

BTW, my favorite thing to yell at Yankee fans in Fenway or on the 'T' is "Go back to Connecticut". Been doing it for 20 years and have never had one yet that claims to be from New York!

#18 of 81 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted April 08 2004 - 11:47 AM

I have always really loved Kaufman stadium. The talk around town is that we are on the verge of a Hallmark Park in the downtown, but I'll miss it if we go that way.

Kaufman has, bang for the buck, the best value in the big leagues, I can take my kids and myself for under $30 and get good seats.

The park is beautiful, especially for afternoon/night games, and I've enjoyed everytime I've been.

I also really enjoyed Fenway, but a lot of other "new" stadiums really leave me cold as not enough attention is on getting fans to focus on the field but on the other "goodies"
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#19 of 81 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted April 08 2004 - 01:04 PM

Quote:
BTW, my favorite thing to yell at Yankee fans in Fenway or on the 'T' is "Go back to Connecticut".
I'd like to say that too, but I'm from CT. Posted Image

But, of course, that's the best part about having 3 rival ball parks SO close together...The LOVE! Posted Image

#20 of 81 OFFLINE   Shane Bos

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Posted April 08 2004 - 11:39 PM

Only Ball park I've been to was in 1992 I was in the SkyDome for game 5 of the world series. We were 5 rows from the top straight up from the 1st base bag. Could see everything great. It's been so long I don't remember much about the food or the park it's self. However the atmosphere in the park and outside on younge st. was just electric.


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