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Joe Posnanski ranks all 30 MLB ballparks

Aug 15, 2014, 2:58 PM EDT

wrigley300

So I’ve been to all 30 ballparks … and the thing that’s easy to forget is baseball has never had so many gorgeous ballparks. I grew up in the 1970s and early 1980s when ballparks were dumps. There were almost no exceptions.

This is the golden age.

Here is my ranking of all 30 ballparks:

No. 30: O.co Coliseum (Oakland A’s): Not good for football either.

No. 29: Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays): Dark and depressing spot in the middle of sunny Florida.

No. 28: U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago White Sox): I want to like it more than I do.

No. 27: Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays): Still fun to watch roof open and close. But Astroturf? In 2014?

No. 26 Turner Field (Atlanta Braves): Nice enough, but antiseptic. Anyway, the Braves are leaving.

No. 25: Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati Reds): Great Hall of Fame.

No. 24: Marlins Park (Miami Marlins): Points for being different, but too gaudy for my tastes.

No. 23 Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks): Swimming pool is most notable feature.

No. 22: Nationals Park (Washington Nationals): Wish it had more Washington character.

No. 21 Globe Life Park in Arlington (Texas Rangers): How many different names can one ballpark have?

No. 20: Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees): Hard to balance old and new; I don’t think they quite got it.

No. 19: Citi Field (New York Mets): Even a romantic like me was ready to lose Shea Stadium.

No. 18 Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros): Fan of Tal’s incline in center – an homage to old Crosley Field.

No. 17: Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Los Angeles Angels): You often find it at bottom of such lists, but I love everything about it. I’m instantly happy just walking in.

No. 16: Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers): Excellent park but it doesn’t quite stand out in today’s competitive world of ballparks.

[ RELATED: A different opinion on ranking all 30 parks ]

No. 15 Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies): Beautiful ballpark, lots of fun when Phillies were winning.

No. 14 Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers): Really grown on me through the years, thoroughly underrated.

No. 13: Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals): Not overly thrilled with design but it instantly infused with Cardinals passion.

No. 12: Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians): Was a Top 10 ballpark in its heyday, and still is pretty fantastic … but small crowds can be depressing.

No. 11: Coors Field (Colorado Rockies): Beautiful and the baseball there is singular.

No. 10 Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals): A wonderful place to watch baseball and has been since it was built in 1973.

No. 9: Target Field (Minnesota Twins): Love the way it fits snugly into the Minnesota downtown.

No. 8: Petco Park (San Diego Padres): Gorgeous ballpark in San Diego – how could it miss?

No. 7: Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers): Showing some age, but still spectacular.

No. 6: Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners): If the Mariners start winning, this scene could be like San Francisco.

No. 5 Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles): Just a wonderful little ballpark in a wonderful baseball city.

No. 4 Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox): Inconvenient, crumbling, lousy sightlines and magical.

No. 3 PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates): So fantastic, I’m surprised every single time I go.

No, 2 AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants): Like PNC Park with a bay and a full house every night.

No. 1 Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs): Of course.

[ MORE: FIND OUT WHY WRIGLEY FIELD IS NO. 1]

  1. fearthehoody - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Been to: Dodger stadium, Angel stadium, Chase field, Petco park, Oakland, At&t park, Safeco and Fenway. And Dodger Stadium is by far the best. And I’m a Mariners fan

    • bellweather22 - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      The amazing thing about Angel stadium is that it’s a retrofit and still retains the same original footprint foul pole to foul pole. It was designed to copy Dodger Stadium without the pavilions initially, with a plan to add pavilions in the future, when needed. Then they enclosed the outfield seats to accommodate the Rams. When the Rams left, they ripped down the enclosed part and gave it a retro feel. It’s been a very flexible and successful design. Built in 1966.

  2. wayoverpar - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Recently saw the Twins play ChiSox at Target Field. Fabulous stadium in all respects (ambience, sight lines, accessibility, concessions, customer service) and should be ranked higher. When Twins return to relevance (and they will), this will once again be the place to be.

  3. saintssince8 - Aug 16, 2014 at 4:38 AM

    Being that Wrigley and Greenway are the last of the truly classic stadiums, I think you need to blow to their history and put them near the top. Oakland is the last of the concrete canyons from days gone by, thank goodness. I used to live in Houston and enjoyed Minute Maid Park. It is nice, but also realize that many parks are somewhat newer as well. I generally agree with the list.

  4. norvturnersneck - Aug 16, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    Couldn’t agree more about Wrigley and others here. Still only been to 8 parks as well as a few more defunct ones. Going to Wrigley made me a Cub fan

  5. otistaylor89 - Aug 16, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    As someone who has been going to Fenway for over 40 years, there are many different seat possibilities where you can say, “It really can’t get any better watching a sporting event” in one seat to “I can’t believe that pole is there!” to “Why is there 40 seats in my row and my seat seat in the middle?” to “I’m not facing the action, but Mike Trout is right in front of me and I can see his veins!”.
    Having said all that, there is something about seeing the playing field for the 1st time that gets me more than any other ballpark could – until you get to your seat.

  6. lukedunphysscienceproject - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    I wish one of these guys would have the guts to stand up and say “yeah, I get history and tradition, yada yada. But if we are ranking stadiums for the actual game day fan experience, then let’s tell it like it is.”

    I’ve been in alot of stadiums, and if I had to rank them, Wrigley and Fenway would be near the bottom. I know that offends fans of those teams and people who think that sitting in a cramped seat where you can’t see anything is still great because, you know, important stuff happened there a long time ago, but that’s my take on it.

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      *I should note, however, that if we are including the areas immediately outside the stadium, that would put Wrigley and Fenway right back up there.

  7. bridoc - Aug 16, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    I wonder where the new Braves Stadium will rank on this list 3 years from now. If all the hype turns out to be true, the whole should be one big entertainment center

  8. jrski1966 - Aug 17, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    This guy is crazy if he thinks Wrigley Field is #1….its traditional yes, a great place to say you’ve experienced, but its a dump!!! Even players say its horrible. I’ve been to half the stadiums in the MLB and the rest I’ll rank by what I’ve seen and heard. Here is my list:

    1. SF
    2. Pitt
    3. LA
    4. Phi
    5. Bos
    6. Minn
    7. Balt
    8. Sea
    9. Houston
    10. St. Louis
    11. KC
    12. Milw
    13. Oak
    14. Cinncinati
    15. Ariz
    16. San Diego
    17. Miami
    18. Chicago AL
    19. Atl
    20. Wash
    21. NYM
    22. Det
    23. Toronto
    24. Cleveland
    25. Texas
    26. Anaheim
    27. Colorado
    28. NY Yanks
    29. Tampa
    30. Chicago NL

  9. jimsjam33 - Aug 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Went to Wrigley Field in 1965 and saw Koufax and Drysdale on the losing end of a Sunday doubleheader 1-0.. 1-0 Pitching for the Cubs was Ferguson Jenkins against Koufax .
    Anyway the park is still the same and magical ! Couldn’t agree with you more .

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