Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I'm not talking about the Red Sox tonight because they are making me depressed right now (although they are leading the Royals 4-3 in the 6th at this moment.) Tonight, I'm talking about ballparks.

I have written about this before, but one of the items on my "Things I need to do before I die" list is to take a road trip to visit every major league ballpark. That's probably going to have to wait until I retire, but I have managed to visit 18 ballparks over the last 20 years or so, including 10 that are still being used. These are:

Fenway Park
Yankee Stadium
Shea Stadium
Rogers Centre
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Dolphin Stadium
Wrigley Field
US Cellular Field
PNC Park
Safeco Field

I was thinking about the next five I want to visit. Now that R. and J. are getting to the age where they might be interested in accompanying me on a ballpark road trip, I'm hoping to see a few new places. Here are the top five ballparks I would like to see, in no particular order.

Dodger Stadium: Believe it or not, Dodger Stadium, opened in 1962, is the fourth oldest ballpark in MLB, after Fenway, Wrigley and Yankee Stadium. From everything I have heard, it's an outstanding place to watch a game, and the ballpark is supposed to be kept sparkling clean. While we were in the area, I would try to visit Angels Stadium as well, but it's not in the top five. Of course, we'd have to make a side trip to Disneyland as well!

AT&T Park: Now on it's third name in six years thanks to telecom industry mergers, I have heard Peter Gammons (among others) say this is the best park for a fan experience in baseball.

Citizens Bank Park: Word is that the Phillies new home is a great place to watch a ballgame. It's also fairly close to home, so there's a good chance that it will be the next one I visit. Veterans Stadium, the Phils former home, was such a horror show that Philadelphia fans must get a little giddy each time they enter a real ballpark.

Kauffman Stadium: The home of the Royals is supposed to be one of the most beautiful parks in baseball. I always thought the outfield waterfall was very cool. Aside from the ballpark, any visit to KC must include a trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Jacobs Field: I have taken a couple of memorable trips to Cleveland; once for the International Superman Exposition, a 50th anniversary convention for the Man of Steel in 1988 and a couple of times for visits to the old Municipal Stadium (where Bismo and I nearly caught a foul ball, but that's a story for another day). I would love to check out the Jake, one of the centerpieces of Cleveland's revitalization. A stop at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame would be mandatory as well.


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