After Mark Zuckerman, reporter and writer for the Washington Nationals and Comcast SportsNet, realized that had visited every Major League Baseball stadium, he decided to rank them all. This is where he netted out...
1. PNC PARK, Pittsburgh
Comment: To me, this is the perfect ballpark. And I know I’m not alone in thinking that. It has everything: An unmatched vista of downtown Pittsburgh beyond the Allegheny River, the Roberto Clemente Bridge ushering fans back and forth, an intimate seating bowl with only two decks (the first ballpark built with fewer than three decks since Milwaukee’s County Stadium in the 1950s) and just enough quirks to make games there distinct without threatening the quality of play. And after two decades of awful baseball, it’s been great to see Pirates games become a real event inside the best ballpark in America.
2. AT&T PARK, San Francisco
Comment: There’s certainly a valid argument for the Giants’ home park to rank No. 1 on the list, and I wouldn’t question anyone who picked it. The view of San Francisco Bay is breathtaking. The see-through brick wall in right field is a great touch for pedestrians walking outside the park to be able to see in. The best view of the place, though, actually is from the last seat in the last row of the upper deck down the first-base line. From there, you see not only the field and the bay, but the Bay Bridge and downtown San Francisco behind the third-base line. It’s just phenomenal.
3. CAMDEN YARDS, Baltimore
Comment: The original retro ballpark remains one of the very best. So many other parks built in the ’90s and ’00s tried to duplicate Camden Yards, but none truly could, for one good reason: the warehouse. It already existed, so the ballpark was built around it. You can’t fabricate something like that. It has to be organic. It’s remarkable to think it’s been 22 years since Camden Yards opened and completely changed the notion of the modern sports facility. It is starting to show its age just a bit, but it remains a gem, often imitated, never duplicated.
4. WRIGLEY FIELD, Chicago
Comment: It’s so hard to try to compare a ballpark built 100 years ago with one built in the last decade, but Wrigley Field is one of the 30 current MLB ballparks, so we’ll try our best. To step into the Friendly Confines is to step back in time. That can be bad in some cases (try sitting way under the overhang and directly behind a pole, or try navigating your way through the rustic concourse) but the good far outweighs the bad. There simply is nothing like a Chicago summer afternoon spent in the bleachers at the corner of Clark and Addison. The ivy. The manual scoreboard. The rooftops. The rest of Wrigleyville outside the stadium. If you’ve never been, you need to put this one on your list.
5. PETCO PARK, San Diego
Comment: For starters, you’re in San Diego, so it’s hard to go wrong, no matter what the place looks like. But the Padres did a fantastic job designing and building Petco Park, which combines modern niceties with some old-fashioned flair. For example, the Western Metal Supply Co. building, one corner of which serves as the left-field foul pole. Genius! There’s also the beach area behind the center-field fence. And the neighboring Gaslamp District has been completely revitalized, a bustling corner of downtown San Diego that offers no shortage of places to go before and after Padres games.
Read the rest of the rankings here