The 4 Most Historic Stadiums in Major League Baseball
As America’s national pastime, baseball is a sport with a long history to look back on. Whether its best players of all time, discussing the merits of interleague play, or trying to decide if the DH rule is terrible, the game would be nothing without its venues. Here are some of the most historic baseball stadiums in the Major Leagues.
Coors Field (Colorado Rockies)
The Colorado Rockies aren’t at risk of taking home a championship anytime soon, but their stadium is a darn good place to take in a solid home product. The third oldest park in the National League, this park offers incredible views of the team’s namesake mountains, and its location near downtown offers easy access by train or bus via Union Station (and by car thanks to its proximity to the Mousetrap). With a retro-style brick facade, Coors Field was opened in 1995 with an eye on the future, and it has been easily adapted along the way with modern audiences in mind. At 5,211 feet above sea level, it’s five times higher than the next stadium, and flatlanders will never have quite the opportunity to catch a long homer as fans do here–often for less than $10. Also, Blue Moon beer was invented here, so that’s kind of neat.
Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox)
Of course any list of historic stadiums would be incomplete without mentioning the granddaddy of them all, Fenway Park. The oldest stadium in the league, it is perhaps best known for the Green Monster, the enormous wall in left field that serves as an obstacle to any poor sucker who happens to hit what might be a low homer in another city. However, the right field pole marks the shortest distance of any park in the league, and the unconventional shape of the park is rounded out by the Triangle, that weird spot not-quite-in-centerfield forming an angular section, dangerous to outfielders who let a ball get behind them. Really, the biggest drawback to the field is its relatively small fan capacity–less than 38,000 attendees. Only Marlins Park, Progressive Field, and Tropicana Field are smaller, none of which you’ll see anywhere near the top of anybody’s favorites. Still, that small capacity and old school manual scoreboard makes attending a game at Fenway feel like you’re connecting with the history of baseball in a meaningful way–often for less than $20.
Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles)
Having opened in 1992, Camden Yards became the model for all future ballparks by fusing the past with the present–while leaving room for the future. Built on top of an old rail-yard, hence the name, Camden Yards has a definite industrial feel, which is complemented by the integration of B&O Warehouse into the stands for use as boxes. On the other side, Eutaw Street offers standing room only viewing for less than the cost of a burrito. It’s easy to get in and out too, the current Camden Station offers direct Light Rail service to the airport, most of the Baltimore Metro Area, and you can hop on the MARC to get in and out of DC as well. The real importance of this stadium is its influence on the others built since, many of which have returned to the same classic style and feel while still providing modern amenities.
Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
Until two years ago, the Chicago Cubs were synonymous with failure–older dictionaries probably still have a photo of them under the definition. But what the team lacked in skill they made up for in history, with the second oldest park in the majors. The thing is, Wrigley Field isn’t notable just because it happens to be old, it is legitimately a fantastic place to watch a team win (once a century). Its location away from the busy downtown gives it a community feel, but it is still easily accessible via the L train, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby for before and after the game. With the second of the two remaining manual scoreboards and the classic signage both outside and inside the park, you will feel transported back to the golden age of baseball. Consider the beautiful ivy-covered brick walls in the outfield an added bonus.