TripAdvisor.com compiled a list of the top 10 spots for baseball in the United States. We had The Globe's Brad Wheeler (a.k.a. hardball's biggest superfan) weigh in on the picks. What do you think?
PNC PARK , PITTSBURGH, PA. — TripAdvisor says: Perched along the Allegheny River, this renowned ballpark features spectacular sights of the Steel City skyline and the beautiful Clemente Bridge. Brad says: Excellent choice. Here’s a tip: Book a corner room across the Allegheny River at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, where the view of the park (especially at night) is marvellous.
AT&T PARK , SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. — TripAdvisor says: Travellers visiting AT&T Park can take in amazing views of the San Francisco Bay in this stunning ballyard that opened in 2000. Brad says: I’d rank AT&T Park at the top of the list. It’s not retro, and it’s not modern. It’s era-less, and the water-side location is unbeatable.
ORIOLE PARK AT CAMDEN YARDS , BALTIMORE, MD. — TripAdvisor says: A modern classic and first of the 'retro parks,' Camden Yards is located blocks from Inner Harbor and has been the popular home to Baltimore's big league team since 1992. Brad says: The ballgame itself is almost extraneous here. I’d go there to just to read a book or have at the meat at Boog’s BBQ stand. A pristine ballpark, with the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum right around the corner.
FENWAY PARK, BOSTON, — TripAdvisor says: Since 1912, this 'lyric little bandbox,' as described by John Updike, has been home to Boston's beloved 'local nine' and is famous for the Green Monster wall in left field, atop which visitors can now enjoy seeing games. Brad says: A Fenway Frank would probably taste just as delicious at any other park, but the green yard at 4 Yawkey Way is a trip back to the same world Ted Williams knew. The place just smells like baseball. A tip: The staff at the nearby Baseball Tavern (with its rooftop patio) treat people right.
BUSCH STADIUM , ST. LOUIS, MISS. — TripAdvisor says: Often referred to as 'New Busch Stadium,' this gorgeous park opened in 2006 and allows baseball fans to enjoy the game against the backdrop of the Gateway Arch and St. Louis skyline. Brad says: They take baseball fandom seriously in the Show Me State, which makes for an electric atmosphere at Busch. Speaking of 'show me,' show me one of those turkey legs, because I’m hungry.
(KEYUR KHAMAR/BLOOMBERG NEWS)
CITIZENS BANK PARK , PHILADELPHIA — TripAdvisor says: With its lowered field seven metres below street level and bowl-style seating, visitors enjoy magnificent sightlines for the game as well as stunning views of the city skyline. Brad says: I like the train ride out to the park. Very civilized and convenient. They got the stadium right, too – just a nice place to watch a ball game.
PETCO PARK , SAN DIEGO — TripAdvisor says: Since opening its gates in 2004, Petco Park has allowed fans to cheer from one of the site's trademark dark blue seats or its grass-covered seating area known as 'the Park at the Park.' Brad says: It’s laidback there, nice for families, with room to move around. And the stadium is well placed within its downtown location, where it blends into the surroundings seamlessly.
(Courtesy Petco Park)
KAUFFMAN STADIUM , KANSAS CITY, MO. — TripAdvisor says: Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Kauffman Stadium claims to have hosted more than 70 million baseball enthusiasts since 1973. Brad says: A nice park, well kept up over the years. But it wouldn’t be in my top 10. I’d go with Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Safeco Field and Chase Field over Kauffman. But some people like water fountains, I guess.
(Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association)
RANGERS BALLPARK, ARLINGTON, TEX. — TripAdvisor says: With an asymmetrical natural grass field, this 109-hectares sports complex was designed to resemble the iconic ballparks of the early 20th century. Brad says: Old-time feel, with modern amenities. I really like that home run porch in right field, and this is the ballpark where I discovered garlic fries. So, there’s that.
WRIGLEY FIELD , CHICAGO — TripAdvisor says: Built in 1914, the Windy City's iconic 'friendly confines' has witnessed many memorable moments in baseball, including Babe Ruth's famous 'called shot.' Brad says: Cheeseburgers at the Billy Goat Tavern and then the train ride to the ancient ballyard, where the ritual and party is pure Americana. If I were to recommend one major league stadium for a non-fan to visit, Wrigley is it.