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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Guest Blogger: Tom Gaines!

I'd like to welcome today's guest blogger, Tom Gaines, an old friend and longtime observer of two of MY favorite topics, baseball and music. Tom has kindly sent in his FIVE FAVORITE PAST AND PRESENT MAJOR-LEAGUE BALLPARKS. Thanks, Tom!

Of the 19 current or former major league parks I've visited, here are the best.

1) Wrigley Field - The genuine article, the one all the others are trying to emulate. "A little bit of the country in the city," a genuine baseball experience. All the seats, except the ones directly behind the posts, are good. A must-see for any baseball fan. And don't drive. Take the el.

2) SBC (nee Pac Bell) Park - A great view of the S.F. Bay and the Bay Bridge. And baseball too, with all the seats facing toward the field. A brilliant design, with the peepholes, the "splash landing," the fountains, the big Coke-bottle slide, and the Pop Art-y baseball glove. But go during the day. It gets cold at night, even in July. One of the coolest home run experiences: fountains and a loud foghorn.

3) Tiger Stadium - I went in '97, one of its final seasons. Like the Old Comiskey, but with seats much closer to the field. So much history here: Ty Cobb and the Babe patrolled the outfield, Reggie hit the light tower. Mickey Lolich, Denny McLain, the '67 riots, and the World Champs of '68 and '84. A great place to catch a foul ball. It was old and decrepit, but it is missed.

4) Petco Park - A sand box for the kids in the center field bleachers, with baseball-related sand sculptures. Like, gnarly, dude. SoCal baseball at its best, with a view of the Coronado Bridge and the "Western Electric Supply Building" built right into the ball park. Get a fish taco! Try to stay at the team-owned Omni Hotel, with its very cool walkway right into the park. Very cool. I found it on Priceline for cheap!

5) Dodger Stadium - The fourth-oldest ballpark still in use, and it's easy to see why. Easy access from the freeway, lots of parking, good seating, cheap tickets, palm trees, good food and a great view. DEL TACO, YUM!


Anonymous Shlomo Shawn V'Dyo said...

Well, sir, more than anything, I'm impressed that you've been to 19 ballparks. I've been to three!

On the other hand, the other two I've been to were the new Comiskey (now called One Cell Organism, or something), in the upper deck, which was the most horrid experience I've ever had at any venue I've ever been at (for anything, play, opera, concert, etc.), and Dodger Stadium, which I found almost as horrid (we were a million miles away from the field, and it literally took 75 minutes to get out of that ridiculous parking arrangement).

Two places I'd never go back to...


12:15 PM, June 29, 2005

Anonymous Jonathan said...

I didn't mind Dodger Stadium, but I wouldn't put it higher than Fenway (which didn't make Tom's top five). By far the worst park I've visited was the old Riverfront Stadium in Cincy. Last comment: while I love the concept of the retractable dome, I'm not a fan of the new Miller Park -- nearly all the seats are raised/balcony and they waste the huge concourse area.

6:29 AM, June 30, 2005

Blogger Stuart Shea said...

I liked Tom's list; some unpredictable choices there. Never been to Dodger Stadium, so I can't speak for it either way, but IMO Miller Park is an abomination; it's like being inside a shopping mall. Milwaukee County Stadium (R.I.P.) may be my second-favorite ballpark ever, so going to Miller is double the pain for me.

8:47 AM, June 30, 2005


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