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!