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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Guest Blogger: Tom Gaines (ballparks, part 2)

A few weeks ago, Tom kindly posted to me his list of five favorite baseball stadia in the majors. (You'll find it in the July archives.) Here are his five worst big-league ballparks. Thanks, Tom!

In not-so-horrible to horrible order:

5) Oakland/Network Associates/MacAfee -whatever it is:
Going here actually was a nice time, just not as nice as about 14 other parks. What makes it not as nice is the "concrete circle" feel of the place, and the neighborhood. You get off the train and you're surrounded by junkyards and barbed wire. But the fans get very into the game, and they have a great fireworks show. I love the green and yellow, forever linked in my mind to those "non-coformist" teams of the 1970's.

4) Citizen's Bank Park, Philadelphia:
I had high hopes for this place because I went on a beautiful spring afternoon, about a month after it opened. I was very let down. Our seats were way up in the bleachers right next to the big-high-tech scoreboard. (At least I THINK it was high-tech. I couldn't see it.) And the neighborhood was a pile of rubble from the former Veterans Stadium, about four other stadiums, and a train station. I would give this place another chance, as long as I didn't have to stay in town too long. Philly is right up there with Detroit as my least favorite big city.

3) Yankee Stadium:
SURPRISE! I had a great time here in '78 as a kid, then a terrible time as an adult in '99. Sitting along the lines out in the outfield is taking your life in your own hands. There's NO foul territory. The woman in front of us got plunked, and had a huge bruise. Rude employees, very surly when I asked about the hours of the famous Momument Park. And not enough entrances or exits. This place is the product of the bankrupt and crime-ridden NYC of the 1970's. The myths and legends are all attached to the pre-1974 Yankee Stadium. There's no charm here. Unless your name is Giuliani or Trump.

2) Shea Stadium - New York, New York:'s a hell of a town...and the ballparks are kinda hellish, too. Nothing says "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" more than rude employees, overpriced tickets, a mascot with a baseball for a head, AND an airport runway next door. But the subway ride from Midtown isn't as bad as John Rocker says it is. It's just long. Go early, and get the #7 train at Times Square, not Grand Central, to beat the crowds!

1) The Metrodome, Minneapolis:
Baseball in a barn. Or a warehouse. No summer atmosphere. This place was built for football. (Sorry, Coach Ditka, I meant roller skating.) Actually, it probably wouldn't be good for that either. Here's hoping they get a retractable roof park up there soon. And that the taxpayers DON'T have to pay for it!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a good article on baseball parks. I myself feel that no baseball park should be named Petco Park. It sounds like a place to walk your dog. I'm glad Tom Gaines is on the Blog.

3:51 PM, September 01, 2005


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