At the height of my Little League days (when I was thirteen) my dad and I decided that we wanted to try and visit as many Ballparks as we could. We visited ten or twelve parks; pretty good for our standards. I liked some more than others, Fenway was definitely my favorite, but every trip turned out to be a really fun vacation. It was a cool way to experience different cities at their core, and see a fun baseball game. If anyone is looking for a unique, exciting summer road trip I suggest you and your friends pack up a car and see these awesome stadiums.
Stadium #1: Boston- Fenway Park, Red Sox vs. Athletics June 1, 2010
The oldest and most arguably the most popular stadium of them all is definitely Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts. Opened in 1912 and still in use today, it is home to the ‘Big Green Monster’ the enormous thirty-seven foot wall in left field of the park. This stadium is in the heart of Boston and on game days the entire area around the park is buzzing with excitement. It is so much fun to walk around, play games, win prizes, and eat some tasty ‘Fenway Franks’. But plan out this game early in your trip because every game since May 2003 has been sold out.
Stadium #2 New York – Yankees vs. Orioles on June 3, 2010
Only a little ways south of Boston we find our next stadium destination in the The Bronx. Seeing the new Yankee Stadium, opened in 2009 for a total of 1.5 billion dollars, is a must. It is modeled after the legendary Yankee Stadium built in 1923 and even still has the Monument Park out in center field. Monument Park holds plaques for extremely distinguished players like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio all brought over from the original 1923 stadium. Additionally, there is the Yankee Museum with autographed balls and jerseys from other legendary Yankee players.
Remember not to wear any paraphernalia from the earlier Red Sox game because these two teams are bitter rivals. But make sure you catch the little piece of baseball history that is Yankee Stadium.
Stadium #3 New York- Citi Field, Mets vs. Marlins on June 4, 2010
Just a short trip away in the New York borough of Queens is the often overlooked home of the New York Mets. Another brand new stadium, opened in 2009, Citi Field is a replacement of the older Shea Stadium, which was constructed in 1964. Hopefully, a Mets player will hit a homerun, resulting in the giant red apple in center field rising up adorning the Mets logo. Other amenities include: a wiffle ball field, dunk tank, and batting cage as well as many delicious places to eat. More interesting, is the fact that this park was paid for by Citigroup Inc. during the economic crisis when the US Government supplied two separate rescue packages to the company, which totaled $45 billion in taxpayer funds.
Stadium #4 Baltimore – Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Orioles vs. Red Sox June, 6 2010
One of the most highly praised modern ballparks, Camden Yards, was completed in 1992. It has a unique design in that all of its outfield walls are straight segments as opposed to the usual curve seen in most stadiums. Also, it was built right in the middle of downtown Baltimore and hold stunning skyline views. It is a fan favorite because it was designed with write- in suggestions by the public and because of the great views offered from just about every seat. Camden Yards would go on to influence the construction of 16 Major League ballparks especially our own At&t Park here in San Francisco.
Stadium #5 Cleveland- Progressive Field, Indians vs. Red Sox June 9, 2010
Ranked in 2008 as Major League Baseballs best ballpark, Progressive Field, formerly called Jacobs Field or ‘The Jake’ was actually financed off of a sin tax on cigarettes and alcohol sales. The ballpark has a unique ‘how to make your own mascot’ store after the Indians mascot ‘Slider’ was one of three mascots to get voted into the Mascot Hall of Fame. Another cool piece of history is Heritage Park, located in center field, which honors the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame, the 100 best Indians players, and other memorable Indians paraphernalia.
Stadium #6 Chicago- Wrigley Field, Cubs vs. White Sox June 11, 2010
The second oldest (to Fenway Park) and probably the most famous ballpark of all is the home of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field. Completed in 1914, it is the oldest ballpark in the National League and is most widely recognized by its ivy covered, brick outfield walls. Furthermore, the park is known for its rooftop seating because many of the surrounding buildings, which outdate the stadium, offer views from their roofs. Fans love to have cookouts and watch the games even from the comfort of their own apartments.
Forget just laying on the beach all summer long; try doing something new and exciting like traveling around the United States. By visiting these Ball Parks you can experience many of the coolest cities in the country in a very unique way. From Boston to Chicago and New York to Baltimore there is so much history involved in these Stadiums and a lot can be learned from these incredible structures that are held so dear by many fans.