MLB: 10 Best Ballparks to Watch a Game

MLB: 10 Best Ballparks to Watch a Game
Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs is greeted by fans after scoring | David Banks/Getty Images

Baseball, in comparison to other major professional sports, is a unique experience for its fans. Unlike a basketball court or a football field, a baseball stadium can have its own dimensions and sight lines. It can be a hitters’ park or a pitchers’ park. With a rich history, there are traditionally great franchises and traditionally terrible ones. But it doesn’t matter whether the team is good or bad, you can still enjoy a baseball game at the best ballparks. Here are the 10 best stadiums to see a baseball game.

1. Miller Park, Milwaukee Brewers

MLB: 10 Best Ballparks to Watch a Game
A general view of Miller Park as the Milwaukee Brewers stand for the playing of the National Anthem | Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Opened in 2001, Miller Park has long been revered as one of the best ballparks to watch a baseball team play. With a retractable roof that can make for a pleasant experience in any weather as well as excellent food options, the Brewers hit a home run with their 15-year-old stadium. An extra added bonus? For some reason, areas of the ballpark smell like maple syrup. The only real negative is the distance from downtown Milwaukee.

2. Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees

Quite similar, but distinctively different from the previous Yankee Stadium, this ballpark was built in 2009 just in time for New York to christen it with a brand new World Series trophy. The thing about this park is that it’s less exciting for the average fan than it is for the baseball junkie. There are a lot of cool sites to see for fans who understand the history of the game, such as Babe Ruth Plaza and Monument Park, but one downfall is that the ballpark lacks any real views of the city.

3. PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB: 10 Best Ballparks to Watch a Game
The exterior of PNC Park in Pittsburgh | Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Like Miller Park in Milwaukee, this NL Central stadium opened in 2001 when the Pirates traded the closed off, lifeless ballpark that was Three Rivers Stadium. Despite its rather boring name, PNC Park features gorgeous views of the river, downtown Pittsburgh, and the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The Pirates have finally paired a good team with their gem of a ballpark, as well, making the postseason in 2013 for the first time since 1992 and again in 2014 and 2015. Fans attending games in Pittsburgh are fortunate to have both a comfortable place to watch a game and team worth watching.

4. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Dodgers

Another historic ballpark that comes with plenty of pretty views of the rolling hills surrounding Los Angeles. Another big perk of Dodger Stadium? Dodger dogs. Opened in 1962, the Dodgers won 102 games in the initial season of the park and then 99 the next year — and their first of four World Series championships at Chavez Ravine. The only negative is the reputation that comes with the park, which is that the fans don’t show up until nearly the middle of the game.

5. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Royals

MLB: 10 Best Ballparks to Watch a Game
Members of the Kansas City Royals celebrate a 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium in 2016 | Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Home of the 2015 World Champions and some of the best fans in the game, Kauffman Stadium is also one of the best ballparks to sit and watch some baseball. It doesn’t provide the greatest views, trading the skyscrapers of the big cities and mountains of California for a simple, Midwestern view of the interstate. But they have a cool water fountain just beyond center field and lots of good tailgate space in their parking lots.

6. Camden Yards, Baltimore Orioles

Camden Yards is often referred to as the game-changer in baseball stadium building. With the beautiful views of downtown Baltimore and the B&O Warehouse just beyond the right field fence, Camden Yards opened all the way back in 1992. The ballpark contains interesting dimensions, with a 318-foot distance to the wall in right field, which allows for a cheap home run and plenty of offense overall. The Orioles and Texas Rangers played a game back in 2007 where the Rangers dropped 30 runs on Baltimore.

7. Petco Park, San Diego Padres

MLB: 10 Best Ballparks to Watch a Game
Fans enter Petco Park in San Diego | Getty Images

Yet another newer ballpark that opened for the 2004 season, Petco Park replaced the dreadful Qualcomm Stadium, which kept fans from seeing just about anything outside the park while at the game. Petco has nice views of the city and a great beer selection. It comes with the benefit of the weather typically associated with San Diego. Each season, fans can bring their dogs to certain games. Fun fact: Petco Park is home to the first career home run hit by Bartolo Colon.

8. Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs

For a ballpark that’s over 100 years old, it’s hard to do much better than Wrigley Field. The park is unique in that it features a manual scoreboard; ivy on the outfield walls; and classic views of the surrounding neighborhood, the Red Line train, and Lake Michigan. The Cubs famously hadn’t won a World Series until 2016, but the bleachers at Wrigley Field have always been one of the best places to watch a baseball game.

9. Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox

MLB: 10 Best Ballparks to Watch a Game
A view of Fenway Park from above | Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Much like Wrigley Field, Fenway Park in Boston carries a little bit of magic along with it. As the oldest standing major-league ballpark that’s currently in use, Fenway is home to the Boston Red Sox and their 86-year title drought that ended in 2004. The park has some fun features, with the “green monster” in left field (a massive wall built with the intention of keeping balls in the ballpark). There’s also plenty of history, including some classic matchups between the Red Sox and their arch-rivals, the New York Yankees. And, of course, the delicious Fenway frank.

10. AT&T Park, San Francisco Giants

Talk about fun features, this ballpark has a gigantic Coke bottle and catchers’ mitt beyond the left field seats. AT&T Park was first used in 2000 and has interesting dimensions, with a tall wall in right field that backs up to the bay — allowing for the occasional well-hit home run to end up in McCovey Cove. Center field is insanely deep, making it harder to hit a ball out of the park to the middle of the field. AT&T Park features a wonderful atmosphere, good food, and some nice weather during the warmer months.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RyanDavisBP

Statistics courtesy of ESPN and Baseball-Reference.