Diner Question: If you could watch a ballgame in any park, which would it be? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dubroff’s Diner

Diner Question: If you could watch a ballgame in any park, which would it be?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

It’s time for another edition of Dubroff’s Diner. Wednesday, I ranked the 30 major league ballparks. I’ve been fortunate to see all 30 plus 24 that are no longer in use.

All of those 24 were memorable. I fell in love with baseball in Baltimore when I moved here in 1980 and went to Memorial Stadium, a place where I spent countless happy days and nights until the Orioles moved downtown after the 1991 season.

I warmly remember its cousin, County Stadium in Milwaukee, which, like Memorial Stadium, was built in a neighborhood and had a similar brick design.

Tiger Stadium was nostalgic but not nearly what Fenway Park and Wrigley Field were.

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There were some that aren’t missed. Exhibition Stadium in Toronto was a trumped-up city park, where if you sat behind first base for a night game, you’d have the sun set in your eyes.

Denver’s Mile High Stadium hosted the Rockies for the franchise’s first two years in 1993 and 1994. In ’93, fans were so hungry for baseball that a major league record 4.4 million came there even though the stadium was much more suited to John Elway than Andres Galarraga.

But there were a generation of parks that I wished I could have seen: Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, Cincinnati’s Crosley Field and Philadelphia’s Connie Mack Stadium all hosted major league ball in my young lifetime. If I could go further back, I would have loved to have seen the Polo Grounds, where the Mets played in 1962 and 1963.

If I had one park in which I dearly wished I could have watched a game, it was Ebbets Field. I was born very close to the Dodgers’ home, but they moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles when I was an infant.

Sometimes, we forget how fast time moves. For many of us, we took attending games at Memorial Stadium for granted, but fans under 35 may not remember going there, or were simply too young.

This week’s diner question: If you could watch a game in a major league park, present or past, that you have not been to, which would it be?

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. JustWin8

    August 23, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Present ballpark that I haven’t been to would that I want to visit is the Pittsburgh Pirates ballpark. Love the setting and how it looks on tv.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 23, 2018 at 10:27 am

      I think you would really like it, JustWin. Good choice.

  2. Birdman

    August 23, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Among present parks, PNC Pittsburgh – have heard great reviews of it. And among past parks, the Polo Grounds – would be interesting to see how the crazy dimensions (279-475-257) affected the game.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 23, 2018 at 10:28 am

      Two good choices, Birdman. Polo Grounds was my second choice behind Ebbets Field.

  3. Orial

    August 23, 2018 at 10:27 am

    Saw the Mets at the Polo Grounds,been to the old Yankee Stadium with it’s olive green seats. Saw Berra,Mantle there,BUT the one I never saw(though I was very young) is the one you mentioned Rich–Ebbetts Field. Would have loved to have been there. It was small,boisterous,neighborhood. Still can’t believe a team that was so loved left.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 23, 2018 at 10:54 am

      The politics were complicated. Walter O’Malley wanted to build a stadium where Barclay’s Center now is. Robert Moses, who ran public land for New York City, wanted them in Queens, where the Mets now are. Things fell apart.

  4. bigdaddydk

    August 23, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Any park where the O’s are on the verge of a fourth win in a World Series will do just fine.

    That being said, PNC makes my short list, as does SunTrust Park.

    If equipped with a time machine, 1983 and Memorial Stadium would do nicely too.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 23, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      PNC is a great place, and SunTrust has some interesting facets, bigdaddy

  5. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    August 23, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    I definitely would have liked too have seen old Yankee stadium to watch Mantle & Maris back in the day. The next would be Fenway. I went to Wrigley a few years back which was #1 on my list at that time.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 23, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      My first game featured Mantle and Maris, and Roger homered.

      I hope you get to Fenway soon, Grand Strand.

  6. Roland.m.smith

    August 23, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Camden Yards is a dream come true but I would love to see one more game at Memorial Stadium. I went to school at City College across the street and used to go to games after school. It was great. Oh, and to hear Rex Barney one more time would be a dream. I meet him and he was the nicest guys in the game, even though he thought I was too young to know he played the game as a pitcher back in the old days. 😉

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 23, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      That was very nice, Roland. Sweet memories.

  7. boss61

    August 23, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Pac Bell in San Francisco. McCovey cove. And to see the O’s win the World Series on the road there.!

    My wife quickly an adamantly said “Sky Dome.” Rationale: the fans are so passionate. My daughter said Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City. Rationale: fountains. My son said Busch in St. Louis, also for reasons of fan passion.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 24, 2018 at 7:46 am

      You must have interesting family discussions, Boss.

      All are worth seeing. Kansas City is a very underrated city with lots to do. I’ll be there next weekend.

      Hopefully the Orioles will play in St. Louis in 2020 so I’ll get a better chance to evaluate the park.

  8. Mr. Jones

    August 24, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Wow, great question Rich. I would like to say all that I haven’t been to yet. But I would say 2 current parks I would like to attend are St Louis and San Francisco. If I picked one no longer in use I would say Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. The old CF wall and flag pole are still there. Home plate is also encased in the floor within one of the academic buildings of University of Pittsburgh.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 24, 2018 at 10:44 am

      Those are two excellent choices, Mr. Jones. Forbes Field is also a good choice. Many years ago when he was living in Pittsburgh, my brother showed me where Forbes Field stood.

  9. noto44

    August 24, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Let’s hear from the readers only; no professional baseball folks. Who has visited the most parks.

    I have visited a paltry (8)
    Memorial Stadium
    Camden Yards
    Connie Mack
    Veterans St.
    Riverfront St.
    Great American
    RFK
    Nats Park

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 25, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Don’t be ashamed of your eight, noto. I never got to see Connie Mack.

  10. Yavn

    August 24, 2018 at 11:57 am

    As an O’s fan living in LA, it’s Camden Yards hands down. I see the O’s when they are in Anaheim or LA, but there is nothing better than rooting for your favorite team with the home crowd. I think 2019 will be the year I take the family to finally see the O’s in Camden.

    AT&T and PNC are spectacular and should be the template for all modern ballparks.

    On my bucket list is a trip to Wrigley, preferable when they play Boston, so I can root for the Cubs.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 25, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Yavn, I think you will love Camden Yards when you get a chance to see it.

  11. 66OsFan

    August 24, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Would definitely go to AT& T and PNC parks again, looking forward to Coors Field and Chase Field next year. Would have to say Ebbets Field as the ballpark that isn’t around anymore…

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 25, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      Good choices all around, 66.

  12. GSISDANNO

    August 25, 2018 at 11:32 am

    In Baltimore, we are so fortunate to have Oriole Park at Camden Yards. From what I hear from people who attend games all over the country, this is the best one.
    I would have enjoyed going to Ebbets Field. I was very fortunate to have attended a number of games at the old Yankee Stadium and there was just something special about that place.
    Be grateful Baltimore baseball fans. The team might be struggling but it’s still the best park to watch baseball.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 25, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      I think you are correct, GSISDanno.

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