Take Me Out
A lot of things happened this past Sunday.
In New York, it was above 50 degrees and sunny for almost three whole hours.
It was Easter, so I had an excuse for eating four times the recommended serving of Peeps (Which is actually zero, according to 5 out of 5 dentists).
Also, it was opening day of the 140th season of Major League baseball, America’s favorite pastime.
Now, I’m not going to complain any more about the weather that a certain groundhog was wrong about, or talk about how many cavities I may or may not have, but I will to talk to you about baseball.
Before you start groaning and saying how much you hate baseball, and how it’s so boring and all the players are fat or on steroids or both and why can’t they run faster to 1st base?! Hear me out — I completely agree with you. Despite our shared disgruntlement though, as a child and now still as an adult, I have been driven to various points across the country by a man with a plan (my dad), and that plan was (and still is) an attempt to attend as many baseball games, and to see as many baseball stadiums, as humanly possible.
I can’t say I absolutely love the sport, but I can say that hot dogs rule, games are better with beer, and dippin’ dots really are the ice cream of the future, and the future is now so gimme some dippin’ dots in an upside down plastic hat, please.
Besides the food and the drinks, the generally drunk fan base, and an allowance to scream ‘heyyy batter batter, saa-wing bat-ter’’ for up to three hours, I’ve also very much enjoyed the stadiums themselves. (Here comes the part that makes this blog post slightly relevant to architecture and planning). The location of a stadium within the city and the culture of the place somehow find a way into each stadium’s environment, and make the experience that much more unique and memorable.
So, with this major league experience (pun intended), I present to you my top 5 favorite stadiums, in no particular order.
Colorado Rockies | Coors Field | Denver, Colorado
The stadium features a row of purple seats marking one mile above sea level (hence the stadium’s nickname ‘Mile High’). The ‘rock pile’ is a full section of unshaded seating, also one mile above sea level. This is where I first learned to hate baseball.
San Francisco Giants | AT&T Park | San Francisco, California
The stadium is located along the bay, and tiny boats catch home run balls that leave the stadium.
Also, best garlic fries ever.
Chicago Cubs | Wrigley Field | Chicago, Illinois
The brick and the vines, fans watching from their rooftops just outside of the stadium, and Frank Sinatra’s voice on high volume. That combination could make anyone a Cubbies fan for a night.
Seattle Mariners | Safeco Field | Seattle, Washington
Remarks: The beautifully trussed roof opens and closes by way of giant steel wheels. I can safely say that I watched more of this than the game itself.
The Dukes turned Isotopes | Albuquerque Sports Stadium turned Isotopes Park | Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque Sports Stadium (sometimees lovingly called A.S.S.), housed The Dukes for 40 years. The stadium was run down and overused, but boasted a sweet ‘drive-in’ feature and was the scene of many a childhood memory for yours truly.
When Albuquerque got sick of the old, they brought a ‘new’ stadium and a new team, fittingly named the ‘Albuquerque Isotopes,’ thanks to Matt Groening’s genius. (The Isotopes are featured in an episode of The Simpsons where the ‘Springfield Isotopes’ move to the lovely ABQ.)
If you can’t make it to any of these stadiums, go to a different one! There are hundreds, it’ll be fun, and littering peanut shells is socially acceptable at all of them.
What more could you want?