With some much sports history to traverse and experience, for most sports fans, one lifetime is simply not enough. Unfortunately, not every baseball fan will get the opportunity to trek across North America and visit every single Major League ballpark, but if we had to pick three to check out before we kicked the bucket, which would they be? Here are our 3 bucket list ballparks!
1. Fenway Park – Boston, MA
As the oldest MLB ballpark currently is use, Fenway naturally has the most tradition and history of any other park. With the 2013 season, Fenway has seen 101 years of Major League Baseball and has hosted 11 World Series, as well as numerous other sporting and cultural events, including hockey games, football games and political campaign rallies.
Of course, being old doesn’t automatically qualify a park for our exclusive bucket list. It’s Fenway’s traditions, charm and unique quirks that help it stand out from the more modern American ballparks. With notable features such as “The Green Monster,” “Pesky Pole” and “The Triangle,” we can safely say there is no park quite like Fenway.
The fact that Fenway is always sold out also benefits its massive appeal. Every ballgame at the park is an exciting experience and it’s made that much more memorable during the eighth inning, when you’ll get to participate in the proud Fenway tradition of singing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” with the more than 37,000 die-hard Red Sox fans on hand.
Two years Fenway’s junior, Wrigley Field in Chicago is no youngster either. As the ballpark nears its 100th birthday, its endearing traditions, features and lovable underdog home team have become so ingrained in baseball lore that they are now considered legend. While the hometown Cubs may not provide as much excitement as a team like the Red Sox, they are an easy team to get behind, especially within the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.
Like Fenway, Wrigley has its own quirks and traditions that make it a true one-of-a-kind American ballpark. The ballpark is primarily known for its ivy-covered outfield walls, but the park is also one of two (Fenway being the other) to use a hand-operated scoreboard and since it is located in the heart of Chicago’s North side, it’s also known for providing incredible views of the ballgame from nearby residential and commercial rooftops. For those folks, watching the games for free must be nice, but there’s no question that the experience inside the park is worth the price of admission.
3. Yankee Stadium – New York, NY
Baseball traditionalists and lifelong Yankee fans were sad to see the old Yankee stadium be replaced in 2009, but the new stadium has accomplished the rare feat of preserving the franchise’s legacy and history, while also serving as a more modern state-of-the-art facility for new fans.
The $1.5 billion construction cost certainly raised eyebrows, but the upgraded suites, amenities and features have made the new Yankee Stadium one of the best ballparks to see a game. Of course, part of that cost went into replicating many of the old building’s features, including the field’s dimensions and Monument Park, which honors past Yankee greats.
As the league’s most renowned and celebrated team, the New York Yankees will always be a major draw, especially with one of the best ballparks in the MLB. The Yankees and Yankee stadium are must-sees before you kick the bucket.