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Ultimate ballpark guide: AL West

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AL EAST | AL CENTRAL | AL WEST | NL EAST | NL CENTRAL | NL WEST

 

LOS ANGELES ANGELS

 

Ballpark

Unique features of Angel Stadium of Anaheim include terraced bullpens in the outfield and an open, wide concourse. State of the art club level and dugout level suites, the Perfect Game Pavilion (a youth oriented interactive game area) and landscaped courtyards (with statutes in remembrance) are other highlights.

Fans

Family is what Angel Fans are known for. Many events, such as Family Sunday and Kids Run the Bases, encourage fans to make their whole family a part of the Angels. Angels Baseball strives to provide entertainment and fun for all ages.

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Food

Angel Stadium has a variety of foods to suit anyone’s needs at the ballpark. Dinner is taken care of with foods like pulled pork, beef brisket, sushi, and your normal ballpark staples like hot dogs and burgers. A must-have Angels staple is the Rally Monkey Bread. For those that are health conscious, there are gluten-free options at the park as well.

Music and entertainment

The Angels start every game with a historical video set to “Calling All Angels” by Train. A tradition that has caught on recently at the stadium is the playing of “Build Me up Buttercup” after the 7th inning stretch.

Steal Third is the Angels’ most popular in-game feature. One lucky child gets to run down the third baseline in between an inning and try to steal third base and make it through the finish line before time runs out. The crowd goes wild for this and the kids love the thrill of running on the field.

Neighborhood

There are many great bars and restaurants surrounding the stadium where fans meet to watch the game when they don’t have tickets. People can also go to Downtown Disney and enjoy the game at one of the many local venues right next to the Disneyland theme park. There is also the new Anaheim Gardenwalk, an outdoor strip mall featuring several different restaurants and entertainment.

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Vacation planner

John Wayne airport is the most convenient and closest airport. An outside fan can include themselves in many activities while in Anaheim. They can stay at any of the surrounding hotels around the ballpark, but perhaps the most attractive is staying at the Disneyland Hotel. This resort lies right next to Disneyland and California Adventure, where visitors can enjoy a full day at the theme park when they are not at Angels Stadium. The Honda Center is also right across the street and a person on vacation can either go to a hockey game or a show with a major artist at the venue.

Nearby MLB cities

The Angels play less than an hour south of Los Angeles Dodgers and the division rival San Diego Padres play one and a half to two hours south of Anaheim. Visitors should consider a West Coast ballpark tour, as you could easily see three games at three different venues in two to three days, schedules permitting.

Follow the Angels at FOXSportsWest.com.

 

OAKLAND A'S

 

Ballpark

Overstock.com Coliseum provides a memorable setting for any outdoor event. The Coliseum plays host to concerts, conventions and other large gatherings in addition to serving as the home for the Oakland Athletics and Oakland Raiders. Starting next season, the A's will be the only MLB club to still share a stadium with an NFL franchise.

Fans

While many fanbases, not only baseball but other sports, have started to skew more corporate or white collar, the A’s fans remain more blue collar. It’s a small base but extremely loyal.

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Food

Aramark Sports & Entertainment provides food and beverage services for the Westside Club, Eastside Club, Luxury Suites, and all of our Premium Seating areas. Traditional ballpark fare is also offered throughout the stadium by Aramark Sports & Entertainment. Specialty items such as BBQ, pizza, and garlic fries can also be found at specific Aramark concession stands.

Music and entertainment

Stomper, the official mascot of the Oakland A's, made his debut on April 2, 1997. The lovable elephant entertains crowds at every game. Arrange to have Stomper stop at your seat or suite next time you're at an A's game. Your visit includes an autographed Stomper baseball and a photo.

Neighborhood

There’s not much around the stadium other than a few eateries, highlighted by an In-n-Out Burger restaurant, a true California staple. Stop by and order a Double-Double with cheese, or do some research and check out the fast-food stop’s “secret” menu.

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Vacation planner

Two major international airports service the Bay Area, Oakland International Airport (OAK) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Getting to the park is a breeze on the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART). Taking BART you can directly enter the Coliseum Complex from the BART Station/Coliseum ramp. AC Transit provides public bus service to the Coliseum from its many locations. While in the area, be sure to check out the Oakland Zoo, a non-profit organization managed by the East Bay Zoological Society. A visit across the Bay to San Francisco is always a great idea, too.

Nearby MLB cities

The San Francisco Giants play less than an hour away, just across the bay. Ambitious travelers could add a Southern California swing to their trip to check out the Angels, Dodgers and even the Padres.

 

SEATTLE MARINERS

 

Ballpark

The best feature of Safeco Field is the fact that it is outdoors. Fans who were forced indoors at the Kingdome for the first 22+ years of the Mariners history appreciate the natural elements at Safeco Field, even on chilly April evenings. When summer arrives in Seattle, with daylight until almost 10pm and beautiful sunsets over the Olympic Mountains, there’s nowhere a Seattle baseball fan would rather be than at Safeco Field. But with the Northwest’s unpredictable weather, the retractable roof guarantees that games will be played, rain or shine. The ballpark has many places where fans can gather and casually watch the game.

Safeco Field is also home to an ambitious public art program that seamlessly integrates art works from 11 Pacific Northwest artists. One of the most notable works is a giant bronze mitt outside the Left Field Gate by Seattle sculpture Gerard Tsutakawa. It has become a symbol of the ballpark and a common meeting place for fans before games.

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Fans

Seattle fans are known for their loyalty. In spite of the Mariners down years on the field, they have continued to support the team. Even after a 101 loss season in 2010, the Mariners 13th Annual FanFest at the end of January still had its second highest attendance with over 12,000 fans attending the two-day event.

Food

Safeco Field’s selection of foods is a combination of local and international. A chain of local seafood restaurants called Ivar’s serves its famous clam chowder and fish and chips, and invented a sandwich only found at Safeco Field called the IvarDog. It’s a battered cod filet served on a bed of coleslaw on a fresh baked bun. Fans can find sushi, sake and edamame at Safeco Field, as well as a variety of Thai dishes. New to Safeco Field this season is a partnership with three renowned chefs who are bringing four specialty offerings to the newly renovated space at Safeco Field known as “The ‘Pen.”

Music and entertainment

The Mariner Moose is a mainstay of in-park entertainment for fans at Safeco Field. The furry creature keeps fans laughing and entertained whether he’s racing around the warning track on his ATV, or pulling the latest dance moves on top of the dugout. One of the most popular video features at Safeco Field is the hydroplane races. The fast-paced, locally produced CGI video features three hydros in a race around a course on Lake Washington. Fans choose their favorite boat and cheer it around the course. After the 7th inning stretch, the sing-along continues with “Louie, Louie,” the rock and roll classic made famous in 1963 by the local band “The Kingsmen.”

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Neighborhood

Safeco Field is situated between three distinctive neighborhoods of Seattle – historic Pioneer Square to the north, the Chinatown/International District to the east, and the SODO (South Downtown) industrial zone to the south. There are a number of local bars and restaurants where fans gather before and after games including F.X. McRory’s, Elysian Fields Brewery, Pyramid Ale House and Brewery, Jimmy’s and Hooverville.

Vacation planner

Safeco Field is located between two major routes through Seattle, I-5 and State Highway 99, with easy access from either one. Out of town fans can fly into SeaTac Airport and take the Link Light Rail line from SeaTac to the Stadium Station, just a block from Safeco Field. The most convenient lodging is located directly across the street from Safeco Field at the Silver Cloud hotel. There are also a number of luxury and boutique hotels in the downtown business district that are within walking distance of the ballpark.

Nearby MLB cities

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TEXAS RANGERS

 

Ballpark
 

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is fairly new (opened 1994) and was part of the retro-park boom, so it has a very old school, traditional feel to it. The park is also getting a new, state-of-the-art HD video board installed for this coming season that should create a nice balance between old and new

Fans

Loyalty is a defining trait of Rangers fans. The 2010 season was a magical run for the Rangers, so much so that it completely overshadowed their miserable spell of just one playoff win in franchise history before last season. There are fans who have hopped on the bandwagon now that the club is winning, but the bulk of the fanbase are diehards with astoundingly long memories who have been around for the club’s many low points.

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Food

The smoked turkey leg is the most unique concession item and, of course, there’s always Texas barbeque. Of course, there is also traditional ballpark fare like hot dogs, peanuts, etc.

Music and entertainment

When the Rangers win, “I Like Texas” by Texas-music superstar Pat Green plays throughout the stadium. The visiting fans will look confused as Rangers fans sing along, proclaiming their love of “tubin’ down the Brazos” and drinking Shiner Bock beer.

And when the opposing team finds itself in a jam and having a conference on the pitching mound, Johnny Cash’s classic “Ring of Fire” will play as flames engulf the jumbotron and the video rings around the stadium.
Basically, if you like country music, you’ll fit right in down here.

After “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” plays in the 7th inning, the music we immediately goes into “Cotton Eyed-Joe,” with fans dancing in the stands and clapping along. The Dot Race is also a little different as the last “lap” around the track consists of the dots going live on the field and racing to home plate from the left field gate.

Neighborhood

The Ballpark is part of a quadrangle of big attractions in Arlington, including Cowboys Stadium, Six Flags over Texas, and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor water park. There is very little that connects that group, though, so the area around the park doesn’t lend itself to fans sticking around before or after games.

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Vacation planner

Dallas/Fort Worth airport is the best airport to use. Arlington is in the middle of Dallas and Fort Worth, so travelling fans have the option of two great areas to stay, with plenty of activities to do and a 35 or so minute drive to the ballpark. For those who want to stay close, Arlington has plenty of hotels as well, some of which are walking distance from the ballpark. Local attractions include the Kennedy Museum (Dallas), the Fort Worth Stockyards, and a multitude of retail areas spread throughout Dallas and downtown Fort Worth

Nearby MLB cities

Due to Texas’ overall size, Houston is the only Major League city close enough to reasonably road trip to, with the drive likely to take about four and a half hours.

Follow the Rangers at FOXSportsSouthwest.com.

Tagged: Royals, Athletics, Padres, Rays, Heath Bell, Eric Sogard

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