Ranking MLB stadiums, from perfection for the Giants to a bummer for the A's
By Ben Verlander
FOX Sports MLB Analyst
Boston's unforgettable Green Monster. Sunsets over the Rocky Mountains. Deafening drum performances in Cleveland. The dreaded roof at Tropicana Field.
Opening Day is a little more than three weeks away, and MLB’s best — and worst — stadiums will be the the center of the baseball universe.
Ben Verlander has played in some of MLB's parks with the Detroit Tigers, and he has watched from the stands in many of them as a fan. But he has 10 still to check out.
Before the 2021 MLB season kicks off, the former major leaguer ranks the ballparks he has been to — and the ones he still can’t wait to visit.
BEN'S STADIUM RANKINGS (SO FAR)
1. Oracle Park
Home of the San Francisco Giants
Built in 2000
The ballpark on the bay. This ballpark is literal perfection. And I was fortunate enough to see a home run splash into the bay while I was there. This stadium — above all the others — you need to get to.
2. Coors Field
Home of the Colorado Rockies
Built in 1995
This one will surprise many, but it's the best view I’ve seen at a ballpark. It’s so unique out beyond the center-field wall, and I suggest taking in a few innings in the upper deck in right field. The sun sets over the Rockies (the team and the mountains) behind the scoreboard, and seeing that solidified my love for this stadium.
3. Fenway Park
Home of the Boston Red Sox
Built in 1912
The oldest ballpark in all of baseball is on this list for its history. It’s special, and it’s an experience you can’t get at any other ballpark. I mean, Ted Williams played in this stadium. The second you walk in, you can feel it. Cramming into the tight, wooden seats feels like an honor. And Sweet Caroline? Yeah, it’s even cooler than it seems.
4. PNC Park
Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates
Built in 2001
I heard so much about this ballpark before I visited, and it did not disappoint! Unfortunately, I was there on a cold, gloomy, rainy day, but the beauty of it still shined through. The city of Pittsburgh is pretty cool, with all the stadiums on top of one another and all the teams the same color. Plus, they’re all right on the water, so the view is incredible. It's really cool. You have to check it out if you haven’t!
5. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Home of the Baltimore Orioles
Built in 1992
Of all the new-age ballparks, this one does it the best. Why? Well, because of the warehouse in right field. It adds such a cool touch to this stadium, and it’s definitely my favorite part of the park. Taking in the game from the concourse in right field, between the warehouse and the field, is definitely my favorite spot!
6. Target Field
Home of the Minnesota Twins
Built in 2010
This new ballpark does a great job of continuing to upgrade. From my first visit to my most recent, the stadium has improved greatly. The Twins have done a great job of giving the stadium plenty of Minnesota personality, and the new sports bar/gathering area is incredible! I definitely recommend ... in the summer.
7. Dodger Stadium
Home of the Los Angeles Dodgers
Built in 1962
This park is a perfect mixture of a good view and great history. It’s not the most modern on the concourse, but everything else is tough to beat. Plus, you can almost always be certain the weather will be pristine.
8. Kauffman Stadium
Home of the Kansas City Royals
Built in 1973
The 2012 All-Star Game is when I got to check this stadium off of my list! They nailed it with the renovations of this ballpark. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, and beyond the outfield wall is what separates this stadium. The fountains, the scoreboard — it all adds something to this ballpark that others just don’t have.
9. Comerica Park
Home of the Detroit Tigers
Built in 2000
This one might have some bias behind it. I’ve taken in more ball games in this stadium than any other. But it truly is awesome. With the Detroit skyline in the background, the big fountain out in center and the statues of all-time greats next to the fountain, Comerica Park is definitely one of my favorites.
10. Busch Stadium
Home of the St. Louis Cardinals
Built in 2006
The ‘06 World Series: Tigers vs Cardinals. That’s when I got to witness this one. For me, this ballpark is all about the view. With the St. Louis skyline in the background and the Gateway Arch soaring high, it’s picturesque if you’re sitting in the right spot. Speaking of the arch, did you know you can go up in it?! I didn’t until I was there.
11. Citi Field
Home of the New York Mets
Built in 2009
With blue and orange features throughout the ballpark, they kept it classy with this Shea Stadium upgrade. It's a perfect mixture of retro and modern. The planes taking off from nearby LaGuardia Airport every few minutes are cool, too ... for the first couple of innings.
12. Citizens Bank Park
Home of the Philadelphia Phillies
Built in 2004
This is a fun ballpark. The Liberty Bell that lights up is an awesome touch. This field plays really small, so expect lots of home runs, which are always fun to see.
13. Great American Ball Park
Home of the Cincinnati Reds
Built in 2003
The ball flies out of this stadium, and there are huge smokestacks that shoot fire after home runs. What’s not to love?! All the history in and around this ballpark makes it a good all-around experience from pregame to postgame.
14. Minute Maid Park
Home of the Houston Astros
Built in 2000
This stadium got a huge upgrade when Tal’s Hill was taken out of center field. A nice, new, grassy batter’s eye was added with the Astros' logo on it, along with all the new seating in center field, which is a great spot to watch a ball game. This is truly a stadium unlike any other, and when the roof is closed, it gets LOUD.
15. Nationals Park
Home of the Washington Nationals
Built in 2008
This is your typical new-age ballpark. It's very nice, and there really isn't a bad seat in the place. The stadium is covered in red, white and blue right in the heart of the nation’s capital, so that’s gotta count for something. It's worth a visit.
16. Progressive Field
Home of the Cleveland Indians
Built in 1994
This is a typical new stadium. It's very nice all around, and the left-field concourse is my favorite spot from which to watch the game. If it weren’t for that guy banging the dang drum all game, this stadium might've been higher on my list.
17. Yankee Stadium
Home of the New York Yankees
Built in 2009
I really wanted to love this stadium. Old Yankee Stadium was one of my favorites. But this new stadium feels too corporate. Everything is very expensive, from the food to the tickets, and that just makes it difficult for many to get to a lot of games during the season.
18. Angel Stadium
Home of the Los Angeles Angels
Built in 1966
I always thought I would love this stadium. The rocks out in center field look so cool. It turns out they are cool, but that is about the only great part of this stadium. It needs major renovations to turn the fan experience into a good one. There's not much to it when walking around, and it's pretty old.
19. Tropicana Field
Home of the Tampa Bay Rays
Built in 1990
To no surprise, Tropicana Field is toward the bottom of the list. I got to play in this stadium with the Tigers and lost a pop-up in the roof because I looked away to make sure I wasn’t going to run over Miguel Cabrera. I looked back up, and the ball was gone. I ended up making the catch somehow, but it was definitely not fun. The Rays need a new stadium. Everyone knows that.
20. RingCentral Coliseum
Home of the Oakland Athletics
Built in 1966
A’s fans deserve a better venue to watch a ballgame! I got to experience this stadium in the playoffs, and the fans were ELECTRIC! It was the loudest stadium I had ever been to at the time. The place itself is awful and needs to be torn down now that the Raiders are gone. This fan base deserves the best because A's fans like to party.
BEN'S STADIUM TO-VISIT LIST
1. Wrigley Field
Home of the Chicago Cubs
Built in 1914
It pains me to say this, but I haven’t been to a game at Wrigley Field — yet. The history, the day games, the ivy wall, Wrigleyville — I want to witness it all so badly!
2. Petco Park
Home of the San Diego Padres
Built in 2004
I’ve heard nothing but great things about Petco Park. San Diego has beautiful weather, the Western Metal Supply Company building in left field is so unique, and now the team is great. I need to take in a game here soon.
3. Globe Life Field
Home of the Texas Rangers
Built in 2020
I’m not sure if I’ll love this stadium or not, but I want to go because it just looks ridiculous. Also, what other stadium can say it hosted the entire World Series? In 2020, Globe Life Park did just that in its first year open.
4. Marlins Park
Home of the Miami Marlins
Built in 2012
Now that Derek Jeter has taken over, this place looks less like an amusement park and more like a place where I'd love to watch a baseball game.
5. T-Mobile Park
Home of the Seattle Mariners
Built in 1999
This stadium looks beautiful, and I can’t wait to visit. Who knows? In a couple of years, I might get to watch a playoff game in this ballpark. For too long now, fans haven’t had much to root for, but I have a feeling that will be changing soon.
6. Truist Park
Home of the Atlanta Braves
Built in 2017
I grew up a HUGE Braves fan but haven’t yet made it to their new stadium. When I was a kids in Richmond, Virginia, the team's AAA affiliate, the Richmond Braves, played down the road. In fact, the day my brother was drafted by the Tigers, I said, "When you play the Braves, I will root for you to do well, but I hope the Braves win!" That obviously changed, but I still have a soft spot for the Braves, and I really want to watch a game at Truist Park.
7. Chase Field
Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks
Built in 1998
This place looks different, and I want to see if I love it or hate it. Stay tuned. Eventually, I’ll visit and do a full 1-30 stadium rankings.
8. American Family Field
Home of the Milwaukee Brewers
Built in 2001
Full disclosure: I had no idea this stadium wasn’t named Miller Park anymore. But I want to go because the slide looks cool. Not that I can slide on it, but the mascot sliding down after a home run seems pretty neat.
9. Guaranteed Rate Field
Home of the Chicago White Sox
Built in 1991
This is definitely the second of the two stadiums I want to check out in Chicago. Maybe I can catch a day game at Wrigley and then drive to the South Side to catch a night game.
10. Rogers Centre
Home of the Toronto Blue Jays
Built in 1989
This one just seems old and not like a stadium I would love, but eventually, I will get to knock off all 30 stadiums, and I hear great things about Toronto.
Ben Verlander, who spent five years in the Detroit Tigers organization, is a baseball analyst for FOX Sports. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before he joined his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Verly32.