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'Take me out to the ballgame''Take me out to the ballgame'

Visit Major League Baseball stadiumsVisit Major League Baseball stadiums

Editor's note: This year marks the 150th anniversary of professional baseball, a great reason to catch a game at one of these ballparks. Keep in mind this list is meant to encourage you to explore baseball stadiums and that it is as subjective as the teams you choose to root for!

After my husband and I met and married, we started planning at least one trip a year around seeing a new Major League Baseball stadium. For us, meeting in a different baseball city has become an annual reunion with friends. He’s had a love of baseball since childhood and has managed to see a game in every city with an MLB team.

  • Don't miss the massive Coca-Cola bottle and four-fingered baseball mitt in the outfield concourse at Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Photo courtesy San Francisco Travel Association.
  • Statues around San Francisco’s ballpark, renamed recently to Oracle Park, honor the long history of the Giants and their legendary players. You’ll see Hall of Famer Willie Mays in front of the stadium surrounded by 24 palm trees (he wore uniform No. 24). Photo by MeLinda Schnyder.
  • The Rocky Mountains are a beautiful backdrop to a Colorado Rockies baseball game at Coors Field. Photo by MeLinda Schnyder.
  • Don't miss Kauffman Stadium’s free 7,000-square-foot Hall of Fame Museum with multimedia exhibits on baseball history, Kansas City Royals artifacts, and the club’s 1985 and 2015 World Series trophies. Photo by MeLinda Schnyder.
  • The dome was open during this Houston Astros game at Minute Maid Park. Notice the replica train, with a car full of oranges, above left-center field. Photo by MeLinda Schnyder.
  • Creative food options—like this chicken waffle cone at Minute Maid Park in Houston—are one of the best parts of attending a Major League Baseball game. Photo by MeLinda Schnyder.
  • The lone red seat in Fenway Park's right field section 42 commemorates the longest home run in the park's history: 502 feet hit in 1946 by Red Sox slugger Ted Williams. Photo by MeLinda Schnyder.
  • The Great Hall is in the main concourse at Yankee Stadium and features huge banners of former New York Yankee greats. Photo by MeLinda Schnyder.

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings competing as the first openly all-salaried professional baseball team, here are a few of our favorite still-active stadiums listed from west to east.

Oracle Park, San Francisco

San Francisco’s ballpark was renamed this past offseason to Oracle Park. The views haven’t changed, though, and the stadium’s outfield offers the perfect frame for San Francisco Bay. There’s usually a fan or two in a kayak waiting to collect a “splash hit” ball—a home run hit into the water.

The San Francisco Giants went from having one of MLB’s worst ballparks in Candlestick Park to one of its jewels when this park opened in 2000. The stadium honors the long Giants history, from exhibits in The Vault to sculptures of legends like Willie Mays.

Don’t miss: The outfield concourse has an 80-foot-long slide in the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle and a massive replica 1927 four-fingered baseball mitt that stands 26 feet tall and 32 feet wide.

Flying in? Land at San Carlos Airport about 30 miles to the south and catch an Uber, or at Metropolitan Oakland International Airport about 20 miles to the southeast and ask the fixed-base operator to give you a ride to the Bay Area Rapid Transit.

Coors Field, Denver

We saw St. Louis slugger Mark McGwire in 1999 when he was hammering home runs, and he used the higher elevation and lower air density to put on an exhibition during batting practice, then he hit No. 35 during the game on his way to 65 homers that season. It’s hard to take your eyes off the Rocky Mountains beyond left field. Another unique aspect of Coors Field is The SandLot Brewery, which opened in 1995 with the stadium as the first brewery inside an MLB ballpark. As a plus, you can walk from Coors Field to other downtown Denver attractions.

Don’t miss: Head up to The Rooftop party deck above the right-field seats for excellent mountain views, and notice one row of purple seats in the upper sections that mark one mile above sea level.

Flying in? Fly to Centennial Airport 19 miles southeast, or Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport 16 miles northwest.

Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

What the home of the Kansas City Royals since 1973 lacks in neighborhood ambiance, Kauffman Stadium makes up for inside the Missouri ballpark. A huge center-field scoreboard is topped with a crown, and beautifully illuminated fountains dance just beyond the outfield fence. Outfield seats give you a chance to peek into the bullpen or chat up an outfielder between plays. You’ll find signature beef and barbecue options at the concession stands, plus craft beer from nearby Boulevard Brewing Co.

Don’t miss: The free 7,000-square-foot Hall of Fame Museum offers multimedia exhibits on baseball history, displays Royals artifacts, and showcases the club’s 1985 and 2015 World Series championship seasons.

Flying in? Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport is 10 miles away.

Minute Maid Park, Houston

While Minute Maid Park isn’t as quirky as the Astrodome, it boasts a view of the city skyline (even when the dome is closed), inventive food options, and downtown walkability. A favorite place to hang out before the game is Hall of Famer Craig Biggio’s sports bar in the nearby Marriott Marquis hotel.

Don’t miss: Watch for the 15-foot-high replica 1860 train, filled with Minute Maid oranges, running along 800 feet of track above the outfield when the Astros take the field during the first inning, hit a home run, or win a game. The train is one of many nods within the ballpark to the adjacent Houston Union Station, opened in 1911 and no longer in operation.

Flying in? Pearland Regional Airport is 24 miles away.

Fenway Park, Boston

There’s something magical about being in the country’s oldest MLB park, but the experience in the neighborhood immediately around the stadium is just as special. Home to the Boston Red Sox since 1912, Fenway Park is brimming with more than a century of history and personality inside and out. Give yourself time for Jersey Street (formerly Yawkey Way) and the rest of the pregame experience before heading inside to see the iconic 37-foot-tall left-field wall dubbed the Green Monster.

Don’t miss: Look for the lone red seat in right field section 42. This marks the longest home run in the park’s history, 502 feet hit by Ted Williams in 1946.

Flying in? Norwood Memorial Airport is about 20 miles south of the stadium.

Yankee Stadium, New York City

Even though my husband and I are not New York Yankees fans, we couldn't miss the home of the 27-time World Series champions. Both the old stadium and the new ballpark that opened in 2009 celebrate the ball club's storied history.

Don’t miss: Monument Park, in center field, recognizes legends who have played at Yankee Stadium; plan accordingly as it closes 45 minutes before first pitch. The free New York Yankees Museum is also inside the park and is open until the end of the eighth inning.

Flying in? Three general aviation airports are fairly close to the metropolitan area. Essex County Airport is about 25 miles to the west, Westchester County Airport is 30 miles to the north, and Linden Airport is about 30 miles to the south.

MeLinda Schnyder

Aviation and travel writer
MeLinda Schnyder is a writer and editor based in Wichita, Kansas, who frequently writes about travel and aviation. She worked for 12 years in the corporate communications departments for the companies behind the Beechcraft and Cessna brands.
Topics: Travel, US Travel

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