As many cities, counties, states, and countries come back to life in public, professional sports will be at the center of the return. America’s pastime will be at the center of the return. It may be one of the most anticipated baseball seasons in recent memory.
In thinking about the beauty of the game, and its ballparks, below is a summer baseball trip of a lifetime. To experience the game, the people, the friendships, the food, the culture, the weather, the smells, and the fun. This author, having visited twenty of the thirty Major League ballparks, is looking to take a trip to a few yet unexperienced ones.
A ballpark with a river running behind it is always a great start. Indeed, a ballpark that honors American culture and history by its name adds a few extra points. The Cincinnati Reds franchise is one of the first professional baseball clubs and has a long and storied history with beautiful people and culture. The Reds front office made many good offseason moves, lets see how it shakes out on the field.
A trip to Canada is always a welcome one with its kind people and great city culture. Although the stadium with the first retractable roof, it has grown old and is not in-line with the retro feel of old, but new, it is special. Toronto is world-renown for its food and fun. The Blue Jays have some exciting young players as well.
Brews, brats, and a mascot slide is a good way to start any day. The people of Wisconsin and the fans in Milwaukee are known for their friendliness and making-you-feel-at-home hospitality. Another midwestern city that will provide both great food, culture, and good play on the diamond.
The newest completely built ballpark (the Texas Rangers will take that crown shortly with Globe Life Field outside Dallas) provides an amazing community, fans, food, and culture. The Atlanta Braves moved from the downtown area (Turner Field) to a suburb in Georgia, which is a different path from many of the city-based ballparks today. Having never attended a game with Southern hospitality and sweet tea, it will be a treat.
The above trip with leave Tampa Bay, Oakland, Kansas City, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, and the new ballparks of Texas, Minnesota, New York (N.L., Mets), and the Washington clubs to visit. Who knows, maybe visiting all of them this summer is possible. Thus far, Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, San Diego’s PETCO Park, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, and Boston’s Fenway Park have been favorites. San Francisco’s Oracle Park, Coors Field, Dodgers Stadium, Yankee Stadium and all others have special qualities and experiences. The truth is ballparks that have years of history or maintain the retro feel hold an important place in many hearts. If interested, check out the six-part series on how baseball teams got their names: one, two, three, four, five, and six.
The summer of baseball begins soon.