PacBell Park (San Francisco Giants): 8
Not only is this my home turf, but they have Kruk and Kuip which totally boosts them. The atmosphere is always pretty good, but parking sucks. The outside has some good photo ops with the Willie Mays Plaza and the selection of food is vast. However, I’m over garlic fries. It also has the unique features with Bay being on the other side of the right field wall and seats known as “the pit” which are near the on-deck circle. I have sat in those, so that boosts the score. I know other parks have this seating and you too can have your score boosted by sending me tickets for the aforementioned seats.
Oakland Coliseum (Oakland A’s): 4
I’m not an A’s fan. I’m sorry. Points for the tailgating that can take place but it’s all concrete and boring. Points for Dollar Dog Wednesday, being able to get David Cone’s autograph and having Joe Oliver give us his batting gloves when the Yankees were in town. Demerits for no atmosphere and having to drive to Oakland to go there.
Petco Park (San Diego Padres): 7
I like the look of the new park and the unique left field wall but there’s an awful lot of steel and industrial feel to it that seems contradictory to SD’s beachy lifestyle. And it’s has a short porch, which is great if you’re a hitter. But they do have a grassy area with a huge jumbo tron which creates a cool vibe. The food is also decent so points for that.
RFK Stadium (former home of the Washington Nationals): 4
It was a football stadium first and foremost. And the Nationals weren’t very good which translates to little atmosphere.
Turner Field (Atlanta Braves): 7
Even though they bulldozed Fulton County Stadium and Turner was built in 1997, they kept wall over which Hank Aaron hit his 715th homer in the parking lot, so points for keeping history. The ballpark is very family-friendly, which I give points for, because going to the yard should be a family affair, I say. There was plenty of photo ops outside and the inside was conducive to walking around, thus getting points in the atmosphere category.
Shea Stadium (New York Mets): 6
This is the place where I first learned the literal meaning of “box seats” and I wasn’t terribly thrilled by that. Because it’s a New York park, it obviously has atmosphere, creating by the fans and of course, they have a hot third baseman, so clearly that deserves bonus points.