La Velle E. Neal III's Sunday Insider: Ballpark rankings get revision

  • Article by: LA VELLE E. NEAL III , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 24, 2012 - 8:32 AM

After finally visiting PNC Park, this writer can officially declare what was presumed already: It makes the top five.

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Safeco Field in Seattle

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After hearing so much about PNC Park in Pittsburgh, I finally covered a series there for the first time last week. I tweeted a picture of the view from the press box, and the questions began rolling in.

"How does it rank with your favorites?" @TylerRHartman wanted to know.

So, now having been to 25 of the 30 current major league ballparks, I guess it's time to update my list of the top five ballparks in the game, from fifth to first.

5. AT&T Park, San Francisco: The view of San Francisco Bay behind the right field seats is fantastic -- if you're in the upper deck. Folks in the lower deck can't see it. It is cool to walk around and stand behind the right field seats and be by the bay, at least. Kids love the slide that's inside that soda bottle in left field. But if you're at the concession area, you can't look out on the field. And you have to jostle with stadium employees because there's no service level. It's still a great park, though.

4. Camden Yards, Baltimore: A great park that opens up to downtown. Love how the park blends in with the warehouse in right. There's also great barbecue in right field, good enough to blow off the press dining room once a series. The press box is in range of several foul balls each game. A ball bounced into the box once and I picked it up and gave it to a kid in the stands. Did he thank me? No. He turned toward the field and yelled, "I'm number one!" Ugh.

3. PNC Park, Pittsburgh: The Kasota stone immediately reminds you of Target Field. There are fantastic statues around the park. The view, of the Roberto Clemente Bridge and downtown Pittsburgh, is the best in baseball, without question. I could watch boats sail up and down the Allegheny River for nine innings. The location of the press box stinks and the smell coming out of the bathroom is indescribable, but I still really like this park.

2. Target Field, Minnesota: It beats out PNC Park by a hair because it was well done on so many levels. The shaking hands logo, adding the second scoreboard over right field. Twins Tower is hard to describe, but it works. There's no river to look at, but the downtown skyline is nice. Food selections are fabulous. And don't underestimate the ability to look out at the field from the concourse, which you can't do in San Francisco or Baltimore. To me, it's the total package.

1. Safeco Field, Seattle: I've been there when it's been full and when it's empty. When it's been warm and when I've had to bundle up. And I've loved every minute of it. It's a retro feel with a retractable roof. Downtown Seattle is on one side and Puget Sound is on the other. The food I've had has been great. You can watch the game from the concourse. They play great music. The press box is spacious and it's not hard to get to the clubhouse. Brick-by-brick, pound-for-pound, the best ballpark in baseball.

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Chicago WSoxH. Noesi (0-0)000
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Cincinnati - M. Latos 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Boston - J. Kelly 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - S. Greene
Detroit - K. Lobstein 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Miami - B. Penny
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
LA Angels - C. Wilson 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. Milone
Texas - D. Holland 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Guthrie
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Washington - D. Fister 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Arizona - W. Miley 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
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