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.

hide

Safeco Field in Seattle

Photo: Elaine Thompson, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

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.

  • related content

  • Sunday Insider: The 3-2 pitch

    Sunday June 24, 2012

    • How will Joe Nathan be ranked among the best closers of this era? With two saves last week, his career save conversion rate of .8932 was the best of...

  • Sunday Insider: Central Intelligence

    Sunday June 24, 2012

    Between 2008 and 2010, White Sox lefthander John Danks was 40-31 with a 3.61 ERA and threw 6081/3 innings. But he went 8-12 last season and is 3-4 with a...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Orlando 7:00 PM
Memphis
Boston 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Army 6:00 PM
American Univ
Wright State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Syracuse 6:00 PM
North Carolina
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Delaware State 6:00 PM
NC Central
High Point 6:00 PM
Presbyterian
Howard 6:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Coppin State 6:30 PM
NC A&T
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Northwestern St
Hampton 6:30 PM
SC State
Gardner-Webb 7:00 PM
Campbell
MD-Eastern Shore 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Norfolk State 7:00 PM
Savannah State
TX A&M-CC 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Sam Houston St 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
McNeese State 7:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Milwaukee 7:05 PM
Valparaiso
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Southern U 7:30 PM
Alabama State
Prairie View 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Texas 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Texas Southern 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Long Island 77 1st OT 3:43
Bryant 77
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 48 2nd Half 20:00
Wagner 34
Delaware State 29 2nd Half
NC Central 25
Howard 4:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Coppin State 4:30 PM
NC A&T
Hampton 4:30 PM
SC State
Norfolk State 4:45 PM
Savannah State
MD-Eastern Shore 5:00 PM
Florida A&M
Samford 5:00 PM
(25) Chattanooga
Prairie View 5:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Southern U 5:30 PM
Alabama State
Texas Southern 5:30 PM
Miss Valley St
(12) Texas A&M 6:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
Robert Morris 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Mercer
Wofford 6:00 PM
Furman
Morehead St 6:00 PM
Tenn Tech
Illinois 6:00 PM
Michigan
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 8:00 PM
Auburn
(15) Nebraska 8:00 PM
(20) Iowa
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close