Citizens Bank Park

Photo on left: View from behind the plate on a sunny, Sunday afternoon

Photo on right: My seat, which was in prime foul ball territory.

 

Stadium Name: Citizens Bank Park

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Team: Philadelphia Phillies

Stadium Rating: B

First Game: April 9, 2017, Phillies – 4, Nationals – 3

 

After checking out the park in Baltimore, I took the Amtrak the following morning to Philadelphia (this was an excessively busy trip for a weekend), where I toured a little bit of downtown before heading to the ballpark.

As a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan, I’ll be honest, I had no good expectation of the Phillies ballpark. Built in the early 2000s, I really didn’t think there was anything special about it, other than that it was built right next to the basketball and football stadiums (which makes for a convenient trip if hitting two games in a day).

On this shiny, Sunday afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised.

After grabbing a cheesesteak (had to, it was Philly after all), I took in a wonderful stadium. Hardly a cloud in the sky, the Phillies took on the Washington Nationals to wrap up the series. While I was thinking about how much time I needed to catch my flight home that night, I watched from down the 1st base line and was just constantly amazed at how baseball really does change at each park.

There was nothing inherently “special,” and I use that term loosely, about Citizens Bank Park. It was just a great place to see a game. Pretty much the same way I described Oriole Park at Camden Yards – in that it just had the “it” factor of being a great place to see a game.

They also had a cool hall of fame walkthrough in center field, a node to their past parks and big moments. For example Hank Aaron, the all-time leader in home runs, hit his only inside the park home run in his entire career at Connie Mack Stadium, which the Phillies occupied from 1909-1976.

Out of the 11 parks I’ve been to so far, Citizens Bank Park falls right into the middle, but that’s not a slight at all. I’m quickly realizing how nice each individual park is, and what a cool dream I’m going for.

  1. Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs – Chicago, IL)
  2. PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates – Pittsburgh, PA)
  3. Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros – Houston, TX)
  4. Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles – Baltimore, MD)
  5. Coors Field (Colorado Rockies – Denver, CO)
  6. Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies – Philadelphia, PA)
  7. Ballpark in Arlington (Texas Rangers – Arlington, TX)
  8. Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers – Milwaukee, WI)
  9. Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks – Phoenix, AZ)
  10. Busch Stadium (Saint Louis Cardinals – Saint Louis, Missouri)
  11. Guaranteed Rate Stadium (Chicago White Sox, Chicago, IL)
Advertisements

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Photo on left: My new Baltimore hat (one of my favorites) and a great view down the first base line

Photo on right: Center field scoreboard with the Baltimore Sun logo and old clock.

 

Stadium Name: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Team: Baltimore Orioles

Stadium Rating: B+

First Game: April 8, 2017, Orioles – 5, New York Yankees – 4

When I decided early this year that I would start seriously pursuing my dream to go to all 30 parks, I decided that I should start by going to a stadium on opening weekend. While the Rockies were in town, I wanted to go out of town, and that place ended up being Baltimore, Maryland.

Thanks to Jason who drove up to D.C. to get me from the airport, I was able to knock two stadiums off my list in the first baseball weekend of 2017.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a beautiful stadium, and currently I’ll rate it just ahead of Coors Field. It has plenty of unique features, including many classic touches that remind of older ballparks. I loved the old-style clock and local newspaper advertisement that grace the top of the center field scoreboard. The warehouse behind right field lining Eutaw Street is a thing of beauty.

Boog’s BBQ in dead center field was a recommendation from my professor Dr. Mike Shaub at A&M (and seconded later on) and was quite good bar-b-que for a ballpark.

Add in a beautiful sunny day, optimism springing from a new season and it was a great day to be at the game. My number one criteria for a stadium is something I can’t quite explain, other than that it feels like baseball should be played there. OPACY had that and more, and I’ll be happy to go back at any time.

Current Stadium Ratings:

  1. Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs – Chicago, IL)
  2. PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates – Pittsburgh, PA)
  3. Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros – Houston, TX)
  4. Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles – Baltimore, MD)
  5. Coors Field (Colorado Rockies – Denver, CO)
  6. Ballpark in Arlington (Texas Rangers – Arlington, TX)
  7. Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers – Milwaukee, WI)
  8. Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks – Phoenix, AZ)
  9. Busch Stadium (Saint Louis Cardinals – Saint Louis, Missouri)
  10. Guaranteed Rate Stadium (Chicago White Sox, Chicago, IL)