And now, on with our countdown!

June 25, 2008 at 10:46 pm | Posted in Baseball | 1 Comment

Yes, the image that you see here is of the immortal Casey Kasem. I figured that I should point that out since most of us are more familiar with Casey’s voice than his looks. Much like baseball cards, hearing Casey Kasem’s voice on “American Top 40 Countdown” reruns on XM radio brings back happy memories from my childhood…

Anyway, as you’ll recall from my post yesterday, the three finalists for the title of “The Best Baseball Stadium that Dave has been to for a game” are Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

So here we go…

3. Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia) – Since I was just there on Sunday and blogged about it on Monday, I’ll just say that I really, really liked Citizens Bank Park. I have a feeling that I’ll be attending many more games there in the future since my dad lives relatively close to Philly (in Baltimore) and my wife and I both have friends in the Philly area.

2. PNC Park (Pittsburgh) – As much as I loved Citizens Bank Park, it can’t match its counterpart from the other side of Pennsylvania, PNC Park. Although I was only there one time in 2001, the memories of this baseball cathedral are still etched in my mind. It has that classic ballpark feel with all of the modern conveniences. Everything that I like about Citizens Bank Park applies to PNC Park, but PNC has even more good things going for it. For one, the food selection was better than any park I’ve ever been to. I remember walking around the stadium in awe of the variety and unable to choose what I wanted to eat. And then I saw the Quaker Steak & Lube concession stand, and my mind was instantly made up. If you’ve never eaten at Quaker Steak & Lube, let me tell you that this place features some of the best Buffalo wings that you’ll ever taste (and this comes from someone who grew up near Buffalo). My favorite are the Buckeye BBQ wings, which have a spicy hot barbecue sauce that is absolutely incredible. Anyway, when I got to have some of these heavenly wings while watching a baseball game, I was ecstatic. The other great aspect of PNC Park is its perfect location, with the Allegheny River right behind the outfield, and a great view of the Pittsburgh skyline right behind the river. PNC Park is just an awesome place to watch a baseball game, and if you are ever anywhere near Pittsburgh, you should definitely check it out. Now, if the Pirates could ever have a winning team…

While PNC Park is tops on my list of modern ballparks, it has a long way to go before it can compete with:

1. Yankee Stadium (Bronx, NY) – No matter how you may feel about the Yankees (and I have been both a huge Yankees fan and a huge Yankees hater in my life), any fan of baseball has to have respect and admiration for Yankee Stadium. Simply put, more historic moments have occurred at Yankee Stadium than perhaps every other major league stadium combined. The Yankees franchise has won 26 World Series championships, 39 American League pennants, and has 41 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. When you walk into Yankee Stadium, you can’t help but think about Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly, and so many other legends playing on that field. One of the best moments of my childhood occurred in the summer of 1992 when I was able to see a game in Yankee Stadium for the first time. I also got to tour the stadium (and Monument Park) and sit in the Yankees dugout. The memories send a chill down my spine to this day. Sadly, 2008 will be the final season for Yankee Stadium, as the team will be moving into a new billion-dollar facility next year. Eventually, Yankee Stadium will be demolished. As if the Steinbrenner family doesn’t make enough money from the Yankees, they’ll soon be able to line their pockets even more money and throw even more outrageous contracts at star players to lure them away from smaller market teams. I am hoping to be able to see Yankee Stadium one more time before the end of the season to say goodbye to a true American icon.

One final note … there is one more stadium that I have been to for a tour, but I have not yet been able to see a game there. It is the 96-year old Fenway Park in Boston. Needless to say, Fenway would rank near the top of the list if I had actually seen a game there. I am hoping to change that this September as I have tentative plans to visit my sister-in-law in Boston and see the Rays play the Red Sox in an important battle for the AL East title.

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  1. I feel the same way about Yankee Stadium. I have probably seen nearly 50 games at the stadium and can tell you, there is no experience like it. I’ve been to 20 of the MLB parks and nothing (except possibly Fenway and Wrigley Field) make you feel the same way, when you walk through the tunnel and see the facade, it does send chills down your spine whether you love or hate the Yankees.

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