My first Major League Baseball park was Jacob’s Field in Cleveland, Ohio, before it was given a boring corporate moniker (it is now Progressive Field). My family lived in the Cleveland metro until I was 9, and then we moved to the Kansas City area at the turn of the new millennium.
None of my family were from Kansas City; I come from a long line of Iowans. Naturally, I had no connection to Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, or the Royals. One of my first memories at Kauffman Stadium was watching my favorite pitcher, Randy Johnson, eviscerate the Royals. According to Baseball-Reference, it was on June 8, 2001. Johnson struck out 11 Royals over seven innings, allowing one run.
Of course, over the years I became a Royals fan as I spent a larger and larger portion of my life in Kansas City. I attended many games. Some of the most notable included Eric Hosmer’s big league debut in 2011, which was also my then-girlfriend-future-wife’s Royals game; Justin Maxwell’s walkoff grand slam to end 2013; the Wild Card game, following a Royals Review tailgate in the parking lot; and the second game of the 2015 ALDS.
I’ve been to so many Royals games with so many people that it’s hard to separate the Kauffman Stadium experience from my fondness for the place in general. But truly: Kauffman Stadium is a great park. And as Royals fans, we tend to forget this, but Kauffman is an iconic MLB park for fans of the sport. The crown scoreboard, the fountains—it’s impossible to forget you’re at Kauffman, and the stadium has hosted World Series games in four different years as well as multiple All-Star games.
Still: I enjoy visiting other parks. When COVID has shut down so much travel, and with an offseason gaping wide open in front of us, it’s a good time as any to discuss what our favorite MLB parks are. Here are the ones I’ve been to—what parks have you been to? Let us know in the comments!
- Location: Cleveland, OH
The park I’ve spent the second-most time at in my life. The first time I went, I saw the late-90s Indians juggernaut with Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Omar Vizquel, Kenny Lofton, and more. The most recent time I went, I saw the Indians score 12 runs in two innings against Eric Skoglund and Onelki Garcia. I gave a standing ovation to a double play once. The Indians fans around me enjoyed it, because if Cleveland knows anything about sports, it is pain.
- Location: Queens, NY
The most recent addition to this list, from September 2019. We had time for one baseball game in our trip to New York City, and we chose Citi Field because tickets were cheaper. It’s a nice enough park, but what I didn’t realize is that you get a straightaway view of the main runway at Laguardia Airport from the stands, where it is near. Every game you attend, you’ll also see plane after plane take off.
- Location: Denver, CO
Coors Field is lovely, as are most downtown stadiums, as is Denver in general. You’ve got an ample amount of seating to choose from, including plentiful outfield spots. It’s a good place to watch a baseball game. When we went, we saw a somewhat bizarre matchup—Rockies versus Blue Jays. I don’t remember who won. Sometimes it’s fun to just watch something without a dog in the fight.
Great American Ball Park
- Location: Cincinnati, OH
It was hot as blazes when we went to this one, and my poor wife almost had a heat stroke with our uncovered seats on a Sunday afternoon, mid-90s baseball game. We moved further up in the upper deck to find some shade. As a result, I don’t remember much of the game itself, but the park is nice, with ample parking nearby, and it’s by the river. There’s also a big fiery smokestack that goes off in the outfield whenever someone hits a home run.
- Location: Minneapolis, MN
I’ve always thought that section in right field behind the concrete overhang was cool, so that’s where we bought our tickets. We accidentally went to Pride Night, which we did not plan, but the festivities were fun so that was a nice bonus. The Royals lost, but as we were walking back to our car in the garage, we got in an elevator with some Twins fans who were also at the game. In trademark Minnesota fashion, they apologized that the Twins won and wished us better luck the next time we made the trek. Target Field is probably my second favorite park, after Kauffman Stadium.