MLB Opening Day roundtable: What’s your favorite baseball stadium?

Opening Day has arrived. The 2021 MLB regular season begins Thursday, and we have you covered with bold predictions, top storylines, best bets, and power rankings. Here are our season predictions and awards predictions.

Throughout the season my fellow CBS Sports MLB scribes and I will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we debated the best team in New York. This week we’re going to discuss our favorite MLB ballparks.

What is your favorite MLB ballpark, past or present?

R.J. Anderson: Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It has everything you’d want from a ballpark: a great sightline; some signature features (though it being a model for an entire generation of stadiums might cheapen that aspect for some); and a lively atmosphere in a walkable area. (Baltimore is an underappreciated city in general.) The fans themselves deserve much better than their management seems intent on delivering to them, too. This is a group that once gave J.J. Hardy multiple standing ovations, for cripes sake. 

Matt Snyder: Wrigley Field. 

Full disclosure here is there’s so much nostalgia and, yes, bias (which has become far too evil a word in this day and age regarding media, but I digress) due to my childhood. I’ve been there hundreds of times starting with my first game before I could even walk. The aesthetics with the ivy and old scoreboard in center field are unmatched for me and bring a feeling one can’t properly describe in words. The efforts in recent years to repair the relative dump it had become are working and making it better. The video boards don’t bother me at all, in fact, I like it better now. 

If I was forced to go away from Wrigley and make it a fair fight, I’d pick San Francisco’s Oracle Park. I love absolutely everything about it. The location is excellent, the skyline with the Bay Bridge — especially if you’re in the upper deck in right field — is a breathtaking view and the oddball dimensions of the playing surface itself were a nice touch, especially with the splash landing home runs in McCovey Cove. 

Dayn Perry: I’ll go with PNC in Pittsburgh. Great sightlines inside the park, great view of downtown Pittsburgh. I also love that, unlike a lot of newer ballparks, it seems made to fit the city rather than the other way around. The less said about the team on the field, the better. 

Mike Axisa: Although I haven’t been there since this game, I’m going with PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and I echo everything Dayn said. There’s not a bad seat in the house and the view of the Pittsburgh skyline is outstanding. Plus you can leave the park after a game, cross the bridge, and you’re right downtown. The team is very bad but the ballpark is A+.

Oracle Park in San Francisco, Petco Park in San Diego, and Camden Yards in Baltimore are in my next tier. I liked Minute Maid Park in Houston and Comerica Park in Detroit more than I thought I would once I had a chance to visit. I grew up going to games at the old Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium, so they’re special to me. Target Field in Minneapolis and T-Mobile Park in Seattle are on my must-visit list. Haven’t been to either yet but I’ve heard nothing but great things.

Katherine Acquavella: Camden Yards is my favorite. PNC and AT&T (I guess, Oracle now) round out my top three. Going to a baseball game at Camden Yards always feels like an authentic experience and true reflection of the city of Baltimore. From the B&O Warehouse to Eutaw Street to the crab cakes available at the concession stand, Camden Yards feels sincere to its location. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that there’s really not a bad seat.

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