Can of Corn: Favorite Ballpark

Can of Corn: Favorite Ballparkfeatured

Before I launch into flowery language about AT&T (formerly SBC, formerly PacBell) Park, I want to point out that as a young’un, I spent a fair number of games (night games!) at Candlestick (latterly 3COM) Park.

I don’t really care about the dismissive “bandwagoners” labels thrown on Giants fans nowadays because 1) that’s the price of winning and 2) bitch, please, give me two minutes and I’ll prove to you that I’ve been a fan since birth, but I’d rather drink my beer and watch the game than waste my breath talking to you.

Can of Corn: Favorite Ballpark {the ponytail diaries}

So anyway, the ‘Stick.

Hard to believe my last game there was over 16 years ago.

While I am not old enough to actually have any “Croix de Candlestick” pins, or remember the Crazy Crab, I am plenty old enough, and have been a fan long enough, to remember those long, cold, windy, foggy nights at Candlestick.

And honestly?

As a kid, it was as good a park as any. My favorite players — Matt Williams and Barry Bonds and Rod Beck and Shawn Estes and JT Snow and Bill Mueller — played there 82 times a year and we got to go see them at least a couple of those times and I would always, always get a chocolate malt, no matter how cold it was, and I cheered when that foghorn sounded and it was a great place to be a kid on a Saturday. It’s not like I knew any better.

As I got a little older, and plans for the new stadium were in the works, I became more aware of all the terrible things about Candlestick — the cold, the fog, the wind — but it was like, intellectually, I knew it wasn’t a quality ballpark, but I didn’t really have anything else to compare it to, and I always enjoyed myself when we went to games, so I liked it. (Also, my parents must have been pretty good about bundling up me and my brothers, because I honestly don’t remember being terribly cold.)

Can of Corn: AT&T Park {the ponytail diaries}

That said, my parents took me on a stadium tour shortly before what was then PacBell Park opened in 2000 and it was love at first sight. Like, Oh, *this* is what a ballpark should be!

I miss AT&T terribly, but I enjoy games at Petco. I was impressed with Coors Field and the Nationals Stadium (despite the stink of Bryce Harper).

Can of Corn: Coors Field {the ponytail diaries}

Really, I’m going to be happy with a park if the concessions are easy to find and the lines aren’t ridiculous (and if there’s decent variety — I’m un-American and don’t like hot dogs, so please, please, make it easy for me to find pizza or nachos or something — and by nachos, I mean chips loaded with toppings so it can kinda be a meal, not just covered with that fake cheese stuff. Also, craft beer please), the sightlines are good, and it’s in a downtown or urban setting, so either before or after a game it’s easy for me to grab food or a beer (and I don’t need to sit in the parking lot for hours trying to get home).

Can of Corn: Petco Park {the ponytail diaries}

One of the big things that can sour an experience for me, though, is the fans. I don’t care who you’re rooting for, but I hate it when people are swearing loudly and obnoxiously during games. This may surprise you, as I have no problem dropping f-bombs here, but I’m actually pretty good (usually) at censoring myself in situations where little kids are present. And cheering, even heckling is one thing, but having to listen to someone swear profusely throughout a game is distracting, and I always feel bad for parents sitting near me. So having security to deal with loud and obnoxious people is also a plus.

Man, I can’t wait to go to some games this year.

Linking up with Kasey and P.J. for the Can of Corn link-up today!

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  • I agree on many of the things you say here — especially the obnoxious fans. I also love the fans who know everything about the game and try and tell their friends facts … that are totally off. That just makes me laugh though. But the fans who get all sauced and swear .. yeah, annoy me too. I like the stadiums who have it set up so you can text security when things happen. Makes it easier to report bad things.

    The hot dog thing, though…

    I do love going to MLB stadiums and some of the west-coast ones are on my radar, eventually. But I still find the experience for baseball best at the minor league stadiums. Affordable and fun — and baseball. I always like to sprinkle in a few MLB stadiums each year, but my plans are often centered on MiLB stadiums.

    • More stadiums are getting better about security for fan incidents, which is good. You’re lucky that so many MiLB stadiums are within driving distance for you…if more were in range I’d love to watch those games.

      • I will admit I am pretty lucky on the minor league front. It’s nice to have 5-6 affiliated minor league teams, as well as a couple of independent teams within a couple of hours. That’s for sure. It’s disappointing the one minor league team that was 25 minutes from me is no longer there, but I do enjoy having others to choose from!

        I was just looking at the Baseball-Reference map for 2016 and am amazed at the lack of minor league teams in California. Maybe the heat? Not sure why. But the East coast is definitely spoiled in that regard. In late July/Early August, I’m going on a swing to Virgina/North Carolina and going to hit 13-14 games in 10 days. 🙂

  • dude. I loved AT&T. even though it was FREEZING. I can’t deal with how cold it was in SF. you can always come to Atlanta + I’ll take you to games 🙂