When I finally decided I wanted to be a Sports Journalist and more specifically a MLB writer I wanted to seek out an adventure to journey to all 30 MLB stadiums and this journal will be a documentation of all my journey’s.
Mid-July 2022 I took my first self vacation to 3 MLB stadiums in Milwaukee, Chicago and St.Louis. This is a trip I’ve always wanted to take and having built up money for the year leading up to my trip this was the start to me becoming a MLB writer.
This journal I will document every stadium and my personal experience and my personal pictures I’ve taken.
Start off with the stadium I’ve been to the most and the home of my MLB team, Yankee Stadium is all around a solid stadium that could be better for the face of American sports.
Access: Yankee Stadium I’ve only accessed by train and I would find it pretty easy to access Yankee Stadium in that way. Metro North trains drop you off right in front of the stadium and on that walk to walk by Old Yankee Stadium which is always a nice touch.
The Subway I’ve only taken once for Game 1 of the 2022 ALDS and that was living hell going back to my college just because of how packed it was and standing on a Subway with a bunch of sweaty New Yorkers really isn’t the dream.
Venue: Yankee Stadium opened in 2009 and it still stands as a solid stadium. The Yankees definitely could do better but overall there isn’t a bad seat in the house and just how open the stadium is gives it bonus points.
The concourse is open and you can see the field from the concourse and you just feel always connected to the game while walking. Walking into the stadium with all the legends on the wall is a really good touch and makes the place feel special.
Fans: In the heart of the Bronx, Yankee faithful are a rough yet dedicated bunch. Sitting in the bleachers is a rowdy experience (if you’re a Yankee fan) and the fans are loud and brutal towards the opposing teams players.
Food: Yankee Stadium food is overpriced but if you know what you’re getting it can be nice. The Hot Dogs are very solid while the Nachos lack any taste. Chopped cheese is a staple of five boroughs and the Yankees offer a very well put together chopped cheese.
Overall: Yankee Stadium must go to the stadium just for the prestige of the team. The fans really do have this family vibe to them where everyone feels connected over the team on the field. Stopping by Yankee Stadium will be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved, just make sure you don’t wear other teams gear.
The Mets moving from one of the more iconic stadiums in Shea Stadium to now Citi Field the Mets did a good job mixing them and gave Mets fans a stadium to be proud of.
Access: Now I’ve only taken trains to Citi Field and from that I can say they do a really good job at that. The Subway drops you off right in front of Citi Field and Arthur Ashe Stadium which is always nice .
Venue: Coming from a Yankee fan I was impressed by Citi Field with how they were able to implement Shea Stadium into Citi with the bridge that connected them in right center field.
The concourse at Citi Field is a 6/10 for me personally because unlike Yankee Stadium you really couldn’t see the field from everywhere in the stadium and this is a problem for a stadium built not too long ago.
The concourse behind dead center field is really a nice touch with a couple of food spots there with a bunch of places to sit and relax. Team store was not impressive and was kinda small but having a Mets Hall of Fame attached was really nice to see with some really cool memorabilia that even a Yankee fan can appreciate.
Fans: The only game I’ve been to so far as of January 2023 was a game against the Cincinnati Reds so the fans really weren’t out but from what I’ve seen the fans do show up. Can’t really evaluate the fans at Citi Field but I know they’re fiending for a World Series bid.
Food: The food that I’ve had was ELITE, the Polar Bear burger was once of the best pieces of meat I’ve ever had and just was cooked and crafted to perfection. The rice balls were surprisingly good so the food I had was an 8/10.
Overall: Citi Field was a good experience for a Yankee fan and felt like a stadium. The environment around Citi Field definitely needs to be improved somehow because in these other stadiums the environment around is what really moved me. Not a must go to stadium but if it pops up then certainly go to.
Fenway Park is like a wine fine, it just gets better with age. This ballpark is truly a spectacle and even if you’re not a baseball fan you need to take in how special this landmark is.
Access: Parking can be a hassle for most being in a tight area but in my personal experiences at Fenway I haven’t run into this problem.
Venue: The concourse is all closed off from the field but that’s ok because the aesthetic of this park is overwhelming. When you walk up the steps to finally see the field the first thing you see is the monstrous Green Monster which is crazy to see in person.
Even if you can’t get the expensive Green Monster ticket it’s still a priority to just get up there to see what it’s like and wow what a view you get up there. You just sense the history every step you take in this ballpark and with the old organ player playing as you walk around really tells you what the old times were like.
Last but not least the Red Sox Hall of Fame was really cool to see from seeing things ranging from Ted Williams cleats to David Ortiz game tying Grand Slam in the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. Hall of Fames are always something I love and the Red Sox did it right.
Fans: Being a Yankee fan inside Fenway against the Red Sox people really overstate how bad Red Sox fans are. My friend and I were both wearing Yankees gear and didn’t get one remark towards me and actually felt welcoming. They really love their team and the roar of the crowd sounds right. Plus they love some Sweet Caroline.
Food: Didn’t really get to eat anything here but I’ve heard good things.
Overall: Historic landmark that everyone should visit and I really enjoyed my time in Fenway Park just because every step I took I felt like it was history and just had the right vibe. With the Green Monster, the John Hancock signature on top of the scoreboard and the Ted Williams record HR ball red chair in right field. Fenway Park was a 10/10 experience and yet again this is coming from a Yankee fan.
Citizens Bank Park
This ballpark is really fit for Philly fans in which case it’s all over the place but just right. And the time I had at Citizens Bank Park was just ok but that opinion will be changed over the course of time.
Access: It’s fairly simple to get here by transit like I did and the parking looks like it could be good but can’t speak on that. But I would suggest driving back to Philly after the game because the city skyline is absolutely beautiful.
Venue: CBP is located in the same plaza as Wells Fargo Center and Lincoln Financial Field. Entering the ballpark you are greeted by statues of the greats and with the World Series trophies shows off the history. Walking around the ballpark you can see inside the ballpark sometimes and personally that is really good to do to get excitement going.
Concourse is meh and could be better, nothing really special but that really goes for the whole ballpark. But the best part of this place and one of my favorite spots I’ve seen in the ballparks I’ve been to is the right center field spot right over the bullpen and you can see right into it and even engage in taunting the opposing teams pitchers. I stayed there for two innings and just paid attention to how these professionals handle having 50 harassing Philly fans yelling out insults.
The last point I’ll make is the scoreboard NEEDS to be improved, it’s way too small and the pixels are dead on some parts of it.
Fans: It’s Philly fans what do you think? In a playoff race against a division foe in Washington Nationals there were a bunch of people here and showed their love for the Phillies.
Food: Hot Dogs are so so so so good and were cheap as hell and you know a dog is good when you don’t have to put condiments on it. Lines were too long to buy anything else besides soda and Hot Dogs.
Overall: CBP was a mediocre experience and I’ll be there more so I think my take will change. It’s what you expect from a baseball game and doesn’t have anything that would put them over the top. The Philly Phanatic was funny and added a family element but that’s about it. Get me there within a playoff game and this take would have been completely changed.
American Family Field
This stadium is certainly a beauty and personally in my top 3 stadiums so far as of January 2023. The reason for this high of a rating is just how spectacular the architecture of this place is.
Access: Get an Uber ride here and from that AFF makes it very easy for people that want to take an Uber because it has its own parking lot and people are already there to drive you back home.
Venue: Getting out of my uber you cross this bridge that has players flags with a look into the ballpark. Walking into the ballpark I instantly saw the giant team store and once I was on the field I was in awe.
Sitting right next to the Pirates dugout was cheap and was really cool seeing these players’ mannerisms and how they just did their job. The scoreboard is a can’t miss thing unlike Philadelphia and the slide to its left is a great touch on the “Family” part of the name.
The concourse consisted of the food places and a BIG bar spot that looked very modern and was good to see. Not too much walking room around the stadium you’re not gonna get good views walking around but the stadium was still magnificent.
Fans: Now my 2nd favorite team are the Pirates so I was wearing my Pirates hat behind the Pirates dugout and the fans were very respectful. The good looking people of Milwaukee, Wisconsin love their teams in the Packers, Bucks and Badgers but fan support of the Brewers on this day’s game wasn’t anything to write home about.
Food: ELITE food, I started off my day with a couple of Hot Dogs that yet again were amazing. Next I had a bowl of nachos that were the most delicious things to ever grace my taste buds and finally topped everything off with a Egg and Sausage sandwich that surprised me.
Overall: Honestly I had such a fun time at American Family Field and would heavily recommend getting yourself there if you get a chance. Got to see my 2nd favorite team win along with my favorite player outside the Yankees in Oneil Cruz hit a missile to seal the game. Definitely gonna be hard to take this stadium out of my top 3.
Next up on the landmark checklist is Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois and let me just say it’s as advertised. The city of Chicago is way blown out of proportion by the media, everyone there was so nice and I felt safe the whole time I was in the city. And out of the three cities I went to this was the city I explored the most.
My hotel was located slightly north of the city and I took multiple walks on Lincoln Park and as you can see with these pictures this was majestic. Walking in the city was just like NYC and very easy to maneuver and simply a great time. I stopped at the Chicago Sports Museum and I’ve already stated how much I love history and this was really cool to see.
The food I treated myself to in Chicago was the best stretch of food I’ve ever had. The food at Harry Caray’s Restaurant was SPECTACULAR, the chicken parmesan made me feel like I was eating something crafted from the man above. As a New Yorker you hear the stuff about Deep Dish Pizza but I’m here to DEBUNK that because Deep Dish is AMAZING and honestly don’t understand the hate for it.
Access: This is a baseball town and you can see that, the ballpark was very simple to access by walking and on that walk you see every bar and shop have something to do with the Cubs and that was really eye opening because the outside of Yankee Stadium is just like this. But what I felt was really cool was when the game ended I took the same walking route on my way home and they closed off the road so everyone drunk out of their minds can just walk on the street without having anything to fear and to see that they shut down roads because of baseball was really a nice thing to see.
Venue: Historic masterpiece. Fenway and Wrigley just have this ora around them where everywhere you step you feel like it’s special. And having family from Chicago and the stories I’ve heard about the place and now me having experiencing it now.
The concourse just like Fenway is closed off from the field and it’s a direct circle around the stadium with the same restaurants and stuff.
The bleachers were iconic as well with the Wrigley ivey on the wall and that’s just history right in front of me and just to think how many MLB greats have run into this wall just perplexed my brain.
The organ playing with the views of this place was it’s own experience and honestly just could have sat there without a game and would have enjoyed myself.
Fans: The fans were interesting… So in my experience the game was ruined by a couple of drunk teens that couldn’t stop yelling and talking at the opposing fans and players. But I can’t generalize a whole fanbase based on my one bad experience with them. Cubs fans show up regardless of record and I mess with that heavy and honestly one of the most loyal and welcoming people I’ve been around so far.
Food: Old stadium so the food options were as simple as that but the Hot Dogs were 7/10 but EXPENSIVE.
Overall: Beautiful city, beautiful stadium. It was just overall one of the top experiences of my life and I’m gonna enjoy bringing my future family there because it’s really worth that while. Critically acclaimed for a reason and Chicago deserves the Cubs and the Cubs deserves Chicago.
Another majestic city and ballpark, Busch Stadium has the sights and views that any man would drop their mouths at. And now with a constantly winning team in St.Louis this is MUST go to the city and ballpark.
Access: The city of St.Louis was honestly sick and why I said that was I visited the Arch in which case everyone should visit the Arch eventually in life because WOW. A very hot and humid day I honestly couldn’t care less about that because the Arch was way bigger and way more special then I thought it was gonna be.
The trail around the Arch is also a very relaxing time for you to reset. And if you’re there in the summer I would HIGHLY suggest bringing a lot of water but in case you forget I would recommend the Lemonade stand in front of the Arch because it was a good way to refresh before heading to the stadium.
I walked over from the Arch to Busch Stadium and on that walk you sensed the change into Cardinals land and the first thing I saw was Ballpark Village and it looked like a really fun place to watch a ballgame.
Venue: 10/10 stadium because the way this stadium is layed out is simply amazing. The concourse was open and on the top like I was on it was very open.
Where I was sitting is by far the best seat in all of baseball because you get to see the whole skyline and the Arch and honestly it was such a beautiful scene that every baseball fan should see.
Fans: Going up against the first place Los Angeles Dodgers I knew coming into this the Dodger fans were gonna travel well and I was very correct about that. But the Cards fans matched that very easily and these fans love their players because every single time Albert Pujols stepped up to the plate everyone standing ovation and phones came out. Even in a losing effort the fans were still in the game the whole 9 innings and barely anyone left the stadium.
Food: The nacho helmet I would highly recommend because it was a 10/10 with plenty of food you can save for the entirety of the game.
Overall: Busch Stadium was another great experience and was one of the top stadiums I wanted to go to when I started this journey and it held up to my expectations. Another city and stadium if I were on the fence about going would go because the city and the sights are amazing and the ballpark was amazing.
Next stadiums, Camden Yards, Nationals Park…