We all have our favorite baseball team and stadium, some ballparks just hold so much history, you have to at least know about them to truly understand the history of the game. We take a look at some of the historic ballparks that don’t all house major teams, but are home to a lot of game-changing moments.
Astrodome: Houston, Texas
The Astrodome was home of the Astros from 1965-1999. It was the first multi-purpose stadium in the world, and on top of that, it was climate controlled, which was a game-changer in Texas. It also contained fully-functional luxury suites, a four-story electric scoreboard and Astroturf. It was considered by some to be the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” though unfortunately it is now closed.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards: Baltimore, Maryland
Orioles Park at Camden Yards was built purposefully to look like an older stadium, but it still offers all the updated facilities you may want. It opened in 1992 and integrated the surroundings, like B&O Warehouse and Eutaw Street into the design, which hadn’t been done before. Baltimore is also home to Babe Ruth, so you can’t go wrong watching a game in that city.
Shibe Park: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Shibe Park ushered in a new era when it was built in 1909 because it was the first steel-and-concrete ballpark. Wooden ballparks were done, and by 1923, every team with the exception of the Phillies would get a new or completely rebuilt concrete-and-steel stadium.
Milwaukee County Stadium: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Parking became a priority in the 1950s when baseball teams were attracting a lot of attention, and at the same time, the Boston Braves became the first franchise to relocate in 50 years in 1953. The Milwaukee County Stadium was built in the middle of a parking lot and it was easy to access via a freeway. The Braves were so successful during their first years in the city, they inspired other franchises to move and other stadiums were built in parking lots.
Doubleday Field: Cooperstown, New York
This field is known as the “Birthplace of Baseball” because Abner Doubleday is said to have made the rules for and played the first baseball game on the site in 1839 when it was still a cow pasture. The field is used today mainly for special commemorative games, like the Hall of Fame Classic.
Fenway Park: Boston, Massachusetts
This stadium is full of historic landmarks, such as the Lone Red Seat, which marks the site of the longest home run in Fenway’s history. Since May 15, 2003, every single game at Fenway has sold out. You can also check out the Green Monster, the stadium’s 37-foot high outfield wall or Pesky’s Pole, the shortest home run porch in the majors.
Bosse Field: Evansville, Indiana
This field is very small town, but it is important because it was the set of the 1992 film A League of Their Own, starring Tom Hanks, Madonna and Geena Davis. The movie tells the fictional story of the true All-American Girls Professional Baseball League of the 1940s and 50s. In the movie, Bosse Field is the home field for the team, and the team’s name, Racine Bells, is still painted on the grandstand.
Wrigley Field: Chicago, Illinois
This field has stayed the same while Chicago bloomed into a bustling metropolis around it. There are no advertisements on the park’s ivy-covered fences and you can see into the stadium from the rooftops of neighboring houses. The 100-year-old stadium was built for the Chicago Whales of the now-defunct Federal League. It may not be the first stadium to have a brick backstop, manual scoreboard with a clock at the top or rooftop seats across the street, but the longevity of the ballpark has made it famous.
Yankee Stadium: Bronx, New York
The (new) Yankee Stadium is the most expensive stadium in the world and is possibly the biggest combination of history and luxury in sports. The exterior of the ballpark is made with limestone that comes from the same Indiana quarry as the old Yankee stadium and the stadium’s name is still lettered in gold above each gate. The ballpark is filled with Yankees’ memories and memorabilia, and hundreds of iconic photos can be found inside. But don’t be fooled — the stadium is definitely up-to-date. Each players’ locker has its own touch-screen computer and the clubhouse has a hydrotherapy pool and underwater treadmill.
Cardines Field: Newport, Rhode Island
Built in the late 1890s, this field was originally built for unofficial sandlot games hosted by the nearby railroad workers, which makes it one of the oldest ballparks in the world. It was home to Negro League all-stars including Satchel Page and Josh Gibson. During World War II, professional players such as Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Bob Feller and others established the amateur Sunset League at Cardines while stationed in Newport Naval Station.