Ranking MLB ballparks by TV viewing experience
Wrigley Field in Chicago Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Ranking MLB ballparks by TV viewing experience

You may not have a choice but to watch most, if not all, of your baseball on television this season. But you can still enjoy the ballpark experience, as each stadium's uniqueness seeps through to those watching at home. Here is a ranking of each MLB venue based on TV viewing. The categories are dimensions, view, pitch camera angle and special features. If you want to peek ahead and spoil the ending, you can view the full rubric here.

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30. Oakland Coliseum (Athletics)

Yuck. This stadium is a disaster, replete with vermin and sewage issues. The view of the hills was obstructed by unnecessary additional seating in center field years ago, destroying any attempt at charm. There’s way too much foul territory, exposed concrete and empty seats. No one will miss this place when it's eventually knocked down.

Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images

29. Rogers Centre (Blue Jays)

Believe it or not, there are only six MLB stadiums older than the former SkyDome. When it opened in 1988, it was a revelation — the first retractable roof. No one minded the artificial turf because about half of all teams also eschewed natural grass. These once cutting-edge features are now outdated. It’s like a 1980s vision of what 2020 fashion would look like — trying too hard to be futuristic without shaking the period characteristics from whence it came. 

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28. Marlins Park (Marlins) 

You know that kid from high school who tried a different catchphrase every week or the one who went to prom with a green mullet just to stand out? Marlins Park is just as obviously desperate for attention. Those pastel colors are just not how baseball should look. Say what you will about the erstwhile home run structure, but at least it was unique. Now this place is just conspicuously trying to look cool. 

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27. Guaranteed Rate Field (White Sox)

This is the ballpark equivalent of white bread. There’s plenty of natural light, and the retro bleachers in the outfield are pleasing to the eye, but everything else is boring. 

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

26. Kauffman Stadium (Royals)

While most teams built new ballparks over the past 30 years, the Royals have instead opted to give Kauffman Stadium several face-lifts. They've done the best they can to upgrade what was once a 1970s cookie cutter belch. The scoreboard in center field is now a classic, but the perfectly symmetrical outfield fence demands an update.

Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images

25. T-Mobile Park (Mariners)

With the roof open, the left half of T-Mobile Park looks like a charming retro ballpark. The right half is dominated by the hulking ceiling, perpetually threatening to swallow the field. It’s a necessity given the weather, but it casts a pall over the field. The heavily skewed pitch camera angle detracts from the viewer experience. 

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24. Chase Field (Diamondbacks)

There’s only so much mileage you can get out of a hot tub in center field. The tall center-field fence compensates for the dimensional symmetry, but a lack of view and poor pitch camera angle drag down the broadcast. 

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

23. Tropicana Field (Rays)

Not even a perfect, straight-on camera angle can overcome the aesthetic disaster of the Trop. It’s the only fully enclosed stadium remaining in MLB and one of two with artificial turf. It’s also one of two with a bullpen in foul territory, where it simply doesn't belong. They try to compensate for lack of attendance with enough piped-in noise to induce a headache by the fourth inning. 

Mark Cunningham / Getty Images

22. Comerica Park (Tigers)

Comerica Park’s most noticeable feature is the strip of dirt between the mound and home plate, even though it doesn’t really serve a purpose. The outfield is enormous, but other than the large scoreboard in left field, there’s not much happening beyond the fences. 

Dylan Buell / Getty Images

21. Miller Park (Brewers)

Like the other retractable roof venues, the structure doesn’t allow for much of a view beyond the park. It’s more or less symmetrical, which isn’t particularly interesting. Other than a stellar pitch camera angle, the best thing about Miller Park is Bernie Brewer’s home run slide.  

Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images

20. Busch Stadium (Cardinals)

The stadium itself is fairly staid, with a milquetoast symmetrical outfield fence. Nearly all of the charm comes from the view beyond the ballpark, including the prominently featured Gateway Arch. 

MLB Photos / Getty Images

19. Nationals Park (Nationals)

This is a pleasant park, but it feels like it’s missing something. Its best feature is the outfield fence, which uses hard angles and varying height. Beyond the wall, there’s a lot happening in the outfield, and the greenery in center is a nice touch. There’s no singular recognizable trademark though, and given the D.C. locale, there probably ought to be. 

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18. Petco Park (Padres)

The gorgeous view beyond the outfield steals the show. The warehouse in left field is an interesting feature, but the overall score suffers from poor pitch angle and uninspiring dimensions. 

Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images

17. Angel Stadium (Angels)

The rock fountain in center field is on the cheesy side, but at least it’s original. On a clear day, you can see the picturesque hills in the far distance beyond the outfield. The pitch camera angle is skewed too far toward third base. 

Rob Tringali / Getty Images

16. Citi Field (Mets)

The two best features of Shea Stadium, the home run apple and the red foul poles, were imported to Citi Field. The outfield has character, but two enormous scoreboards block too much of the outside world.

15. Globe Life Field (Rangers)

The Rangers planned to open a new ballpark this season, (Globe Life Field) so this ranking is mostly conjecture, and the pitch camera angle is unknown. The fence dimensions are awesome though, designed intentionally to honor team history

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

14. Great American Ball Park (Reds)

The view is the main attraction here, as the park takes full advantage of the Ohio River. The camera angle isn’t great and the outfield fence is uninspiring, but there’s visual appeal with the riverboat motif. 

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

13. Progressive Field (Indians)

If not for a slanted pitch camera angle, this would be a fantastic ballpark all around. The high fence and giant scoreboard in left field are always welcome, and there’s a nice view of the city beyond center field. The stadium has lots of color and flavor, designed to age gracefully. 

Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images

12. Target Field (Twins)

Some of the newer ballparks can feel sterile, but Target Field has plenty of character. The dimensions are fairly bland (339 feet to LF, 377 to LF power alley, 404 to CF, 367 to RF power alley and 328 to RF). But there’s a wonderful view of downtown Minneapolis. Each section of the outfield has something visually interesting, capped off by the huge Twins logo in center field. It’s an enormous improvement over the Metrodome. 

Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images

11. Dodger Stadium (Dodgers)

Dodger Stadium is a classic. No other venue has its own signature angles for outfield structures, including the scoreboard. The natural view is superb as well. It suffers in the rubric for poor camera angle and outfield dimensions though. 

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

10. Truist Park (Braves)

The perfectly centered pitch camera angle carries the ranking for the former SunTrust Park, recently renamed Truist Park. The uneven fence heights are a nice touch as well, and the ample standing room makes it look like an active place to be. Even if you’re watching from home, it’s fun to watch other people look like they’re enjoying themselves. 

Rob Tringali / Getty Images

9. Yankee Stadium (Yankees)

It might not be the hallowed grounds where Ruth and Mantle played, but this modern ballpark preserves the Yankee aura. Even though the fences are uniform in height, the short porch in right field (314 feet) and Death Valley in left-center (399 feet) are unlike those in any other stadium. It’s loaded with special features, including Monument Park, the classic facade and the black in center field. 

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

8. Coors Field (Rockies)

The gigantic scoreboard in left field dominates the scenery, but this is a special venue in its own way. The outfield dimensions (347 feet to LF, 390 to LC, 415 to CF, 375 to RC and 350 to RF) are the deepest in baseball to overcome the thin air, and the pitch camera angle is excellent. The ring of purple seats in the upper deck signifies 1 mile above sea level.

Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

 7. Citizens Bank Park (Phillies)

Citizens Bank Park is angled perfectly to capture Philadelphia’s stunning skyline. The brick used throughout the park is beautiful, and there’s plenty to admire in the outfield — most notably the light-up Liberty Bell. 

Cooper Neill / Getty Images

6. Minute Maid Park (Astros)

This stadium is unlike any other in baseball and was undoubtedly built with the fan experience in mind. Left field is where the fun resides, with the oversized wall and functioning train beyond the seats. The pitch camera angle is spot on. However, there’s no view whatsoever, and it feels enclosed even when the roof is open. 

Johnathan Daniel / Getty Images

5. Wrigley Field (Cubs)

Wrigley still looks beautiful after more than 100 years of use. The outfield ivy is one of the most special, recognizable ballpark features in MLB. Every baseball fan would love to spend a day in the bleachers, if not the rooftops beyond. 

Alex Trautwig / Getty Images

4. Oracle Park (Giants)

Building the stadium adjacent to the San Francisco Bay was a stroke of genius. The enormous wall might make it nearly impossible to hit a home run — unless you’re Barry Bonds or Ichiro Suzuki — but the kayaks are always standing by. Except for the pitch camera angle, this park is nearly flawless. 

Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images

3. Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Orioles)

Technically, Rogers Centre kicked off the new era in ballpark construction, but Oriole Park changed the game in 1992. A fan-friendly stadium with character hadn’t been built in decades, but the high wall in right field and iconic warehouse stole our hearts. The angular dimensions and nearly centered pitch camera angle were ahead of their time. 

Adam Glanzman / Getty Images

2. Fenway Park (Red Sox)

In the old days, most of the ballparks were as unique and outlandish as Fenway Park. They just don’t make them like they used to. From the Green Monster to the Pesky Pole, the oldest ballpark in baseball -- Fenway opened in 1912 -- is still one of the greatest. Even the pitch camera angle is perfect. 

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

1. PNC Park (Pirates)

Behold: the most beautiful stadium in baseball. The view is breathtaking, featuring skyline, river and bridge. The warehouse nudges the left field corner just enough to be quirky without being pushy. Even the pitch camera angle is on point. This is the standard for all future ballparks.

Daniel R. Epstein is a teacher, union president, musician, and baseball writer. In addition to Yardbarker, his work appears at Baseball.FYI, Baseball Prospectus, The Hardball Times, Off the Bench, and elsewhere. Tweets @depstein1983.

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