Baseball is not just a sport to many Americans. It is a tradition, passed down from generation to generation. It is a sport that is played in virtually every town across the United States. With this in mind, it goes without saying that American ballparks are an important part of American history to baseball fans. Some of these ballparks have been around for generations. Stories of games viewed at Fenway Park in Boston are passed on from grandparent to grandchild on a regular basis in Massachusetts. Yes, it is that important. The following are the five oldest Major League ballparks that are still open in the United States. They are some of the most recognizable sports venues in the country.
Oldest Major League Ballpark in the United States #5: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Home of the: Oakland Athletics or Oakland A’s
Address: 7000 Coliseum Way
Oakland, California 94621
Noticeable Feature: Mount Davis-A 10,000 seat expansion that blocked out the stadium’s famous view of the Oakland Hills.
First Major League Ballgame Played at the Park: April 17, 1968
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was completed in 1966. It is also the home field of football’s Oakland Raiders, who began playing there upon its completion. The Athletics didn’t come to Oakland until 1968. Today, the stadium is home to the Oakland Raiders, the Oakland Athletics and soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes.
Oldest Major League Ballpark in the United States #4: Angels Stadium of Anaheim
Home of the: Los Angeles Angels
Address: 2000 E. Gene Autry Way
Anaheim, California 92806
Noticeable Feature: The Big A-a large 210-ton A-shaped sign in front of the stadium. It is topped by a halo that is lit up every time the Angels win a game.
First Major League Baseball Game Played at the Park: April, 9, 1966; Angels vs. San Francisco Giants
The Los Angeles Stadium of Anaheim was first built for the Angels. It was later renovated to accommodate the Angels and the Los Angeles Rams from 1981-1995. After the Rams left for St. Louis, Missouri in 1995, the stadium underwent extensive renovations to return it to a baseball only stadium again. A few new perks have been added to the park, as well.
Oldest Major League Ballpark in the United States #3: Dodger Stadium
Home of the: Los Angeles Dodgers
Address: 1000 Elysian Park Ave.
Los Angeles, California 90012
Noticeable Feature: The amazing views of Los Angeles that can be seen from the park.
First Major League Baseball Game Played at the Park: April 11, 1962; Reds vs. Dodgers; Dodgers win 6-2
Dodger Stadium is not just a ballpark. It is a very popular performance center. Many famous artists have had concerts there. Since its completion, numerous renovations have been made to the stadium. It seems as if it is ever changing. For the third oldest Major League ballpark in the country, Dodger Stadium is very modern and it is becoming more modern everyday. In fact, as this article is being written, major renovations and additions are currently underway there. They should be completed by opening day, 2012.
Oldest Major League Ballpark in the United States #2: Wrigley Field
Home of the: Chicago Cubs
Address: 1060 West Addison
Chicago, Illinois 60613-4397
Noticeable Feature: Ivy-covered outfield walls. Ivy was planted there in 1937.
First Major League Ballgame Played at the Park: April 23, 1914; Federals vs. Kansas City; Federals win 9-1
The first home run in a Major League game at Wrigley was hit at the first game played there, by Art Wilson. There have been several renovations to the stadium. However, much like Fenway Park, Wrigley Field is still much the same as it was when Art Wilson hit the first pro homer, nearly 100 years ago. Back then Wrigley Field was known as Weegham Park. The name changed to Cubs Park in 1920 and finally to Wrigley Field in 1926.
Oldest Major League Ballpark in the United States #1: Fenway Park
Home of the: Boston Red Sox
Address: 4 Yawkey Way
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Noticeable Feature: The Green Monster
First Major League Ballgame Played at the Park: April 20, 1912; Highlanders vs. Red Sox; Red Sox win 7-6
Fenway Park has been the home of some of the best, most legendary players of all time, such as, Carl Yastrzemski (Yaz, for short), Babe Ruth and Carlton Fisk a.k.a. Pudge, among many others. Red Sox fans will love this little fact: the first game played at Fenway Park was against the New York Highlanders, who would later become the New York Yankees. The Red Sox won 7-6 in an eleven-inning game. Makes you wish you had a time machine. Who wouldn’t pay to see that? Other than small renovations (some following fires at the stadium), Fenway Park remains nearly the same as it was in 1912.
So, there you have them, some of the oldest and the best ballparks in the United States. When you go to a game at any of these stadiums, you are not just sitting in a stadium, you are sitting in a historical monument to good old American baseball.