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Friday, January 24, 2020

Ranking the names of major league ballparks

Now that the Hall of Fame election is over and a good number of the top free agents have signed, we’re about to enter the slowest period of the offseason news cycle. Let’s kill time by making a list, shall we?

This list is inspired by yesterday’s news about Miller Park changing its name to American Family Field next year. As I noted in that post, neither of those are terrible names for a park given by a corporation which means that, yeah, some corporate-named parks are better than others.

So I thought it’d be fun to rank the names of all the parks. Let’s go

A consideration that may be of interest, given our past discussion of stadium names.

 

QLE Posted: January 24, 2020 at 12:53 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ballparks, rankings, the name game

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Rally Posted: January 24, 2020 at 08:25 AM (#5918938)
Good list. Most of the ones in the 20s and higher, I could not even match the corporate name to the baseball team.

My reaction to corporate names is that as a fan, call it what you want. I'll use the official corporate name if and when they offer and I agree to take their money to do so.
   2. Rally Posted: January 24, 2020 at 08:29 AM (#5918940)
Good point with Wrigley/Fenway, ranking near but not at the top. Given the passage of time a business name can become familiar enough that there is some tradition to it.

I have no idea if this Fenway real estate company from near a century ago even exists, but even if it does the name Fenway makes you think of the ballpark. Less so with Wrigley because I could use a stick of gum right about now, after eating my breakfast.

The problem is these teams changing ballpark names every few years because somebody makes a better offer.
   3. Rusty Priske Posted: January 24, 2020 at 09:29 AM (#5918951)
My only real difference of opinion here is that I don't automatically put a park at the top because it has the team's name on it.

Yankees and Dodgers, sure, but I would have to put Wrigley or Fenway ahead of things like Marlins Park.
   4. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 24, 2020 at 11:05 AM (#5919006)
Agree that there isn't enough equity in Marlins Park, Angel Stadium or Nationals Park yet to put it in the same tier as Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium.

I would also vault Camden Yards to the top tier. It's very much identified with the franchise and a specific part of the city. And nobody says "Oriole Park at Camden Yards."
   5. Itchy Row Posted: January 24, 2020 at 11:18 AM (#5919012)
Either way, given that the White Sox have improved their team a lot this past offseason a lot of us may be seeing more White Sox games than we’re used to so we had better come up with a nickname for this place fast. “The Rate?” “New New Comiskey?” I have so many questions.
I don't think anybody has ever called it anything other than Comiskey or Sox Park.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 24, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5919019)
You mean Cominsky Park.
   7. catomi01 Posted: January 24, 2020 at 11:43 AM (#5919020)
Nationals Park would be better (in my mind at least) as National Park.

Marlins Park definitely has to be much lower. Angels Stadium lower, but I think there is at least some "equity" in the name now - more so than Nationals Park or Marlins Parks for sure, but definitely below Fenway and Wrigley. Other than those though, pretty good list.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 24, 2020 at 12:55 PM (#5919039)
And nobody says "Oriole Park at Camden Yards."
Except the Orioles themselves.
   9. Perry Posted: January 24, 2020 at 01:00 PM (#5919044)
I don't think anybody has ever called it anything other than Comiskey or Sox Park.


I had a friend years ago, Cubs fan from Rogers Park, who not only called the south side park "Sox Park," but also called the north side one "Cubs Park." She never called it Wrigley -- is that common?

Different sport, but the Broncos' stadium has been through several corporate names (including at least 2 companies that went under -- it's kind of a kiss of death); but I doubt any fan has ever called it anything but Mile High.

   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 24, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5919050)
Ranking Angels Park, Nationals Park & Marlins Park the highest (‘tied’ with Yankee & Dodger Stadiums, ahead of Wrigley & Fenway, is beyond silly. Not a good effort.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2020 at 01:16 PM (#5919057)
I had a friend years ago, Cubs fan from Rogers Park, who not only called the south side park "Sox Park," but also called the north side one "Cubs Park." She never called it Wrigley -- is that common?


My father-in-law is the same way. Sox Park (the choice in TBtB), is more prevalent, but Cubs Park has its users also.
   12. TDF, trained monkey Posted: January 24, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5919068)
The author, and apparently all of you, are wrong.

Great American Ballpark is the best name, precisely because it's both the name of the sponsoring company and a really cool name.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: January 24, 2020 at 01:39 PM (#5919071)
Great American Ballpark is the best name, precisely because it's both the name of the sponsoring company and a really cool name.
I see at least 3 incorrect things in this sentence.
   14. Brian C Posted: January 24, 2020 at 01:40 PM (#5919073)
My reaction to corporate names is that as a fan, call it what you want.

My own tendency is to call a park by the name I learned it as. So I'm accepting of a corporate name, but I have a hard time internalizing the names change. So I still think of Enron, Safeco, Comiskey, etc.

That said, I'm actually having a hard time thinking of the new Rangers park as anything other than "The New Ballpark", and I still struggle with the new Braves park (maybe just because SunTrust Park sounds stupid to me). So maybe my tendencies are starting to change. I think that I'm having a progressively harder time conceptualizing stadium names in general, because they change so much these days that it almost seems silly to name all but a handful of them. I was just at the Indy Colts' stadium last month for the Big Ten championship, and I can't for the life of me remember the name of that place right now.

EDIt: It's "Lucas Oil Stadium" but I legit had to look it up.
   15. RoyalFlush Posted: January 24, 2020 at 02:02 PM (#5919079)
Different sport, but the Broncos' stadium has been through several corporate names (including at least 2 companies that went under -- it's kind of a kiss of death); but I doubt any fan has ever called it anything but Mile High.


The NFL is down to about 4 non-corporate stadium names I can think of - Soldier Field, Arrowhead, Paul Brown Stadium and Lambeau. I give the edge to Arrowhead, but I'm biased. Hell, there are two Mercedes-branded stadiums.
   16. Buck Coats Posted: January 24, 2020 at 02:02 PM (#5919080)
Don't most people call Dodgers Stadium "Chavez Ravine" anyway?
   17. Eddo Posted: January 24, 2020 at 02:16 PM (#5919084)
I had a friend years ago, Cubs fan from Rogers Park, who not only called the south side park "Sox Park," but also called the north side one "Cubs Park." She never called it Wrigley -- is that common?

This is definitely an old school Chicago thing. My mom almost never says "Wrigley" or "Comiskey / US Cellular / Guaranteed Rate", and some other family will use "Cubs Park" occasionally, too.
   18. Gary Truth Serum Posted: January 24, 2020 at 02:18 PM (#5919085)
I still struggle with the new Braves park (maybe just because SunTrust Park sounds stupid to me).

You're going to struggle even more after you see #30 on that list.
   19. Rally Posted: January 24, 2020 at 02:22 PM (#5919087)
“ Ranking Angels Park, Nationals Park & Marlins Park the highest (‘tied’ with Yankee & Dodger Stadiums, ahead of Wrigley & Fenway, is beyond silly. ”

If I was doing I’d avoid ties. Angel Stadium can be #1.
   20. SandyRiver Posted: January 24, 2020 at 03:46 PM (#5919124)
Good point with Wrigley/Fenway, ranking near but not at the top. Given the passage of time a business name can become familiar enough that there is some tradition to it.

If that's true I'd put Fenway ahead of Wrigley for a couple reasons - Wrigley gum is familiar to most folks but I think Fenway Realty Company (the one in business when the park was named) is long gone. Second is that the business was named for a place, the neighborhood next to the fens (a type of wetland.) Does geography trump commercialism?
   21. Brian C Posted: January 24, 2020 at 05:28 PM (#5919158)
You're going to struggle even more after you see #30 on that list.

Ah, yes, case in point.

   22. snowles Posted: January 24, 2020 at 05:57 PM (#5919161)
I refuse to believe anyone not on their payroll or of a familial relation to Ted are calling the Rogers Centre anything but Skydome.
   23. DFA Posted: January 24, 2020 at 07:55 PM (#5919176)
It is a good list, and I didn't know that there was a Fenway Reality Company! I like Camden Yards the most (though I am biased), if only because it adds an element that isn't a corporate sponsorship and isn't bland. Ebbets Field has to be the all time best, but now I'm wondering if Ebbets wasn't some old timey insurance company!
   24. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 24, 2020 at 08:10 PM (#5919178)
I'd always thought Fenway referred to actually being near the Fenway and the back bay fens. Didn't know it was originally an advertising tie in. But I can't really argue with the top of the list that much. I really like that the Nationals play at Nationals Park, and I'll even let the Marlins slide.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2020 at 08:45 PM (#5919180)
Ebbets Field has to be the all time best,


Ooh, good thought.

My Top 10

Chavez Ravine
Camden Yards
Polo Grounds
Palace of the Fans
Ebbets Field
Candlestick Park
Stade Parc Jarry
Baker Bowl
Sportsman's Park
Fenway Park
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 24, 2020 at 08:58 PM (#5919182)
Ranking Angels Park, Nationals Park & Marlins Park the highest (‘tied’ with Yankee & Dodger Stadiums, ahead of Wrigley & Fenway, is beyond silly. Not a good effort.

You beat me to it. And AFAIC Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are at least the equal of Dodger Stadium, if for no other reason that they've been around a lot longer.

---------------------------

My Top 10

Chavez Ravine
Camden Yards
Polo Grounds
Palace of the Fans
Ebbets Field
Candlestick Park
Stade Parc Jarry
Baker Bowl
Sportsman's Park
Fenway Park


Never mind what I think of a list that leaves out Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field, because that's subjective. But "Chavez Ravine" was never the name of any ballpark, at least in the Majors. Dodger Stadium is located in what used to be called Chavez Ravine, but it's always been called Dodger Stadium.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2020 at 09:08 PM (#5919186)
Never mind what I think of a list that leaves out Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field, because that's subjective. But "Chavez Ravine" was never the name of any ballpark, at least in the Majors. Dodger Stadium is located in what used to be called Chavez Ravine, but it's always been called Dodger Stadium.


It has been informally known as Chavez Ravine* (and it is known as that officially here), which is good enough for me given just how delicious it sounds rolling off the tongue.

Also, you must have missed the part where I said this was "my list."

Never mind what I think of a list that leaves out Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field, because that's subjective.


I am constitutionally incapable of including YS on my list, though I give it credit for being the first stadium. As for Wrigley, Weeghman was a better name.

* Also, when the LA Angels played there in the early 60s, they referred to it as Chavez Ravine.
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 24, 2020 at 10:38 PM (#5919209)
Nothing wrong with not liking Yankee Stadium, and you've now reminded me once again about how you can learn something new every day.

I followed the AL pennant race closely in the Angels' first year when they were in Wrigley Field, but with no real AL pennant race the next couple of years after that, I pretty much stopped staying up to listen to games that then started at 11:00 in the East. And since I knew the Angels were playing in the Dodgers' home field, I assumed they used the same name.

And to confirm that memory, I checked BB-Reference. And sure enough, here's what it says:

1962 Los Angeles Angels Statistics

Record: 86-76, Finished 3rd in American League (Schedule and Results)

Manager: Bill Rigney (86-76)

General Manager: Fred Haney

Scouting Director: Roland Hemond

Ballpark: Dodger Stadium

Attendance: 1,144,063 (4th of 10)

But then I decided to look for a second opinion, and lo and behold, the Sporting News Dope Books from 1962 through 1965 all say either "Chavez Ravine" or "Chavez Ravine Stadium". And BITD The Sporting News was the defining source of all baseball information.

So bottom line is you were right, but I got the benefit of learning something new. Muchas gracias.
   29. Howie Menckel Posted: January 25, 2020 at 01:36 AM (#5919216)
Ken Burns' baseball series has old-time video of the Angels' first home game in 1961.

Throwing out the first pitch was .... Ty Cobb.
   30. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 25, 2020 at 02:15 AM (#5919217)
Don't most people call Dodgers Stadium "Chavez Ravine" anyway?


Many did back in the 70's and 80's, can't vouch for now, as I haven't lived in SoCal for over 30 years.

And Angel stadium was never referred to that as that back in the 70's and 80's, it always know as the Big "A" because there was actually a big A in the outfield that had the scoreboard on it. It was kind of cool.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2020 at 08:23 AM (#5919227)

And Angel stadium was never referred to that as that back in the 70's and 80's, it always know as the Big "A" because there was actually a big A in the outfield that had the scoreboard on it. It was kind of cool.


It's now in the parking lot.
   32. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: January 25, 2020 at 10:15 AM (#5919234)
nevermind

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