John Hickey Has Covered MLB in 52 Parks: His 5 Favs That Have Been Replaced
By John Hickey/InsidetheAthletics.com
I have covered Major League Baseball games in 51 different Major League parks.
I have covered Major League baseball played in 52 different parks.
If those two sentences seem to be at odds, it’s because the Oakland Athletics began the 1996 season with an entire home series played in Las Vegas’s Cashman Field, a ballpark that has given up baseball in favor of becoming a soccer pitch.
For a week, Cashman Field hosted Major League ball. In my mind that doesn’t make it a big-league park. If you have a different view, knock yourself out. I won’t argue the point; your opinion counts.
I don’t spout a big number like 51 to brag. I know for a fact that my fellow Sports Illustrated scribe Tracy Ringolsby (mavensports.io/insidetheseams) has seen baseball played in more parks than I have and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if another SI colleague, Tom Verducci, has been in at least as many.
Hey, we’ve been around a while, that’s all.
This week Sports Illustrated put some of its staff together to pick their favorite baseball parks. It’s a good thing to do when baseball parks are all but kryptonite, unusable by teams and unenterable by fans in the age of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Verducci, Stephanie Apstein, Emma Baccellieri, Connor Grossman, Matt Martell and Michael Shapiro all had a go at picking their best, and you should check it out.
I thought I’d go at it from a different angle. There are 30 MLB teams. At least 21 of them have moved into a new park since 1989. Some have moved more than once, the Braves and the Rangers, although Texas won’t have actually moved into its new digs until the 2020 season starts. Globe Life Field is ready to go, even if baseball isn’t. (The Rangers’ former home, Globe Life Park, has been retrofitted for football and soccer, but those sports aren’t being played, either).
And which ballparks make Hickey's Top 5?