If You Build It, I Will Come

I consider myself a ballpark aficionado. I've seen over 1,600 games in 54 Major League parks (including all of the current ones as of April 2020) and 120 minor league venues. I was first able to say I'd seen a game in every MLB park in 1994, then several times since. They keep building them, and I keep making pilgrimages.

When I visit a park for the first time, I try to arrive at least a couple of hours before the gates open. If possible, I walk completely around the exterior of the park, taking lots of photos as I go. I always carry a small tripod, which allows me to photograph myself in front of the park. I've long-since gotten over the funny looks I get as I set the camera's timer, then run to a spot and strike a pose.

Once through the turnstiles, I crawl the park high and low, shooting several rolls of film as I go. I typically use a 24mm wide angle lens, which allows me to capture panoramas. (I switched to digital in late 2007, and now my wide shots are with an 18mm wide angle.) I also have a point 'n' shoot digital, and of course, my iPhone.

I always go as high and low as I can behind home plate, then do the same in straight-away Center Field. I've got my eyes peeled for interesting angles and subject matter, and I try to explore every part of the park I can get to.

You won't see a lot of action shots or even ballpark shots during the game. Why? Because I'm watching the game.

I'm partial to the hallowed grounds of older parks. I love their nostalgia and charm, as well as their history and tradition. I'm often asked which park is my favorite. I have a very soft spot for Wrigley Field – it's where I saw my first MLB game. I got a game foul ball that day, which certainly enhanced the experience. But, I lived in Boston for over 20 years, and I've seen 386 games in Fenway Park. I'm prejudiced, but I also know it the best. The "lyric little bandbox of a ballpark" is not only my favorite ballpark, it's one of my favorite places on the planet.

The following pages feature shots from each park I've visited. As I plow through box after box of photos, I'll flesh out each page with several more pix from in and around the venue, along with ballpark info and my thoughts on each.

Note: Ticket stubs / passes shown are not always for the same game as the photos, but in each instance, both represent my attending games.


©2024 Douglas T. Dinsmoor