Baseball is a sport that relies upon its history and that is clearest in the stadiums that MLB teams play in. Here we run through the five oldest ballparks in the American big leagues.
The oldest stadium still in use in MLB is the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park, built in 1912 and arguably the most well known ballpark in baseball.
Because of its location in the tightly congested Fenway-Kenmore area of Boston, it is one of the smallest stadiums in the major leagues and has a number of idiosyncratic features.
The most famous of these is the Green Monster, a 37 foot left field wall which is just 310 feet from home plate, making it one of the shortest left fields in MLB. Other features include the Pesky Pole, Williamsburg and the Triangle, all of which make Fenway a unique experience for a baseball player to navigate.
The only baseball stadium that comes close to Fenway Park in terms of longevity is the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field. Built in 1914, its similarities to Fenway extend beyond just their age. Wrigley is also a jewel box ballpark and has a number of unusual features not seen in more modern stadiums.
Ivy grows on the outfield walls, making the Friendly Confines the only park in MLB without padded walls around the field of play.
Wrigley is also the star of many TV programmes and films, Ferris Bueller famously visits on his day off.
A whole 50 years younger than Fenway is Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Built in 1962 it is the biggest baseball stadium in the world by seat capacity, home to 56,000 when sold out.
Due to its field size it is considered by many a pitcher friendly ballpark and has seen 13 no-hitters and two perfect games.
Built in 1966, Angel Stadium is one of three Californian ballparks to occupy the bottom three places in the oldest baseball stadium top five.
Notable for its landmark 230 foot tall Big A sign in the parking lot that lights up after a win, the stadium is due to host the baseball and softball events at the 2028 Olympics.
Another unusual stadium in MLB is the Oakland Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics.
Built in 1966, the stadium also homed the Oakland Raiders from its opening until 1981 and again from 1995 to 2009.
The Coliseum has an upper deck known as Mount Davis, after former Raiders owner Al Davis, which is often closed but looms over the playing surface.
There have also been issues with sewage at the site throughout the years and it is a stadium that divides opinion among fans.
Some view it as one of the worst stadiums in baseball, but others have praised it as rugged and cheap.
That debate may not be had for much longer, with the A’s having been actively seeking to leave the stadium for a number of years. Plans for a new ballpark have stalled but even so, the Coliseum’s days are ultimately numbered.