Ranking the Maryland Ballparks

Camden Yards Interior

With the trip completed to Southern Maryland a few weeks ago, I’ve now made a visit to every Maryland team that plays professional baseball. I found that it is a state heavily influenced by the Orioles, which makes sense given the popularity of both the team and ballpark. As you would expect, Camden Yards ranks at the top of the list (in fact, it is the highest rated stadium out of the 162 I’ve been to). Let’s take a look at how the rest of the Old Line State shakes out:

1)  Camden Yards  –  Baltimore Orioles  –  Ranking: 89.0

Often copied, never replicated. Just a magnificent place that still holds the test of time. Loved everything here and the O’s resurgence the last few years means that Camden did not suffer in the atmosphere rating.

2)  Nationals Park  –  Washington Nationals  –  Ranking: 73.5

This is such an underrated ballpark in MLB that doesn’t get enough mention. The use of steel, pre-cast concrete and glass give it a more modern look and the coloring fits in with some of the monuments and office buildings seen across DC. The team has gained a great following given their short history and intrusion into Orioles country. Loved the Presidents Race as each one has a unique comedic spin.

3)  Arthur W. Perdue Stadium  –  Delmarva Shorebirds  –  Ranking: 65.0

Maryland’s minor league ballparks aren’t all that spectacular (save for the one in Waldorf), but what pushes Perdue Stadium above the rest is their terrific Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame. I could’ve spent an hour in here and really enjoyed this unexpected feature.

4)  Ripken Stadium  –  Aberdeen Ironbirds  –  Ranking: 63.0

If you want to see what will become known as the cookie-cutter Minor League Ballpark, come to Ripken Stadium. It’s a fine place, but maybe I was down on it because by the time I got here in 2013, I’ve seen so many of these designs. One highlight…the food. Check out the menu at Conrad’s Crab and Seafood Deck

5)  Regency Furniture Stadium  –  Southern Maryland Blue Crabs  –  Ranking: 62.5

The design here is awesome. In fact, out of the 52 minor-league ballparks I’ve seen, the interior set-up ranked 4th. So why the mid-level ranking? The location is not great, the food is eh and that darn Tie-Dye Guy kept getting in my way.

6)  Harry Grove Stadium  –  Frederick Keys  –  Ranking: 56.5

I found Northwest Maryland to be an enjoyable place for a weekend with such a rich display of history. Harry Grove is an ok place, but I recommend it as an excuse to visit Frederick. Charming is such an apt description for a terrific downtown that includes a riverwalk and a plethora of decent restaurants to eat at.

7)  Municipal Stadium  –  Hagerstown Suns  –  Ranking: 50.5

I wanted so badly to like Municipal Stadium as I adore the older ballparks and want to see them continue to live and thrive. But, it just struck me as cheap and in need of TLC. While I love an old-school baseball atmosphere, it seemed like it was done here because they’ve given up on Hagerstown and want to be somewhere else. A shame.

8)  Prince George’s Stadium  –  Bowie BaySox  –  Ranking: 48.5

Blah, everything about the BaySox game turned me off. From the moment I walked up to the ballpark (which looks like an old Wegmans), I could tell there wasn’t much to like about this place. An attendance of about 37 people on a perfect early Summer night didn’t help.


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