MLB’s worst stadiums ever

Baseball fans such as myself love ballparks as much as we love the game itself. Considered by many as cathedrals of the game, ballparks can enhance our experience and touch all of our five senses.

However, when a ballpark is bad, it can negatively affect fan experience and the performance of the team. The following is my take on the worst ballparks in the history of Major League Baseball .

Metrodome

This former home of the Minnesota Twins did house two fantastic World Series championship celebrations, but other than that, this football stadium was the laughing stock of the league until it was replace by Target Field in 2010. The atmosphere was sterile and the Teflon roof made even a crowd of 15,000 sounds really loud. In its early days, the Astroturf on the field was so bouncy it produced five inside the park homers in the 1983 season.

Veterans Stadium

Possibly the worst of the 1970s cookie cutter stadiums that popped up in places like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Philly. With ugly yellow seats in the upper deck that did nothing to hide empty seats and a sound system possibly designed by a caveman, the Vet was a dump among dumps. This Major League ghetto even had its own jail to hold and book unruly fans.

Exhibition Stadium

Built for Toronto's CFL team, the Argonauts, Exhibition Stadium was a make-shift excuse for a Major League Ballpark. The configuration of the stadium was such that there was a 100 feet separating the outfield walls from the fans. And for an outdoor venue just steps from Lake Ontario, the Great Lake couldn't even be viewed from the seats.

Kingdome

Few people shed tears on that March day in 2000 when the Kingdome was imploded. This concrete mess was to baseball what the Kardashians are to family values. If it wasn't for Ken Griffey Jr(notes), who played there from 1989 to 1999, even fewer Mariners fans would have come to the ballpark. Even during big games, the empty seats always seemed to outnumber those with butts in them. To make matters worse, some genius thought it would be cute to play a bomb sound effect when a foul ball hit the seats, thus adding insult to an already painful injury.

Candlestick Park

Located on the bay, just south of Downtown San Francisco, Candlestick was where beautiful summer evenings went to die. The location of this stadium turned most hot days into nights of swirling winds and temperatures in the 40s and 50s by the middle innings. Fans hated the drive to the stadium and players hated having to deal with the winds that would change direction more often than a spinning top.

Blair Reynolds is a lifelong Twins fan who sold tickets at the Metrodome during the 1998 season to help pay his college tuition.

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Updated Monday, Apr 18, 2011