The results are in. After 103 days on the road, exhaustive research and nearly 100 hot dogs I have tabulated the results for your viewing/discussing/cussing/hating/enjoying pleasure. I know many of you will disagree with how it finally shook out. But remember this: I had a system. Sure it was subjective, but all venues/teams had a scorecard and the results are what they are. I am as disappointed as many of you. The Padres, my favorite team, scored very low. And, like many of you, I was shocked to discover how poorly the vaunted venues of Fenway and Wrigley fared.
Many teams were the own worst enemies when it came to landing a good score. Some had great dogs and mediocre stadiums, and for others it was just the opposite. A few could have been contenders but you can't offer a great dog in a terrific ballpark and then price the average fan out. Baseball is a the game of the people, not the elite.
In short, the standings were as surprising to me as to many of you. And there were some subjective variables. A $15 ticket in a small or medium market was judged more harshly than a ticket of the same price in a city known for being over the top expensive. While it wasn't an exact science, there was a method.
Baltimore gets top score as the only team to pull off a perfect rating. The Rays land in the cellar in a catastrophe of a ballpark.
Which park did I:
Enjoy the most? Pittsburgh. A true gem, and the city where I saw my first MLB game. Even the rain couldn't put a damper on PNC Park.
Find most surprising? Target Field in Minneapolis. I really enjoyed that place. Great new venue.
Respect the most? Nationals Park. It is a LEED certified park (Leadership in Environmental Engineering Design). Green is cool.
Couldn't wait to get out of? Oakland. Crappy cookie cutter stadium in a not so great area.
Feel the vibe the most? Fenway....how could you not?
Think should move? Tampa or Oakland. Hello Portland?
Recommend to foreign tourists? Wrigley or Fenway.
Find most isolated? Arizona
Below is the score sheet for OVERALL score. I'll break down the best dog and then ballpark in a later post. The scores below is the combined baseball/hot dog experience, which I was exploring. Enjoy, rejoice, cry or complain.
Disagree? I'll be happy to talk dogs and baseball with you next year at the ballpark of your choosing? I'll even let you buy me a ticket and a beer.