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I’ve been meaning to do this for about a decade — and now I have! I’ve completely updated my list of biggest “ballpark thrills.” You know, the most thrilling experiences I’ve had at a ballpark. And they are ranked, from #1 to #100 — with a few more thrown in as honorable mentions.

Some involve World Series games, some involve college contests … and lots of things in between. In fact, the one topping the list was at a kids’ baseball game!

The photo, by the way, was from my seat at the game with the largest attendance in the history of the sport. Where does it fall on my list? Read the rankings to find out.

So check out my completely updated list of my top 100 experiences at a ballpark. And after looking it over, add a comment with your own ballpark highlight!

If you are really into ballparks

If you’re really into ballparks, you’ll love this.

I’ve been lucky enough to be interviewed several times on Steve Manderson’s Sports Tuesday show on the Source Radio Network. We always have a great conversation about ballparks.

My most-recent conversation with Steve was recorded as a YouTube video (there was a webcam pointed at me, but not at Steve unfortunately), so you can listen to it.

It’s over an hour long, and we cover a lot of ground — all without commercials!

Our first topic is how I covered MLB’s games in Puerto Rico for USA TODAY, and what it took to prepare the ballpark for those games following the back-to-back hurricanes that devastated the island. Other topics include: what I learned from my tour of the Braves’ new spring-training complex in North Port, Florida; what I think about the possible new parks in Tampa and Oakland; what markets deserve a MLB expansion team (Portland won’t like me on this topic!) and much more.

If you are a fan of ballparks, you’ll enjoy this wide-ranging conversation. So play the YouTube video on your phone and listen as you drive to work. It’s way more interesting than what you normally listen to! And let me know what you think about the interview!

Exclusive look at Braves’ new spring complex

Thanks to the Braves and the architects of the team’s new spring-training complex in North Port, Florida, I was given an exclusive tour of the facility.

Construction is still very much going on, but the 21 shots in our photo essay will let you see the Braves’ Major League and Minor League clubhouses, the workout facilities, the grounds and all around the stadium at the complex’s heart.

Check out the page here.

The 19th annual Ballpark of the Year award goes to …

This is the 19th straight year that has presented its Ballpark of the Year Award, and the honor for 2018 goes to SRP Park, the first-year home of the Augusta GreenJackets of the Class A South Atlantic League.

Read our thoughts on the two new pro parks of 2018 here. This article also appeared in USA TODAY Sports Weekly.

Check out the press release announcing the award that went to media outlets. It provides reaction from the owner of the GreenJackets, the City Administrator for North Augusta, the designer of the ballpark and the President of Minor League Baseball.

Our original review of SRP Park is here. It was posted right after the park opened in April.

And as always, follow us on Twitter so you can see the latest ballpark news and my photos of the parks I visit throughout the season!

Rosemont proves it’s all here

The Village of Rosemont, Illinois (note that they are so small that they are considered a Village, not a City) likes to claim that “It’s All Here.” Indeed, they have lots and lots of entertainment, shopping and dining options within its tiny two-square-mile area … but the best entertainment option might be the one that just opened.

Impact Field is the $63-million home of the Chicago Dogs of the independent American Association. We visited on Opening Weekend of the park, and you can now read what we thought about it. You’ll also see 15 photos that you won’t find anywhere else.


The GreenJackets cross the river

When a deal for a new ballpark couldn’t be worked out between the Augusta GreenJackets and the City of Augusta, a municipality in another state beckoned. The team said yes … but when they moved, they didn’t even have to leave the market where they’d operated since 1988.

But they did have to cross a river.

Read our in-depth review that recounts how the GreenJackets arrived on the northern shore of the Savannah River in a shiny, new facility called SRP Park. We were there for Opening Night in North Augusta, and our photos and interviews with the team owner, the lead architect, the City representative, the team’s parent club and fans are all woven together to tell you the complete story of this impressive new ballpark.

Read here.

About the Author

Joe Mock

I surprised myself recently when I determined that I had visited 349 different parks where Major or affiliated Minor League teams are either current or former tenants. That's a lot of pro-baseball stadiums. Read More ❭❭