Top 10 Most Interesting Former MLB BallparksThis list is for the ballparks that no longer exist, or at least aren't in use in 2023.
The former home of the New York (now San Francisco) Giants and, for a short period in the early 20th century, the New York Yankees. The Polo Grounds was (were?) located in Manhattan and the stadium was named after an actual polo-specific stadium that hosted baseball much earlier. The Polo Grounds had a bizarre horseshoe-like shape that made left and right field relatively close while center field (in which its clubhouse was located) was much longer than other ballparks. Its two-tiered grandstand wrapped almost all the way around its perimeter, and the actual baseball diamond pointed right to the middle of the horseshoe. Metalwork, including golden eagle statues, decorated it. Also, it faced a riverfront. Its exterior wasn't much to look at, to be fair, but on the inside, it looked absolutely regal. It was home to numerous championship teams in MLB as well as the NFL's Giants and Jets at various times, and also hosted boxing events.
Polo Grounds. A truly iconic stadium with unusual field dimensions for a baseball venue.
The former home of the Boston (now Atlanta) Braves, who were also called the Bees at one point, among other names. Braves Field was a very visually appealing stadium, but the Braves failed to attract fans in certain periods and suffered a 37-year World Series win drought while at the park. It sported Spanish colonial architecture and a large grandstand, with bleachers surrounding the rest of the field. Though it wouldn't be much today, it was great in its heyday, and has been called "baseball's first superstadium" and was considered one of the greatest ballparks ever built, if not the greatest, when it was new.
Another former home of the San Francisco Giants. Though Candlestick Park was visually interesting, as it was eventually surrounded by grandstand with movable bleachers for football games, Candlestick Park is better remembered for its undesirable playing conditions. As it was right on the bay, it was plagued with extremely dense fog, strong wind, and low temperatures. It was also the site of the Beatles' last public concert, so it is not just an important part of baseball history, but an important part of music history.
The former home of the Houston Astros. The Astrodome has been called the "Eighth Wonder of the World," and features a large, somewhat flattish domed roof, covered in Lucite windows which allowed the grass playing field to remain alive, but the grass was replaced with turf as the sheer amount of light coming in was overwhelming and the grass could not be maintained. It still stands today, and it looks like a very fun ballpark to see a game at.
The former home of the Chicago White Sox. Comiskey Park was not only a visually nice ballpark, but it was also historically important. By the end of the Sox's time in the park, it was enveloped by grandstand in a way similar to the Polo Grounds, but with a much more conventional shape. Besides the White Sox, Comiskey Park was home to the East-West All-Star Game, the All-Star Game of Black players. Also, the first Black player in the American League, Larry Dobby, debuted in that league in this park in 1947. It was also home to an infamous promotion on one night in 1979: Disco Demolition Night, in which fans traded unwanted disco records for discounted tickets. The records were then detonated on the field in between a double hitter. The spectators rushed the field, and the second game was forfeited.
The former home of the Kansas City (now Oakland) Athletics and Kansas City Royals, as well as the Kansas City Monarchs, one of the most successful Black baseball teams in history. The Monarchs make this ballpark extremely interesting, but the circumstances of the A's in KC is also a great topic. Basically, they were already planning on moving out when they moved in. Though Kansas City Municipal Stadium featured barely any outfield seating in baseball configuration, it was extremely beautiful. It also featured an absolutely delightful amenity: a petting zoo.
The former home of the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals). It was constructed for the Olympics, and later gained an extremely tall tower which lowered a tarp roof over the oval hole in its top. However, that ceiling took an inconveniently long time to lower, so wasn't moved for long periods of time. It had an oval shape and, from the outside, looked a lot like a flying saucer. Once the tower was completed, the park reached a whole new level of cool. In the early 1990s, it was renovated, including amazing scoreboards. It still stands to this day, but it hasn't been home to an MLB team since 2004. I and many others would like baseball to return to Olympic Stadium, as it looks like a fun place to go.
Another former home of the now-Oakland Athletics, who were based in Philadelphia at the time. Shibe Park was an extremely square ballpark with an enviable old-timey grandstand that was beautiful both on the inside and outside. Unfortunately, it was mostly destroyed by a fire in 1971.
The former home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, albeit only for four seasons. It is better known for football (including the first ever Super Bowl) as well as being the site of two Olympic Games. Its classical architecture and interesting bowl shape are striking, but what earns it a spot on this list is how weird it was as a ballpark. Fitting a baseball diamond in it was awkward, with the entire field being surrounded by spectators, and left field being extremely short. As beautiful as it is, it should not be used for baseball. It still stands today as the home field of several NCAA football programs.
Another former home of the now-Los Angeles Dodgers, who were based in Brooklyn at the time. Besides being the home of Dem Bums, including Jackie Robinson, it was also interesting for its extravagant architecture. It was a very square ballpark with a marble rotunda at its entrance.