The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. The plumes of dirt kicked up after a hard slide at home plate.
This is baseball — America’s pastime.
All sports fans know the important role baseball plays in American history, serving as a microcosm of our culture.
In 1974, Hank Aaron’s ‘chase’ to break Babe Ruth’s home run record was covered by national media. Aaron broke that record in front of the largest crowd on record in the ballpark.
Baseball brings people together. It is woven into our culture, and one of the best ways to learn more about the history and culture of the sport is to visit notorious baseball destinations.
Here are the top four destinations every baseball fan must see:
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Doubleday Field (Cooperstown, NY)
These destinations are a few blocks from each other in Cooperstown, New York — a prominent baseball town that holds great significance for baseball history buffs.
The town’s baseball stadium, Doubleday Field, is named after Abner Doubleday, the supposed inventor of baseball. While many historians debate over his impact on the sport, the claim still holds value for many.
Doubleday Field opened in 1920 and is still used as a host for hundreds of games each year, ranging from youth baseball to collegiate tournaments.
Not far from Doubleday Field is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, established in 1939. On average, this destination attracts 315,000 visitors every year.
The three-story museum is filled with awesome exhibits, including:
- Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience – an exhibit dedicated to the Negro League era
- Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend – an exhibit showcasing Ruth’s career with stories and artifacts
- Hank Aaron Gallery of Records: Chasing the Dream – a gallery highlighting Aaron’s successful career in baseball and philanthropy
- Autumn Glory: A Postseason Celebration – an exhibit that includes video highlights and artifacts from the most memorable World Series moments
Yankee Stadium (Bronx, NY)
The New York Yankees is one of the most successful sports clubs in the world. They hold 27 World Series championships, 40 American League pennants, and 18 division titles — all of which are MLB records.
The current Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009, has a lot of sights to offer. For example, Monument Park is an open air museum that contains plaques, monuments, and retired numbers as a way to honor the most distinguished members of the Yankees.
The original Monument Park was established in 1929, when the team dedicated a monument to manager Miller Huggins in center field. As more team members earned monuments and plaques, that area grew and remained on display in Yankee Stadium. When they moved to their new park, a replica was built behind the center field wall.
Yankee Stadium also houses the New York Yankees Museum, which features the infamous ‘Ball Wall’ — a section that displays hundreds of autographed baseballs from past and present players, including the legendary Babe Ruth.
Fenway Park (Boston, MA)
Speaking of the Great Bambino, you also need to visit the home of the Yankees’ biggest rival: the Boston Red Sox.
For decades, fans thought the Red Sox were cursed when they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919. It took the team 86 years to finally win another World Series.
Their home, Fenway Park, opened in 1912, making it the oldest park in the league and one of the most well-known sports venues in the world. People who work in sports know the beauty and awe this historic building holds.
It’s also known for its unique field design. In the short left field, the Green Monster stands tall — just over 37 feet. To preserve the charm of the old ballpark, the team still operates a manual scoreboard on the wall.
‘The triangle’ is in center field, where the deepest part of the park is 420 feet away from home. The walls form a triangle, making it a tough spot for center fielders to manage caroms and deep hits.
What’s more, Ted Williams, known by many as ‘The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived,’ is commemorated with one red seat in the right field bleachers. It signifies the longest home run ever hit at Fenway. On June 9, 1946, Williams crushed the ball 502 feet.
Wrigley Field (Chicago, IL)
The Chicago Cubs, the other supposed ‘cursed’ team, calls the second oldest ballpark home: Wrigley Field.
It’s known for its ivy covered brick wall in the outfield, as well as a storied history that involves a billy goat and a curse.
According to legend, in 1945, a local tavern owner brought his goat to game four of the 1945 World Series. Fans complained about the odor of the goat, so the fan was asked to leave. On his way out, the man declared the Cubs would never win again. And they didn’t win a World Series until very recently.
This ‘Curse of the Billy Goat’ finally ended in 2016 after the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in a tense game 7.
Whether you work in sports or you are just a fan, you will enjoy these baseball destinations. These places are more than just concrete: they’re home to strong communities and live in the hearts of millions of people.