As I sat down to do this, I thought (1) this would be easier and (2) I would have much more objective reasons for slotting each ballpark.
What I found out, and surmise may be true with most people, is that the ranking is really just a personal opinion on the totality of the circumstances surrounding the game(s) witnessed in the park, the historical significance of the park, the people who were at the game with me and, increasingly, how good the food and beer choices are.
Here's my list...
This is my home ballpark and it is the most beautiful place on Earth to watch a ballgame. So many good memories here with family and friends, though a World Series victory would be nice.
Same authentic charm as Wrigley Field, historic and original. Saw my only bench clearing brawl here.
Simply the best of the newest retro-style ballparks. The dimensions and sightlines are flawless. The backdrop of the Roberto Clemente Bridge is picture-perfect.
The first of the retro-style ballparks, the decision to incorporate the old warehouse was brilliant. The Eutaw Street area behind right field has a festival atmosphere that is unparalleled.
Built into the side of a mountain, this is a true classic and a multi-level park that was an engineering marvel of its time.
Oozes history and success. Privilege to experience before it was torn down.
Those fountains. A Hall of Fame featuring the 1985 championship trophy and THE pine tar bat. Hands down, the friendliest fans and ballpark workers I have ever encountered.
Saw in waning years of use but was cool to experience in person. And a flag pole in fair territory? Quirky without being contrived.
World class tailgating and a well done retractable dome. Comfortable with a great selection of food (best brat in the league) and beers. And who could forget the racing sausages? And Bernie taking a slide after Brewer home runs?
Nicely proportioned. Limestone exterior was well executed and nice plaza featuring statutes of team greats.
U.S. Cellular Field
Excellent tailgating and food and beer selections inside. Renovations improved overall look of ballpark and gave it a more classic feel. Sit downstairs though.
There is no mistaking which team plays at this park as you are greeted by gigantic tigers and bats at the entrance. Awesome statues in centerfield plaza.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful backdrops in all of baseball with the St. Louis Arch featured prominently. Classic feel, even if you can't stand the team who plays there.
Clean and modern. Unusual entry from left-centerfield plaza where you are greeted by the presidential mascots. Great view of the Capitol building. Half smoke sausage with Ben's chili is the best thing I have ever eaten at a ballgame.
Great American Ballpark
Awesome Hall of Fame and even a Wiffle ball field for the kids. Great views of the river and an exploding riverboat. Also had a great chili dog.
Citizens Bank Ballpark
Love the gigantic neon Liberty Bell, especially after having seen the real one earlier in the day.
Very cool vibe in the area around the park before the game. Nice view of the Rockies beyond the outfield.
Loved the double decker outfield and original exploding scoreboard.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Current World Series trophy and memorabilia on display from their 2002 championship season. Rally monkey videos made me laugh. Great local craft beer selection.
Went here on my honeymoon. Surprised to see so many people eating clam chowder in a bread bowl instead of having hot dogs. Literally the first place I ever ate a churro.
Milwaukee County Stadium
So many memories here. Met my wife and Mr. T in the same night here. Visited often during college. World class tailgating. Secret sauce. Bernie's slide originated in huge keg.
Typical cookie cutter with artificial turf. Got to tour back offices and meet Red Schoendienst.
Jacobs Field/Progressive Field
Visited once as Jacobs and once as Progressive. What a difference. The first time was great, the stands were packed and the team was competitive. The last time I visited the place was vacuous.
Three Rivers Stadium
Another cookie cutter with artificial turf. Got to walk around inside without being hassled about 5 hours before game time. Accidentally bought unsalted peanuts.
Cookie cutter with little life. At least everything was cheap.
Went on the last Sunday home game of the year and more people were watching the Eagles on handheld TVs than were watching the game.
Another park I visited in its hey day and more recently. While the SkyDome was groundbreaking at its time, it has not aged well. Only place where I have paid more for a beer than the face value of my ticket.
Meh. The first row in the upper deck was so far away from the field, it was like nothing else I had ever seen. And the fans cheered when Felix Hernandez got hurt.
Yuk. Going inside to watch a baseball game on a gorgeous July evening was sacrilege. I would rather sacrifice a few cold and wet games in April for a summer of outside baseball.