What makes a great baseball experience for you?
We all have our reasons to rate one team or stadium above another. Whether it be ticket price; a winning team; a team rich with history and tradition; a stadium with a great atmosphere, food, promotional give-aways (or for some, the in-game entertainment); great uniforms; hot players; home run hitters; or a fan base who really knows baseball.
Over the years, I've seen many team/stadium rankings; some rely on attendance records or a team's winning percentages, others on game day affordability - the average price for the typical family of four to park, buy cheap tickets, share a bag of peanuts, scarf down one hotdog each, drink (sodas for the kids and small beers for the adults), buy a game program and share a single souvenir.
But I'm guessing that each of us has our own unique way to evaluate and appreciate a team or ballpark-our own "weighted average" of those factors important to us, none of which mirror the guy sitting next to us. We are not a homogenized group of "baseball fans", we are individuals, right?
For me, the best ballpark or "game experience" is a mosh of so many unquantifiable factors. It could be watching the look on the face of a kid catching their first foul ball; of witnessing a rare feat (an in-the-park home run, triple play, a battier going for the cycle or pitcher nearing a perfect game.) It also weighs heavily on my familiarity and history: the ballpark where I was introduced to baseball as a kid and where I spent my first twenty baseball years (the Big A); and the stadium where I saw a brand new team emerge, rising from the ashes... where I attended my first World Series and All-Star games (BOB/Chase).
To me, baseball is baseball. No matter which stadium or seats I sit in or who is playing, I've never had a bad experience at a ball game.
So without getting into which team or ballpark is the ABSOLUTE BEST IN THE WORLD, let me know what makes YOU tick? The 7th inning stretch organist? The food? Your team (no matter how crap the stadium)? Or do none of these really matter because you go purely for the love of the game and would be happy as a clam just about anywhere?