The Best Baseball Cities: 7 Baseball Cities You Didn’t Know You Were Missing|
When you think of the best baseball cities in the U.S., you probably think about Fenway Park in Boston, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Yankee Stadium in New York or Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. But everyone knows about those.
Sure, they are some of the best stadiums and best cities for America’s favorite pastime, but there are plenty of other awesome baseball cities you just have to check out.
Have you ever touched a stingray at Tropicana Field? Or watched racing sausages while cheering for the Milwaukee Brewers? We’ll break it down for you: here are 7 of the best baseball cities you might not think of. We’ll include a little about their history, what makes their stadium awesome, their winning streaks and what’s up with the fans!
We might just hit this one out of the park. So, let’s get right to it. Here’s our starting lineup of the 7 best baseball cities in the U.S. that you didn’t know you were missing:
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis is a vibrant city—full of culture, beautiful scenery, great eats and, well, baseball! Grab some St. Louis barbecue and catch a game; this is definitely a baseball city you have to check out.
The St. Louis Cardinals were founded in 1882, but they were originally known as the St. Louis Brown Stockings. The name was changed a few more times, until in 1900 they were officially the St. Louis Cardinals (we like the new name better)!
The Cardinals have called a variety of stadiums home over the years. They started out playing in Union Park from 1892-1897, and from 2006 to today they play baseball in Busch Stadium III.
Designed in a retro-style, Busch Stadium III opened in 2006, seating more than 46,000. Busch Stadium III is also positioned so you can see the Gateway Arch Trail behind the stadium. Plus, not only does the stadium offer traditional ballpark food, but you’ll also find a diner, BBQ, and vegan food options. You can also visit the Coca-Cola Rooftop Deck, Ballpark Village, and Budweiser Terrace.
Fun fact: The Cardinals won a World Series Championship in the inaugural season of their new ballpark, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in almost 100 years.
Since the Cardinals were established, the team has won a total of 11 World Series Championships. In the past two decades, the team has won two championships. Who doesn’t love a winning team?
Now, let’s talk about the fans. The Cardinals have some of the most enthusiastic fans in the Major Leagues, and there are an average of 40,000 of them at every game. So, imagine sitting in a stadium, and cheering along with 40,000 other people. That sounds like an amazing experience.
If you’ve never been to Milwaukee, it should be your next stop. While still embracing its history and heritage, the city is undergoing major construction projects and urban revitalization. Not to mention, the Brewers are a must-see team. They haven’t been around as long as some other MLB teams, but they do have a lot to offer the modern baseball fan.
The Brewers weren’t originally from Milwaukee or named the Brewers for that matter. In 1969, the Seattle Pilots were acquired by Milwaukee Brewers, Inc., (an organization formed by Allan H. “Bud” Selig and Edmund Fitzgerald). The team was then renamed the Milwaukee Brewers to reflect the city’s large brewing industry. The Brewers were originally in the American League, but in 1998 the team was asked to switch to the National league. They’ve been in the NL ever since!
The Milwaukee Brewers have called a few stadiums home since the late 1900s. The Brewers played their first season (1970) at County Stadium.
Fun fact: the Green Bay Packers actually started playing at County Stadium in 1953. In 1964 the Braves moved to Atlanta, and the Milwaukee Brewers moved on in. The Brewers had a good run in County Stadium before searching for a new park in the late 1980s.
The construction of Miller Park started in 1996, and was finally completed in 2001. The park was originally named after the Miller Brewing Company, but in 2019 it was changed to American Family Field.
This stadium has an incredible retractable roof that can close or open in 10 minutes. There’s also a kid’s area, beautiful walkways and paths, and some incredible grub. You’ll find a brewpub, sports grill, and even upscale dining options. But they’re most well-known for their cheese curds and brats.
Bernie the Brewer and the racing sausages came from County Stadium to American Family Field, offering entertainment and fun while fans watch their home team take on an opponent.
Fun fact: the racing sausages were so popular; many other MLB teams came up with their own mascot races.
Since their founding, the Milwaukee Brewers have not won a World Series title. They did attend the World Series in 1982 but were defeated by the Cardinals. There was another close call in 2018, but the Dodgers bested them in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.
You may be tempted to overlook this team, after all the Brewers have only been around for about 50 years. But, according to a Forbes article, Milwaukee fans ranked 6th in MLB’s fan bases in 2020. The Brewers consistently rank in the top 10 in the league in attendance. We think it’s because of that retractable roof and mascot race.
Philadelphia is the place to be. If you’re looking for fascinating history, incredible sights, amazing food, and some great baseball, you’re in the right place.
Now the Phillies have an awesome history. They were formed in 1883, which makes them one of the oldest, continuous, one-name/one-city franchises in all professional sports. Their first game was played on May 1, 1883, at Recreation Park.
In 2020 the Phillies had the highest payroll in franchise history, secured some amazing free agents, and got a new manager.
The Philadelphia Phillies were the home team in a lot of ballparks throughout the years, starting off in Recreation Park from 1883-1886. Next, they played in Baker Bowl, followed by Shibe Park (renamed Connie Mack Stadium) and then Veterans Stadium. While playing in Veterans Stadium, they shared the spotlight with the NFL Eagles.
Safe to say, they needed their own space. Upon completing construction, the Phillies played the first game in Citizens Bank Park on April 12, 2004, against the Cincinnati Reds.
This ballpark can fit 43,035 screaming fans with an upper and lower deck and suite level. Now the real excitement of Citizens Bank Park occurs when a Phillies player hits a home run. Not only is there an icon of the park, but there’s also a huge light-up Liberty Bell above right-centerfield that rings and flashes when the Phillies hit a homer.
Ashburn Alley also draws fans, serving as an outdoor entertainment area dedicated to Richie “Whitey” Ashburn. You’ll also find the Wall of Fame, statues of great players inside and outside the stadium, as well as numerous food options in the park. Whether you’re looking for a Philly cheesesteak, BBQ or some classic ballgame snacks—you got it.
Safe to say there is no lack of celebration in this stadium.
Despite being one of the oldest franchises in professional sports, the Phillies have only won two World Series Championships, those in 1980 and 2008.
Phillies fans are loyal and passionate. A team with such a long history is sure to have built some true fans throughout the years, and they’ll be there through thick and thin. Also, there are a lot of fans, just check out any of their fan clubs and communities online. From the Fightin Phils Fan Club to Phillies Nation.
The Philadelphia Phillies fans were also named one of the top 10 most loyal fans in 2020 by Forbes.
You’ll never run out of things to do in Cincinnati. From exploring the river region to experiencing renowned museums to watching a Cincinnati Reds game, boredom isn’t possible in The Queen City.
In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first all-professional team. The National League was formed in 1876, and Cincinnati was a charter member. After being expelled from the league only four years later, the Reds played 8 seasons in the American Association.
On April 17, 1889, an entertaining opening day occurred, and the Cincinnati Orchestra welcomed fans into the stadium in Cincinnati. Later that year, the Red Stockings were readmitted into the National League.
1919 was the year the Reds won their first World Series, and then they won a few more. The Cincinnati Reds have had quite the past.
It makes sense that the first professional baseball team would call more than a few stadiums home. The first could hold up to 4,000 fans and was centered around a grandstand called “Grand Duchess.”
Flash forward, after sharing the Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field with the NFL’s Bengals for about 30 years, the Cincinnati Reds made an agreement with Great American Insurance Company that their new stadium would be called the Great American Ball Park.
The Great American Ball Park is a classic baseball stadium with modern-day amenities. One cool feature of this stadium is Crosley Terrace. It’s the home plate entrance, but there’s also an acre of concrete, grass and trees covered with statues of past Reds players and a pitcher’s mound. You’ll also find a 60-foot stone sculpture, a rose garden honoring Pete Rose, and the Reds Hall of Fame Museum.
Once inside, you’ll see 42,271 red seats (get it, red seats, Reds). There’s a lower grandstand, second deck and upper deck. Above the scoreboard is a replica of the clock that was at Crosley Field. You definitely want to check out the rooftop deck, too!
Whenever a Reds player hits a home run, two large smokestacks make noise, shoot fireworks and mist in celebration.
In terms of food, you won’t be disappointed, there are a number of dining options including the Championship Club, the Handlebar at Riverfront Club and Diamond Club. You’ll also discover old and new favorites including a smokehouse parfait, a smore’s frybox and even an all-you-can-eat stand (YUM).
The Cincinnati Reds are a winning franchise. They have won five World Series titles (1919, 1940, 1975, 1976 and 1990) and nine National League Pennants. In recent years, the Reds haven’t had the best record, but hardcore fans will never lose hope that they can return to greatness.
Whether you frequent the Redleg Nation, or you check out the Red Reporter on the daily, the Cincinnati Reds have an active fan base.
Cincinnati Reds fans have been known to dress up as Mr. Red for Halloween, decorate red Christmas Trees, and even skip work to attend a game. Reds fans are loyal, and many die-hard fans are still hopeful for a season like the Reds had back in the day.
Why Detroit? It’s a one-of-a-kind experience. With a unique culture, an incredible arts scene, a beach in the middle of downtown, and the Detroit Tigers, the question you should be asking is—when can I go?
The Detroit Tigers were founded in 1894 and played in the Western League (renamed the American League in 1900). One of their first memorable moments was on April 25, 1901, on opening day at Bennett Park. The game was a big one—they were trailing 13-4 at the bottom of the 9th, but achieved a comeback win 14-13.
The Detroit Tigers have had a number of Hall of Fame players in their history, as well as highs and lows as a franchise. But the Tigers stand as the only member of the Western League still in its original city.
The Detroit Tigers started off in Bennett Park where many of the fans didn’t actually sit in the stands. Instead, they sat in “wildcat” bleachers that were structures built around the park built by locals. The Tigers then played at Navin Field starting in 1912, renamed Briggs Stadium in 1938, only to be renamed once again in 1961 to Tiger Stadium. From 1912 to 1999 more than 102 million excited fans walked through the turnstiles at the stadium.
When the Tigers moved to Comerica Park, there was a grand celebration for Tiger Stadium. Including former Tigers, fans and even relocating Tiger Stadium’s Homeplate to the new park.
The new stadium opened in April of 2000, as a unique and entertaining space. Not only is there a baseball field, you’ll also find the Comerica Bank Carousel, the Fly Ball Ferris Wheel, sculptures of six of the best Tigers, the Walk of Fame, and even a water feature that serves as liquid fireworks for big game moments.
Obviously, there’s plenty to explore in Comerica Park, but there is a lot to eat, too. Don’t forget to stop by the open-air BBQ area called Brushfire Grill, sample classic ballpark concessions throughout the whole stadium, or stop in the Big Cat food court.
In their years as a professional team, the Detroit Tigers have won four World Series titles in 1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984 as well as 11 American League pennants. Although it’s been a few years since the Tigers have had a successful postseason—there’s always next year!
Tiger fans are dependable. They have stuck with the team even through a run of bad luck and losses—because the Detroit Tigers can turn it around! In 2021 the franchise finished third in AL Central, and who knows what will happen in future seasons.
The fourth-largest city in the U.S. Award-winning restaurants, arts, shopping and nightlife unlike anywhere else. Houston is a great city—plus, it’s home to the Astros.
The Houston Astros were founded in 1962 as the Houston Colt .45s (an interesting but fitting name for a baseball team from the wild west). The Astros took a while to warm up but finally started to see success in the 2000s.
The team started in the National League, but after 51 seasons they switched to the American League. The Houston Astros had a number of winning records, and some losing seasons, but as an MLB team who joined late in the game, they’re starting to get their footing.
The Houston Astros have played in three different stadiums since they were founded. First was the Colt Stadium that served as a temporary home for this Texas baseball club.
Fun fact: this stadium wasn’t demolished or ruined; it was sold to a team in Mexico—so it’s still standing!
Next was the infamous Astrodome, the first game played here was on April 9, 1965. Some called this stadium the “eighth wonder of the world.” It was the first stadium built with a dome structure, it had luxury suites and every seat was cushioned. The roof was originally made of clear panels, but they were painted after players started complaining about not being able to see fly balls. The Astros called it home for about 30 years.
Next came Minute Maid Park. This stadium has a retractable roof, with a 50,000 square foot sliding glass door that can open and close. The first game played here was on April 7, 2000, with more than 41,000 fans in attendance.
Minute Maid Park is a marvel. There are four levels of seats, views of downtown Houston and a huge replica of a 19th-century Wild West steam locomotive above left field—this stadium is unlike any other. Check out the Phillips 66 Homerun Alley, Minute Maid Squeeze Play area, and multiple restaurants serving up classic and unique dishes (with everything from Tex-Mex to hot dogs).
The Houston Astros have won one World Series title in 2017, a National League pennant in 2005 as well as three American League pennants in 2017, 2019 and 2021.
Houston Astros fans are among the best in the league. Despite a cheating scandal that tainted the team’s World Series title in 2017 that led to suspensions, firings, a large fine and forfeited draft picks, the fans have stuck with the team and are probably more loyal than they were before.
Tampa Bay Rays
Known as “Florida’s most,” Tampa Bay has a lot going on. From beautiful weather to beaches and family fun, it’s a diverse destination. Who wouldn’t want to watch baseball here?
The Tampa Bay Rays began playing in 1998, and they were originally known as the Devil Rays until their name changed to the Rays in 2007. Unfortunately, the Devil Rays had a rough start—not having a winning record for their first 10 seasons.
But 2008 was a different story. Known to some as one of the biggest one-year turnarounds, the Rays improved their record by 29 wins and made it to the World Series. They lost, but it was an incredible comeback.
In recent years the Rays have had winning seasons, and a second World Series appearance, but we’re still waiting on that title!
The Rays have called Tropicana Field their home since their first game March 31, 1998. It’s a domed stadium, full of blue seats, a Hitters Hall-of-Fame, a team store and a Rays Touch Tank. Yep, that’s right, this 35-foot tank is full of live stingrays, so fans can touch these aquatic creatures just past the fence in right-centerfield. You’ll also find some incredible eats including items like BBQ pulled pork nachos, a Cuban sandwich, and short rib grilled cheese. (Mouth-watering.)
Now you didn’t hear this from us, but the Rays are rumored to get a new stadium. But for now, keep petting stingrays and eating snazzy grilled cheeses.
The Tampa Bay Rays have yet to win a World Series title, but they have secured two American League pennants in 2008 and 2020. The Rays have only been around a short time, and they’re competing against MLB teams that have been around for over 100 years.
Still, hopefully, we’ll see them get a big win in the future!
The Tampa Bay Rays don’t have a record number of fans in the stands, and that could be for a number of reasons (the pandemic playing a part). But Rays fans are spirited, enthusiastic and thrilled to be rooting for their home team! Just check out the Tampa Bay Rays Fan Club on Facebook, you and 6,000 others can cheer away.
FAQs: Best Baseball Cities in the U.S.
Q. In which city is baseball most popular?
A. One of the most popular baseball cities is New York.
Q. What is the baseball capital of the U.S.?
A. The baseball capital of the U.S. is California. It’s the only state with five MLB teams.
Q. Is St. Louis the best baseball city?
A. St. Louis is one of the best baseball cities. With many, many hardcore fans, the Gateway Arch behind the stadium, and incredible food, St. Louis is a great place to watch baseball.
Q. What city needs a baseball team?
A. There are many cities in the United States without a professional baseball team. Some of them include New Orleans, Nashville, Portland, Las Vegas, and Charlotte.
Q. Is Detroit a baseball town?
A. Yes, Detroit is a baseball town! Comerica Park is an incredible stadium, and many flood to the park to watch their Tigers.
Bottom of the 9th: Best Baseball Cities in the U.S.
We hope this list of the best baseball cities in the U.S. has given you new stadiums to visit, teams to root for and places to experience.
While you’re off watching some of the best baseball across the U.S., don’t forget about self-storage. We’ll hold all your gear until you’re back on your home field. (Or if you need a place for your baseball cap collection, we have room for that, too.) Just check out our storage finder to find your nearest location. Let’s play ball!
Sarah Dirks is a Content Writer for Store Space who enjoys watching movies, being active and cheering for the Boston Red Sox.