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Take Dad Out to the Ballgame: Top Baseball Parks for Father’s Day Excursions

US baseball park

US baseball park

There are plenty of ways to celebrate fathers and father figures this June 17 – and whether you celebrate on the day or save your celebrations for another time, we think a day at the ballpark is good way to have some fun with father(s). Come camping and plan to take in a game at a nearby ballpark!

You may choose the ballpark by the team which you have pledged undying loyalty, regardless of where they end up come season’s end, you may choose by proximity to the campground, or you may choose for other reasons: oldest, newest, coolest, best. Let’s take a look at your options.

Oldest: Fenway Park is Major League Baseball’s oldest ballpark. Home to the Boston Red Sox, it was built in 1912 and is also home to the Green Monster, which is not the team’s mascot, but instead the impossibly high wall in left field. Nearby camping options include Thousand Trails Sturbridge, Thousand Trails Gateway to Cape Cod, Old Chatham, or Tuxbury Pond. The distinction for the second oldest ballpark goes to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, which was built in 1914. Both O’Connell’s RV Campground and Thousand Trails Pine Country are about an hour and a half drive from the “Friendly Confines.” Of note here is the ivy-covered outfield walls – the rule is, if a batted ball is lost in the ivy, the hitter gets two bases automatically.

Thousand Trails Sturbridge – Sturbridge, MA

Newest: Globe Life Field is the newest stadium, built in 2020, home to the Texas Rangers and about a little more than an hour’s drive from Thousand Trails Bay Landing and Thousand Trails Lake Tawakoni. Located in Arlington, it boasts a 5.5-acre retractable roof; the unique food option of The Rattler, a rattlesnake sausage on a hoagy roll; artificial turf on the field; and statues commemorating Ranger greats pitcher Nolan Ryan and catcher Ivan Rodriquez. LoanDepot Park sounds like you may be doing business here, but you can bank on having a good time watching the Miami Marlins play in the park that was opened in 2012. And while it may be one of the newest, it is also considered one of the smallest in the MLB. If you’re camping at Encore Miami Everglades, take in a Marlin’s game and don’t miss the Bobblehead Museum here with more than 500 baseball-themed bobbleheads on display!

Best: Not our opinion, but according to a recent ranking by Sports Illustrated, PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates) is Number One (while no campgrounds are nearby, it could be a destination stop on the way to our Pennsylvania campgrounds or to our Ohio campgrounds.) Number two is Oracle Park, home to the San Francisco Giants (camp at nearby San Francisco RV); Number 3 and Number 5 are the afore-mentioned Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, respectively; leaving Number 4 demanding a camp stay at Thousand Trails Pio Pico and trip into San Diego to see the Padres play at Petco Park. In the Top 20, coming in at Number 12 is the Great American Ball Park – home to the Cincinnati Reds with a beautiful location on the Ohio River and under an hour from Thousand Trails Wilmington.

Thousand Trails Wilmington – Wilmington, OH

Of course, if you love baseball, any park is great if “America’s favorite pastime” is being played right in front of you. Some people even have a bucket list to visit every park in their lifetime. A few more of note could include Minute Maid Park – home to the Houston Astros and the home run train, a miniature version of an 1862 steam locomotive that runs every time an Astro hits a home run (camp at Thousand Trails Lake Conroe); Comerica Park with nine roaring tiger statues to honor the Detroit Tigers (camp at Thousand Trails St. Clair); Tropicana Field, home to the Tampa Bay Rays features, of course, a Touch Tank so visitors to the park can actually touch a variety of stingrays (several FL campgrounds nearby to choose from).

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