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Fans Rank PNC Park Baseball's Best Ballpark

Nate Silver checked the rankings of each major-league ballpark at Yelp.com, and guess what? PNC Park, home of the Pirates, is the highest-rated, and it isn't close. PNC gets an average score of 4.77, followed by Fenway Park at 4.59 and the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park at 4.57. PNC is as good as the Pirates have been bad, and it's always great to go and see the spectacular views, even when the baseball is awful.

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Based on my own experiences, the rest of these rankings don't surprise me much. Camden Yards (No. 5), Busch Stadium (No. 7), Coors Field (No. 9), Wrigley Field (No. 10) and Milwaukee's Miller Park (No. 11) all do well, for example, as they should. I went to Miller Park two years ago and was pleasantly surprised - there's a real space-age 'wow' factor there due to how big that thing is. Angel Stadium (No. 19) and Dodger Stadium (No. 25) do worse - Angel Stadium is hopelessly bland (although I found good, relatively cheap barbecue near the main entrance), and I hated Dodger Stadium, which has all the worst features of old ballparks (poor choice of concessions, awful bathrooms) without much of the history or beauty that someplace like Wrigley has.

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The one surprise was that Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park was ranked No. 6, while San Diego's PETCO Park was ranked No. 17. I like them both. They actually look fairly similar (although PETCO has that cool Western Metals building in left field), and they're both lesser imitations of PNC, but PETCO is in the heart of San Diego's downtown, while Citizens Bank Park is in the middle of nowhere. I'll take PETCO every time.

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It's also interesting that Toronto's Rogers Centre ranks dead last. Back when it was called the SkyDome, it seemed like the future of baseball stadiums. Then Camden Yards, PNC, and a bunch of other 'retro' parks sprang up, and the SkyDome suddenly seemed out-of-date.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.