10 wackiest features at MLB parks

(Screen grab/AFP file combination photo)

(Screen grab/AFP file combination photo)

Kerri Breen, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:43 PM ET

Going to a baseball game isn’t just about the sport, it’s about the experience.

Some Major League Baseball teams have gone over the top in adding special details to their ballparks in order to please fans. Here’s 10 of the best novelty features at baseball stadiums.


If you’re in Arizona to see the Diamondbacks at Chase Field, you can cool off in the 8,500 gallon pool at right-centre field - if you have either a lot of friends, a lot of money, or both.

The pool costs $4,500-$6,500 to rent (comes with 35 tickets) and it’s even staffed by a lifeguard. (Best summer job ever?)

 (Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP files)


Wrigley Field classes it up - no goofy cash-grab gimmicks here. When you see the Cubs in Chicago, check out the unique ivy wall in the outfield. What makes it wacky? Well, as you can see, it's not entirely practical.

Pete Orr of the Philadelphia Phillies throws his hands up, as the ivy has gobbled up another ball. (David Banks/Getty Images/AFP files)


One of the 10 biggest aquarium tanks in the U.S. is at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, and home to more than 30 cownose rays, which you can pet if you dare.


The Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ballpark wins the pyro award. Their smokestack-style “Power Stacks” (official name!) in right-centre field emit flames when the Reds strike out a batter and fireworks when the home team hits a home run or wins the game.


The field at the Oakland Athletics’ O.co Coliseum doesn’t quite look like the others. Pitchers love it, because it has MLB’s largest foul territory and allows for more pop-up outs. Unlike other sports, baseball ain’t too picky about field dimensions outside of the diamond. The park is also used by the NFL's Oakland Raiders.


Miller Park has a huge yellow slide that matches the Milwaukee Brewers mascot's facial hair. The moustachioed Bernie Brewer slides down it when the home team hits a home run, and if you don't mind the price, you can be like Bernie.

It costs $100-$125 per person for up to eight people to take up to five rides each on the slide, receive a stadium tour and a few other perks before the game. This does not include the cost of tickets. Dig deep, mom and dad.


There’s a whole lot of stuff going on at Marlins Park in Miami. Bright colours, a massive outfield sculpture that lights up and moves when the Marlins hit a homer, an aquarium and a pool.

The abstract, contemporary stadium, which opened in 2012, features a100% Miami-inspired design that laughs in the face of the throwback brick of newer MLB stadiums.


The Rogers Centre, a.k.a. the Skydome, doesn’t get a lot of love among baseball purists. The home of the Toronto Blue Jays is a bit of a harsh concrete jail, lacking the elegance of both older stadiums and the newer ones that riff on the old style. But historically speaking, it has reason to boast.

The ballpark, which turned 25 this year, was the very first MLB stadium to feature a fully retractable roof.

Lots of teams, including some on this list, have one now, but at the time it was a major innovation - useful for our colder climate and for warm climates too.

Here’s a timelapse video of the building of the stadium:


The Detroit Tigers have the Fly Ball Ferris Wheel to brag about at Comerica Park. It’s 50 feet tall and each baseball-shaped car can take up to five passengers.

It costs just $2 per person, and on Sundays it’s free for kids under 14. Kudos on the price, Comerica Park - two bucks can’t get you anything at the Rogers Centre.


For overall weirdest MLB stadium, we choo-choo-choose you, Minute Maid Park.

The home of the Astros pays tribute to the former occupant of the site, Houston’s Union Station, with a train above left field.

When the team gets a home run or wins a game, the train - with a car full of oranges - is set into motion.

Thematically speaking, Houston, we have a problem. There’s a bizarre mishmash of three motifs at work at this park: Trains, outer space and citrus. But at least it isn’t called Enron Field anymore.

You’d be wrong if you thought that was the extent of the wackiness at Minute Maid.

There’s a huge incline in centre field - technically called a decorative berm - known as Tal’s Hill, which has a random pole stuck on it.

Enrique Hernandez #6 of the Houston Astros chases a ball at Minute Maid Park on July 29, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (Bob Levey/Getty Images/AFP)

There is no precedent for the sort of freestyle field-building baseball allows in any other professional-level sport, so to the uninitiated, to the non-fan, this is bananas.

Also, talk about giving an advantage for the home team, who'd have ample opportunity to get used to the hill. The Astros do need all the help they can get, after all.

 


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