In honor of Earth Day, let's take a look at MLB's in-stadium vegetation
Today is Earth Day, a holiday founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson to celebrate the environment and raise awareness of threats against it. Aside from the expected grass, what MLB stadiums go a little farther in bringing small pieces of nature to their fans and players? Here's a look at a few:
Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
Opened in 1914, Wrigley is a classic park with one very old-fashioned feature in the outfield: ivy-covered brick walls. It's not the only MLB stadium to ever feature the leafy stuff in that area -- the Pirates' longtime home Forbes Field, and the Angels' first stadium (which was also called Wrigley Field), did as well.
Progressive Field (Cleveland)
Beyond center field is the Indians' Heritage Park, in which the team's Hall of Fame is given a bucolic setting by a circle of evergreen trees.
Coors Field (Colorado)
The home of the Rockies is home to a Rocky Mountains-themed diorama in center field, with a dense pine tree forest, rocks and a small bubbling lake. The bullpen is situated right in the midst of it, which may help Colorado pitchers' sense of tranquility, if not their ERAs.
Angel Stadium (Los Angeles Angels)
Similarly, the beyond-center field area in Anaheim features a more desert-like display, including some moss and palm trees, though mostly consisting of a huge bedrock outcrop. But hey, that's still "earth," isn't it?
Marlins Park (Miami)
When the Marlins' modernist monument was unveiled, most attention was focused on the giant home run sculpture beyond the bright green wall in left-center field, which includes some animated palm trees. Less noticed was that the area also includes some real palms.
Target Field (Minnesota)
While the spruce trees in center field are now gone, the Twins still ring their outfield with flowers -- which sometimes catch (and hide) home run balls.
Citi Field (New York Mets)
The Mets' master botanists have not only succeeded in cultivating the world's largest apple -- they also engineered it to sprout a Mets logo and to rise out of its shell at every New York home run.
Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia)
The home of the Phillies also features flowers along the outfield wall, in a very appropriate alternating red-and-white color scheme.
Petco Park (San Diego)
The Padres previously owned what would have been one of the jewels of this list: a full-blown bullpen garden growing herbs, tomatoes and 16 varieties of pepper. Unfortunately, it was a casualty of this past offseason's renovation which moved the fences in. But, Petco still has the Picnic Terrace area, which lets fans mingle through rows of many-colored flowers.
AT&T Park (San Francisco)
The space between center field and the hitters' eye at the Giants' yard is home to an avocado tree, the result of a former groundskeeper's experiment with the pit of an avocado he'd just used in a meal. It's now grown tall enough to peek over the wall onto the field.
Nationals Park (Washington)
The yearly Cherry Blossom Festival is a huge deal in the nation's capital, and the Nationals weren't about to be left out of that. Their row of cherry trees beyond the left field bleachers and in their center field plaza produces the pink flowers every spring that look just like those on the National Mall.
-- Dan Wohl / MLB.com