Minor League Baseball's best ballpark views

April 6th, 2023

From rugged mountain landscapes to calming expanses of water to gleaming city skylines, Minor League Baseball stadiums offer a wide variety of scenic and often truly stunning surroundings. Picking favorites is a thankless task, but what follows is this writer's level-by-level attempt to do so. Click on each ballpark's name to be directed to its Minor League Ballpark Guide installment, and then plan a trip so you can experience these views in person.

Triple-ASmith's Ballpark (home of the Salt Lake Bees, Los Angeles Angels affiliate in the Pacific Coast League)

The Salt Lake City metropolitan area is home to over 1.2 million people, making it one of the larger markets in Minor League Baseball. Yet there's nothing urban about the view at Smith's Ballpark, which spotlights the breathtaking beauty of Utah's Wasatch Mountain range. This rugged backdrop, running on a jagged but ultimately downward slope from left field to right, is at its best when illuminated by the setting sun. The Bees are slated to move to a new ballpark in 2025, so plan a trip to Smith's Ballpark today.

Honorable Mentions: The imposing uptown Charlotte skyline at Truist Field (Charlotte Knights); views of Mexico, the mountains and downtown El Paso at Southwest University Park (El Paso Chihuahuas); the downtown Indianapolis setting at Victory Field (Indianapolis Indians).

Double-A: Blue Wahoos Stadium (home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Miami Marlins affiliate in the Southern League)

Pensacola, located in the far west portion of the Florida Panhandle, is a waterfront city. It makes sense, then, that the Blue Wahoos would play in a waterfront ballpark. Pensacola Bay is located just beyond the stadium, and beyond the bay lies the Gulf of Mexico. The proximity to this aquatic expanse contributes greatly to Blue Wahoos Stadium's breezy, hospitable atmosphere.

Honorable Mentions: The Harbor Bridge spanning Corpus Christi Bay at Whataburger Field (Corpus Christi Hooks), the evolving Greenwood District backdrop at ONEOK Field (Tulsa Drillers), the vintage Skyliner rollercoaster at Peoples Natural Gas Field (Altoona Curve)

High-A: Maimonides Park (home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, New York Mets affiliate in the South Atlantic League)

Coney Island in the summertime is a riot of color and character, and Maimonides Park's backdrop perfectly captures its essence. The Cyclone -- the iconic rollercoaster that inspired the team name -- can be seen beyond the left-field foul pole. The Cyclone is dwarfed by other nearby amusement rides, however. Fans in the stands can watch Thunderbolt riders ascend from beyond the batter's eye before making a precipitous 90-degree vertical plunge. The Parachute Drop, long defunct but a celebrated part of the landscape, towers above the right-field foul pole and is lit up colorfully at night. Looming beyond it all is the boardwalk, the beach and, finally, the seemingly endlessly expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.

Honorable Mentions: The Centennial Bridge, connecting Illinois and Iowa across the Mississippi, at Modern Woodmen Park (Quad Cities River Bandits); the Fort Wayne skyline looming beyond Parkview Field (Fort Wayne Tin Caps); similarly, the Greensboro skyline looming beyond First National Bank Field (Greensboro Grasshoppers).

Single-A: Salem Memorial Ballpark (home of the Salem Red Sox, Boston Red Sox affiliate in the Carolina League)

The Blue Ridge Mountains, which encompass approximately 35,000 square miles, run through eight Eastern states. These mountains form a rolling backdrop for Memorial Ballpark in Salem, Virginia, home of the Red Sox. The view is most impressive beyond right field, where the elevation spikes dramatically and the mountains seem to double up upon themselves.

Honorable Mentions: Baseball on an island, with views of the Halifax River, at Jackie Robinson Ballpark (Daytona Tortugas); a cluster of stately structures within a downtown environment at Atrium Health Ballpark (Kannapolis Cannon Ballers); the grandeur of the Temescal Mountains at The Diamond (Lake Elsinore Storm).