About an hour ago, the present author published a post in these absurd electronic pages in which he attempted to assess objectively the relative merits of all 30 major-league ballparks by location using the population density of each park’s attendant zip code.
About 59 minutes ago, concerned reader The Wrong Alex (and also other concerned reader Bryan) suggested that perhaps using Walk Scores (from walkscore.com) might be the most effective proxy for what the author is attempting to represent. A Walk Score, according to the relevant site, “is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address.”
And here’s a more detailed explanation of the significance of different scores:
Below is a table of all 30 major-league parks, both with Walk Scores included and all the relevant population-density information from the author’s original post. Note that Pop/SqMi is population per square mile for each stadium’s zip code and zPop is the standard deviation of the square mileage from the mean for all stadia.
|2||Rogers Centre||Toronto||ON||M5V 1J1||4245||-0.50||97||1.22|
|3||AT&T Park||San Francisco||CA||94107||14131||0.42||92||0.97|
|7||Busch Stadium||St. Louis||MO||63102||1170||-0.79||91||0.92|
|9||Petco Park||San Diego||CA||92101||7536||-0.20||86||0.66|
|13||Great American Ball Park||Cincinnati||OH||45202||5365||-0.40||83||0.51|
|14||Minute Maid Park||Houston||TX||77002||8121||-0.14||82||0.45|
|19||Tropicana Field||St Petersburg||FL||33705||3133||-0.61||75||0.10|
|22||US Cellular Field||Chicago||IL||60616||10485||0.08||65||-0.42|
|23||Dodger Stadium||Los Angeles||CA||90012||9445||-0.02||58||-0.78|
|26||Citizens Bank Park||Philadelphia||PA||19148||10290||0.06||51||-1.13|
|30||Kauffman Stadium||Kansas City||MO||64129||909||-0.81||25||-2.47|
• By this methodology, Boston’s Fenway Park and Toronto’s Rogers Centre are the most highly rated ballparks in terms of location. AT&T Park in San Francisco and Wrigley Field in Chicago — which the author mentioned by name in that first post — are ranked third and fourth, respectively.
• Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, Milwaukee’s Miller Park, and Atlanta’s Turner Field — all of which appear to be bordered by some combination of parking-lot expanse/interstate highway — are the bottom three parks by Walk Score.
• One element not necessarily accounted for by this methodology is the practice of tailgating. Tailgating at Miller Park, for example, is a ritual which is observed enthusiastically — and compensates somewhat for the lack of a true neighborhood experience.
• It should be noted, also, that there’s not a perfect correlation between those variables for which Walk Scores are accounting and the concerns of a park-goer. As reader Resolution notes, Walk Score seems to account for nearby schools, which isn’t entirely relevant for a baseball fan on gameday.
• There doesn’t seem to be a particularly strong correlation, actually, between Walk Score and population density by zip code — at least so far as the 30 major-league ballparks are concerned. Below is a graph to that effect.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.