A look at American League celebrities, food
March, 29, 2013
By D'Arcy Maine | ESPN.com
Jim Rogash/WireImageBen Affleck and Jennifer Garner are always seen at Boston Red Sox home games.With the MLB season starting Sunday, Playbook takes a team-by-team look at the celebrities, food and other features you might see at American League stadiums this year.
Corbin Bernsen, who played in the movie "Major League" about the Cleveland Indians, said, "Baseball means a time where kids get a look back to see one of the great traditions of our country and celebrate all that is good and right in America."
STADIUM: Oriole Park at Camden Yards (45,971 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: While Camden Yards isn’t exactly buzzing with A-list celebs, it does get its fair share of those a little further down the celebrity food chain, including Joel and Benji Madden from the band Good Charlotte; Joel’s wife, Nicole Richie; former *N Syncer JC Chasez; and various Ravens players.
FAVORITE FOOD: This ballpark is in Maryland; is there any other acceptable answer than crab cakes? There’s even the option of a crab cake-topped burger for those who can’t decide between the ballpark staple and the regional delicacy (seasoned with Old Bay, of course).
ETC.: A scene from Season 3 of the HBO series "The Wire" was filmed during an actual White Sox-Orioles game in 2004.
Boston Red Sox
STADIUM: Fenway Park (37,499 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Too many to count. Some of the most famed Sox fans frequently spotted at Fenway are Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Stephen King.
FAVORITE FOOD: The Fenway Frank is arguably the most known option as it’s sold at every concession stand, but on a cold day during the early weeks of the season, we might go with Legal Sea Foods’ clam chowder.
ETC.: Opened in 1912, Fenway is the oldest MLB stadium currently in use. The Green Monster was originally navy blue and covered in advertisements. It wasn’t painted green until 1947.
Chicago White Sox
STADIUM: U.S. Cellular Field (40,615 capacity)
CELEBRTIY SIGHTINGS: President Barack Obama is a diehard fan and has been attending games for decades. The team has other famous fans, but everyone else just pales in comparison to the leader of the free world.
FAVORITE FOOD: Hard to argue with Wow Bao, a concession stand of the popular Chicago eatery, serving Asian-inspired hot steamed buns filled with various meats and veggies.
ETC.: In the 1993 movie "Rookie of the Year," the scenes set at Dodger Stadium were actually filmed at the Field. The inaugural game at the ballpark (then known as Comiskey Park) was a 16-0 loss to the Tigers on April 18, 1991.
Nicole Morinec/Cleveland Indians/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesDrew Carey's 1990s TV show was about Cleveland and he still frequents the city.
STADIUM: Progressive Field (43,570 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Having played a member of the Indians in the hit 1989 movie "Major League," Charlie Sheen has remained a fan of the team ever since. Others spotted at the field include Drew Carey and Tom Hanks.
FAVORITE FOOD: The Food Network has a cart featuring a specialty Red, White and Blue steak sandwich. We have no idea what this entails (other than the steak part), but it’s from the Food Network so we think it has to be good.
ETC.: The stadium features a "Kid’s Clubhouse" area for those games when you feel like buying your child a ticket for them to not watch the game. Fans commonly call it "The Jake" in reference to its original name of Jacobs Field.
STADIUM: Comerica Park (41,255 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Many of Detroit’s most well-known figures are staples at the park. Kid Rock, Eminem, Tim Allen, Alice Cooper and Bob Seger are all known to attend multiple games per season.
FAVORITE FOOD: Despite the New York-sounding name, Leo’s Coney Island is a Detroit chain with a restaurant in the ballpark. They’re known for -- surprise, surprise -- their Coney Island-style hot dogs, complete with an all-meat chili, onions and mustard.
ETC.: The stadium sits on the site of the original Detroit College of Law location. When built, the left-field scoreboard was the largest in baseball.
STADIUM: Minute Maid Park (40,981 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: So many of music’s biggest names have been here to perform in concert. As far as celebrities in the crowd for an actual game, it’s not quite as desirable. Kenny Rogers, Jack Ingram and several members of the Rockets and Texans have been spotted.
FAVORITE FOOD: Houston landmark Prince’s Hamburgers offers classic burgers (if you couldn’t already guess), fries and milkshakes that just can’t be beat. Unlike the Astros on most days.
ETC.: Whenever an Astros player hits a home run, the train located above left field (in recognition of Houston’s railroad history) is filled with oranges and runs down the track. The Park was named Enron Field in 2000 and the company had a 30-year naming-rights deal in place. When Enron was engulfed by scandal in 2001, the team bought back the remaining years for $2.1 million.
Kansas City Royals
STADIUM: Kauffman Stadium (40,933 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: For some reason the Royals attract a lot of comedians to their games. On second thought, due to their struggles over the past several years, we can totally see why this might be an attractive spot for people that are paid to make fun of things. Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell, Rob Riggle, Jason Sudeikis and Jeff Foxworthy have all been seen at games.
FAVORITE FOOD: In a city known for its delicious barbecue, it seems only fitting that Kauffman would have its fair share of slowly smoked, molasses-sauce-topped meats. Some of the most popular items include the KC Rib Eye Stack Sandwich and burnt ends (meat cut from smoked brisket).
ETC.: The Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat (named in honor of the Kansas City Monarchs legend, Royals scout and civil rights pioneer) is located in Section 127. The red seat, surrounded by all-blue seats, is awarded every game to a fan who embodies O’Neil’s spirit.
Los Angeles Angels
STADIUM: Angel Stadium of Anaheim (65,158 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: As Los Angeles’ secondary baseball team (that’s not even located in the city for which it’s named), the Angels aren’t the first choice for many of Southern California’s stars. While the Dodgers have Magic Johnson, Snoop Dogg, Alyssa Milano and Christian Slater, the Angels have reality star and Hugh Hefner ex Holly Madison. And that pretty much sums up the team’s famous fans.
FAVORITE FOOD: You can find many of the SoCal go-tos like fish tacos, California rolls and Baja burgers, but the carne asada torta (a steak sandwich) at Angelito’s Fresh Mexican Grill seems to be the most universally loved.
ETC.: The stadium is just three miles from Disneyland. The "Big A" sign found in the parking lot was originally part of the scoreboard and was moved in the late 1970s. Mickey Mantle hit his last game-winning home run in the park before retiring in 1968.
STADIUM: Target Field (39,504 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: While Minnesota isn’t known as a hotbed for celebrities, stars such as Josh Hartnett, Garrison Keillor and Joe Mauer’s Head and Shoulders bestie Troy Polamalu are all recent attendees.
FAVORITE FOOD: Local-area institution Kramarczuk’s earns rave reviews from the Twin Cities faithful for their bratwursts and sausages.
ETC.: Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney’s "Brothers of the Sun" tour set the stadium’s attendance record for a single event with 42,524 in July 2012. The wood flooring used in the Town Ball Tavern on the upper concourse is from the original court the Minneapolis Lakers used before leaving for Los Angeles.
J. Meric/Getty ImagesBilly Crystal is a pure Yankees fan, showing up at spring training and regular-season games.New York Yankees
STADIUM: Yankee Stadium (50,291 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Yankee Stadium has more celebrities on any given night than a Los Angeles movie lot. Some of the stadium regulars, however, include Denzel Washington, Billy Crystal, Spike Lee, Adam Sandler, Jay-Z and whatever Hollywood starlet Derek Jeter is currently dating.
FAVORITE FOOD: Because all of the stadium food now has to display the caloric intake, much of the fun of eating ballpark food is replaced with an overwhelming guilt while in the Bronx. If you’re able to cast your guilt aside (or just cover your eyes while looking at the menu), Lobel’s Prime Beef Sandwich is the way to go.
ETC.: There is one concession stand or vendor for every 117 fans. With a $1.5 billion dollar price tag, Yankee Stadium is the most expensive ballpark ever built and the second-most costly stadium for all sports (following the Giants' and Jets’ shared MetLife Stadium).
STADIUM: O.co Coliseum (37,090 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Brad Pitt has not been spotted in the crowd. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s appreciate MC Hammer and Huey Lewis, who are dedicated fans of the team.
FAVORITE FOOD: The New York Times food critic raved about the Famous Ball Tip sandwich, in which slices of sirloin are smothered in award-winning barbecue sauce. And if it’s good enough for The New York Times, it’s good enough for us.
ETC.: The stadium is currently on its fourth name, having previously been called the Oakland-Alamdea County Coliseum, the Network Associates Coliseum and the McAfee Coliseum. Hence why most locals refer to it simply as "The Coliseum" "Moneyball," the film based on the book of the same name about the 2002 A’s, shot many of its scenes at the field.
STADIUM: Safeco Field (47,476 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Fortunately, baseball jerseys go well with flannel, so naturally Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan are Safeco regulars.
FAVORITE FOOD: There’s something for everyone at this ballpark, including crepes, New Haven-style pizza, gourmet burgers and sushi. However we’re most impressed by the vegan and vegetarian options at Field Roast, a local chain. The veggie dogs and burgers seem to be a hit with herbivores and omnivores alike. Patrons can find a veggie twist on some ballpark staples with options like "The IchiBan," "The Seattle Chili Dog" and "The Bombay."
ETC.: With a $517.6 million dollar price tag, Safeco was the most expensive single-use stadium in North America when built. As part of the Mariners' lease with the city, they are required to have an average of 4,600 seats per game with "reasonably affordable" ticket prices.
Tampa Bay Rays
STADIUM: Tropicana Field (42,735 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: We think the Rays would just be happy to consistently get fans of any level of fame in the stadium, but some notable faces are Kevin Costner, Hulk Hogan and ESPN’s own Dick Vitale.
FAVORITE FOOD: The Trop’s signature dish is the Cuban sandwich, available at various venues throughout the park. Although if you’re looking for a sit-down meal, check out Everglades BBQ Smokehouse which offers field views and various smoked meats.
ETC.: The Tropicana brand was actually purchased by PepsiCo in 1998 but they decided not to change the stadium’s name. Only one player in the stadium’s history (Luis Gonzalez of the Dodgers in 2007) has hit a home run into the celebrated Rays Touch Tank, located just over the right-center field fence.
Getty ImagesKelly Clarkson performs the national anthem before the World Series game involving the Rangers.Texas Rangers
STADIUM: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (48,114 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Former President George W. Bush was once an owner of the team and since leaving office has been spotted at games, sometimes with his father, fellow former President George H. Bush. Other famous faces seen in Arlington include Owen Wilson, Dirk Nowitzki and Kelly Clarkson.
FAVORITE FOOD: Two words -- Big Boomer. Everything is bigger in Texas and this dish all but proves it. A one-pound hot dog, measuring two feet long, is topped with ketchup, mustard, relish, cheese, onions and chili.
ETC.: The parking lots are shared with Cowboy Stadium, located less than a mile down the street. Greene’s Hill, the grassy section behind center field, was originally designed as a picnic area for fans but has never been used for such a purpose. The space now is used by official flag girls who run across the lawn waving the state flag whenever the team scores.
Toronto Blue Jays
STADIUM: Rogers Centre (49,260 capacity)
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Being the only professional baseball team in Canada certainly has its perks, as it’s the de facto team of all living north of the U.S. border. Drake, Avril Lavigne, Michael Cera and the dudes from the beloved television show "Trailer Park Boys" have been seen at games over the years.
FAVORITE FOOD: A spin on the traditional Canadian classic, the loaded wing poutine is a must-have dish when at the ballpark. When in Canada!
ETC.: The stadium has a hotel attached to it with 70 rooms overlooking the field.