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BASEBALL ONLINE EXCERPT FROM CHATTER, OUR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL BLOG AT WASHINGTONTIMES.COM.

For my money, PNC Park is tops in the big leagues.

Now, I feel obligated to provide this disclaimer before going any further: I was born in Pittsburgh and grew up a Pirates fan. The first game I ever went to was at now-demolished Three Rivers Stadium (Aug. 1984, Expos vs. Pirates, Lee Lacy homered to lead the Bucs to victory, Pete Rose(!) started at first base for Montreal). So, yes, my opinion may be a bit biased. But I’m hardly the first one out there to pick PNC as the best ballpark in America. …

Why? Let me count the ways …

1. The view. No other park can match PNC’s stunning vista beyond the outfield fence. You’ve got the Allegheny River running right behind right field. The yellow Roberto Clemente Bridge connecting downtown to the stadium. And the downtown skyline right on the other side.

2. The cozy feel. PNC is the smallest of the new parks. It seats only 38,496 (smaller than any major league park but Fenway) and was the first built with only two decks since Milwaukee’s old County Stadium in the 1950s.

3. The little touches. The seats here are a very understated shade of navy blue that look right at home against the green field and the limestone exterior. The 21-foot-high right-field fence (in honor of Clemente) features the first out-of-town scoreboard that includes the number of outs and location of baserunners. …

Yes, they did things right here in the ‘Burgh. … PNC Park is the gold standard.

Mark Zuckerman

TODAY’S BEST ON TV

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