About the Author

Hello there!  My name is Cole Shoemaker, and welcome to my ballpark website and blog.  Here’s our About the Website page if you wish to learn more about Ballpark Ratings.  Below is a little bit about my background.

I am an attorney with two primary passions: my work and traveling the country to watch baseball games.  For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed not just with baseball, but with ballparks in particular

Ballparks represent everything I love – travel, cities, architecture, sports business, hospitality, crowds, and of course baseball, and that obsession is reflected in the depth of the writing. 

Why am I so passionate about baseball stadiums?  They’re etched in my memory from a very young age.  Being part of a baseball-loving family, and one that traveled a lot and had extended family across the United States, naturally entailed plenty of exposure to different MLB facilities.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, one of my first memories came at a baseball stadium: Nolan Ryan’s number retirement at the Astrodome.  My love affair perhaps first started after seeing Tiger Stadium in its last year (1999) as a young child.  My family had Houston Astros season tickets when I was growing up.  My first summer job throughout high school and early college was as an usher at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. 

Throughout my teenage years, my father and I had hit almost every MLB ballpark.  In my young adulthood, I did it again.  And again and again, racking up not just 2-3 revisits to each MLB ballpark, but 4, 5, 6, etc. to many of them. 

I’ve been to 37 MLB ballparks (all 30 active), all before the age of 30. I’ve been to 32 spring training complexes (all 24 active) and attended spring training for 24 consecutive years, including the two pandemic years.  I revisit 10 or so MLB parks each year. Most of all, I pride myself on having seen almost every section and area of every ballpark to get the fullest possible perspective.

I lived in Atlanta during my college years and throughout my 20s.  In the 2020s, Houston is my “home base” for baseball travel once again. 

Starting in 2023, I launched Ballparkratings.com 2.0, which, finally, has a more user-friendly layout allowing for a consistent stream of new content, not just static web pages of my ballpark reviews. 

If you are fascinated by all aspects of stadium design – the architecture, the connection to the city, the sightlines, the food, other nerdy logistics, etc. – you’ll love this site!  I hope you’ll enjoy it with me for years to come.   

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Me, on a chilly night at the incomparable Wrigley Field, one of my favorite ballparks!