Baseball and drinking go together like … pretty much any sporting event and drinking. Having a few beers at the stadium is great, but it can easily end up costing twice as much as the ticket. Plus, many ballparks stop selling beer long before the game ends. If you’re looking to keep it going after a pleasant night (or day) of baseball, most ballparks are within throwing distance of several drinking dugouts. So we picked out the best stadium bars in baseball, which we’re presenting by division. Today we have the best stadium bars in the AL East.
TAMPA BAY RAYS | TROPICANA FIELD
Twenty years ago, the only place to get juiced near the spot where Tropicana Field stands was a Sunoco gas station. But then Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill opened in anticipation of the professional baseball team that eventually moved in across the street, and is now a two-floor, 12,000-square-foot, 70-HDTV-bescreened post-game stadium in and of itself.
Backup bar: Even though there was no local team to support until the late 1990s, Mastry’s boasts more baseball history than most bars on this list, serving patrons like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle throughout springs dating back to the 1930s.
NEW YORK YANKEES | YANKEE STADIUM
Stan’s Sports Bar is a loud, crowded, charmless swill hole … and you absolutely have to go. Since the 1970s, this institution across the street from the old Yankee Stadium (and a block away from the new Yankee Stadium) has been a game-day mainstay, competing valiantly with the No. 4 subway train overhead — it travels above-ground near Yankee Stadium — in an endless battle to create the most noise pollution and unidentified floor fluids.
Backup bar: Slightly more subdued than Stan’s, the Yankee Tavern has been family-owned since 1923, and has played host to the likes of Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, and Babe Ruth.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES | CAMDEN YARDS
As longstanding a tradition in Baltimore as fourth-place finishes, Pickles Pub is electric on game days and close to the left field gate at Camden Yards. How close? You’ll almost certainly get there before you’re overtaken by the drug-addled assailants chasing you!
Backup bar: For fans who place any emphasis at all on the food and drink they consume, Alewife offers a substantial upgrade on both, headlined by its duck-fat fries and encyclopedic beer list.
BOSTON RED SOX | FENWAY PARK
Custom demands that you pay your respects to Fenway icon Cask and Flagon with at least one postgame drink. The insufferable homers at ESPN named it the Best Baseball Bar in America, but other than the grating accents, the Cask and Flagon doesn’t offer all that much that you haven’t seen, before unless you’re a mole person. In which case, you’re going to love Boston!
Backup bar: Operating in what was once a batting-practice room under Fenway Park’s outfield seats, Bleacher Bar lets you leave the game early and still watch the end in person. A giant window with a vista from centerfield gives patrons — including those in the men’s room, compliments of an eye-level urinal turret — a live view of the action. A little gimmicky, yes, but worth checking out.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS | ROGERS CENTRE
It only opened in late 2010, but Real Sports Bar & Grill has already asserted itself as the preeminent sports drinking establishment in town. It’s a 12-minute walk from the Rogers Centre, but the space is massive, the draft beers are numerous, and the television array rivals the Kennedy Space Center.
Backup bar: Those who love beer enough to pour it on their food will appreciate the brew-based drinks and dishes at Beerbistro.