GO CUBS GO: Wrigley Field from Murphy's Bleacher across the street.
Jerry Driendl/getty images

Pre- and post-game celebrating with the locals at a friendly neighborhood stadium bar is one of the fastest ways to shed your tourist shackles. Here’s the lowdown on where to make new friends at some of the country’s best urban ballparks.

As winter ends and spring arrives, Major League Baseball teams come out of hibernation, report to their training camps, then return home to begin another grueling 162-game marathon. Every April, baseball fans also begin the annual pilgrimage to their favorite team’s home ballpark. No matter what happened last season, the players and their fans are filled with optimism and renewed hope that this season could end with a World Series championship.

It happens every year, in every city, in every ballpark.

Read our "Web Exclusive" for a look at all the features, inside and out, that distinguish America's other 24 major league ballparks.

It happens in Boston’s Fenway Park and in Chicago’s Wrigley Field, baseball’s living dinosaurs and the oldest active ballparks in the majors.

It happens in New York’s Yankee Stadium, a relatively new ballpark built in the image of its stately predecessor. It happens in Angel Stadium of Anaheim, a Los Angeles–area ballpark that was downsized and modernized before the turn of the 21st century. And it happens in Seattle’s Safeco Field, a retro-modern ballpark incorporating the best features of the old and the new.

But with these ballparks, one thing stands out above all the rest: They are urban stadiums. Walk out the front door, turn left, and you’re in your friendly neighborhood bar celebrating (or commiserating) with friends. It’s the essential baseball experience enjoyed the way baseball was meant to be enjoyed. Thus, as the 2013 baseball season gets under way, we present a closer look at the history of six iconic urban ballparks along with a primer on where fans of each team like to go before, after — and sometimes during — the games.