Our second Editor’s Choice Award is for all the grunts who make baseball work on a daily basis: the folks who tend the grass, clean the grandstand and prepare the facilities for the next day’s game. That routine is taken to the extreme by the hard-working staff at Jupiter’s Roger Dean Stadium, the busiest baseball complex in pro ball, hosting two MLB spring-training camps and two Florida State League teams. For their hard work, we’re recognizing the staff of Roger Dean Stadium with a 2009 Ballpark Digest Award.
How busy is Roger Dean Stadium? First, it’s the spring home of both the Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals, both of whom draw well in the Grapefruit League. After the major leaguers leave, the ballpark is inhabited by the Florida State League’s Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals; it’s the only ballpark in pro ball hosting two teams simultaneously in the regular season. In 2009, the ballpark hosted 38 Spring Training games and 140 minor league games: that’s 178 total pro games. Add to that some 70 other amateur and Gulf Coast League games, concerts and other events like the current Christmas “Bright Lights” show, and you’ve got a venue that’s in use two out of every three days.
The amazing thing is the incredible condition of the place — a tribute to the care given the ballpark by the staff.
Keeping a ballpark like Roger Dean Stadium in good shape is a lot of work. This level of hard work is why we’re recognizing Roger Dean Stadium with a 2009 Editor’s Choice Award.
Ballpark Digest Awards are chosen by the editors of the website following nominations from teams and fans alike. Last year’s Editor’s Choice winners were MiLB Charities and the Texas League.
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