We’ve received thousands of votes already in our Best of the Ballparks voting, and we expect even more with today’s first round of High Class A ballpark competition, comprising the Carolina, Florida State and California leagues.
This is part of our Best of the Ballparks competition, which kicked off with Triple-A voting yesterday and Double-A voting today. We’ll be running the contest with seeded brackets, so there will be plenty of action in coming days. The first round will be a play-in (thanks for the inspiration, NCAA!), followed by three additional rounds before winners are announced. For MiLB, we’ll be structuring the voting by classification, so the competition is broken down into Triple-A, Double-A, High A, Low A, short season A and rookie. The summer collegiate and independent brackets will encompass what we consider to the top 32 ballparks in their classifications. And, of course, the MLB parks stand on their own.
We know from marketing stats a third of our readers work in the baseball industry, so we’re tapping into that collective expertise. And we know from our research that a third of our readers sell to the baseball industry, so that expertise will be valuable as well. The remaining third — fans, media, government — will certainly have a different view on things as well. We can’t wait to see what our readers — whom we consider to be the smartest folks in baseball — say about the best of the ballparks.
First-round voting ends Friday at 6 p.m., with the second round beginning Saturday at 9 a.m.
Here’s our ranking of High Class-A ballparks, combining Carolina, Florida State and California League facilities:
1. Bright House Field (Clearwater Threshers; FSL)
2. Hammond Stadium (Fort Myers Miracle; FSL)
3. BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem Dash; CarL)
4. McKechnie Field (Bradenton Marauders; FSL)
5. Banner Island Ballpark (Stockton Ports; CalL)
6. Rawhide Ballpark (Visalia Rawhide; CalL)
7. Charlotte Sports Park (Charlotte Stone Crabs; FSL)
8. Ticketreturn.com Field (Myrtle Beach Pelicans; CarL)
9. Loanmart Field (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes; CalL)
10. John Thurman Field (Modesto Nuts; CalL)
11. Frawley Stadium (Wilmington Blue Rocks; CarL)
12. The Hangar (Lancaster Jethawks; CalL)
13. Steinbrenner Field (Tampa Yankees; FSL)
14. Municipal Stadium (San Jose Giants; CalL)
15. Jackie Robinson Ballpark (Daytona Tortugas; FSL)
16. Joker Marchant Stadium (Lakeland Flying Tigers; FSL)
17. Roger Dean Stadium (Jupiter Hammerheads, Palm Beach Cardinals; FSL)
18. The Diamond (Lake Elsinore Storm; CalL)
19. Five County Stadium (Carolina Mudcats; CarL)
20. Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick Keys; CarL)
21. Tradition Field (St. Lucie Mets; FSL)
22. Space Coast Stadium (Brevard County Manatees; FSL)
23. San Manuel Stadium (Inland Empire 66ers; CalL)
24. Lewis-Gale Field (Salem Red Sox; CarL)
25. Florida Auto Exchange Stadium (Dunedin Blue Jays; FSL)
26. Mavericks Stadium (High Desert Mavericks; CalL)
27. Sam Lynn Ballpark (Bakersfield Blaze; CalL)
28. Pfitzner Stadium (Potomac Nationals; CarL)
29. Calvin Falwell Field (Lynchburg Hillcats; CarL)
VOTING IN THIS FIRST ROUND HAS ENDED.