Fans asserted their choices with a series of upsets in the second round of voting for the Best of the Ballparks in independent baseball, as the competition moves to a round of eight in a third level of voting.
The biggest upset: our #2 seed, Shaw Park (home of the Winnipeg Goldeyes) went down to TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots. Another upset: Skylands Stadium (home of the Sussex County Miners) defeated All Pro Freight Stadium, home of the Lake Erie Crushers. Fans selected Yogi Berra Stadium, home of the New Jersey Jackals, over Clipper Magazine Stadium, home of the Lancaster Barnstormers. And fans, choosing between two classic ballparks, went with Sioux Falls Stadium (home of the Sioux Falls Canaries) over Le State Municipal, home of the Quebec Capitales.
But that round is history. Below you’ll find a form for submitting your votes (desktop users see the entire slate; mobile users see one poll question at a time). The first round of voting generated more than 13,000 respondents. Third-round voting ends Thursday at 10 p.m., with the fourth round beginning Friday at 9 a.m.
We have seen some fans aggressively register their preferences for the Best of the Ballparks by voting over and over. Don’t bother: we filter by IP address, so only your first vote counts. And we will disqualify teams and ballparks where there is clearly vote cramming.
About Best of the Ballparks: we structured the voting by classification, so the competition is broken down into Triple-A, Double-A, High A, Low A, short season A and rookie (which both begin June 17). 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 our marketing/user research 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.
Second-round voting ends Thursday at 10 p.m., with the third round beginning Friday at 9 a.m.
Here’s our list of the top 32 independent ballparks:
1. CHS Field (St. Paul Saints; AA)
2. Shaw Park (Winnipeg Goldeyes; AA)
3. Constellation Field (Sugar Land Skeeters; AtL)
4. U.S. Steel Yard (Gary SouthShore RailCats; AA)
5. Le Stade Municipal (Quebec Capitales; Can-Am)
6. QuikTrip Park at Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie Airhogs; AA)
7. Boomers Stadium (Schaumburg Boomers; FL)
8. All Pro Freight Stadium (Lake Erie Crushers; FL)
9. Newman Outdoor Field (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks; AA)
10. Provident Bank Park (Rockland Boulders; Can-Am)
11. Clipper Magazine Stadium (Lancaster Barnstormers; AtL)
12. Santander Stadium (York Revolution; AtL)
13. Haymarket Park (Lincoln Saltdogs; AA)
14. Rent One Park (Southern Illinois Miners; FL)
15. TD Bank Ballpark (Somerset Patriots; AtL)
16. Wuerfel Park (Traverse City Beach Bums; FL)
17. Bosse Field (Evansville Otters; FL)
18. Community America Ballpark (Kansas City T-Bones; AA)
19. Bethpage Ballpark (Long Island Ducks; AtL)
20. Lawrence-Dumont Stadium (Wichita Wingnuts; AA)
21. Sioux Falls Stadium (Sioux Falls Canaries; AA)
22. T.R. Hughes Ballpark (River City Rascals; FL)
23. Regency Furniture Stadium (Southern Maryland Blue Crabs; AtL)
24. Skylands Stadium (Sussex County Miners; Can-Am)
25. Stade Fernand-Bédard (Trois-Rivières Aigles; Can-Am)
26. Uni-Trade Stadium (Laredo Lemurs; AA)
27. Yogi Berra Stadium (New Jersey Jackals; Can-Am)
28. GCS Ballpark (Gateway Grizzlies; FL)
29. The Corn Crib (Normal Cornbelters; FL)
30. Silver Cross Field (Joliet Slammers; FL)
31. Potter County Memorial Stadium (Amarillo Thunderheads; AA)
32. Albert Park (San Rafael Pacifics; PacAssn)
Figures refer to percentage of votes cast.