Over the next three days we’ll be announcing winners of our Best of the Ballparks competition and wrapping up voting in a few other categories. The winner at the Low A level: Modern Woodmen Park, home of the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest League.
The result, coming after over 13,000 people voted in the final round of the Best of the Ballparks, isn’t a surprise, as Modern Woodmen Park and the River Bandits have assembled quite the passionate following. It’s won in other contests as well: USA TODAY and 10Best.com, voted Modern Woodmen Park as the Best Minor League Ballpark in an online contest. The ballpark, which opened in 1931 as Davenport Municipal Stadium and was known as John O’Donnell Stadium from 1971 to 2007, and the current Midwest League franchise has played in it continuously since 1960, and nearly eight million fans have passed through its gates in that time.
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. 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.
Here’s our ranking of Low-A ballparks, combining the Midwest and South Atlantic Leagues:
1. Parkview Field (Fort Wayne TinCaps; ML)
2. Modern Woodmen Park (Quad Cities River Bandits; ML)
3. Fluor Field (Greenvile Drive; SAL)
4. NewBridge Bank Park (Greensboro Grasshoppers; SAL)
5. Fifth Third Field (Dayton Dragons; ML)
6. McCormick Field (Asheville Tourists; SAL)
7. Fox Cities Stadium (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers; ML)
8. Dow Diamond (Great Lakes Loons; ML)
9. Fifth Third Ballpark (West Michigan Whitecaps; ML)
10. FirstEnergy Park (Lakewood Blueclaws; SAL)
11. Four Winds Field (South Bend Cubs; ML)
12. Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park (Charleston RiverDogs; SAL)
13. Appalachian Power Park (West Virginia Power; SAL)
14. Whitaker Bank Ballpark (Lexington Legends; SAL)
15. Cooley Law School Stadium (Lansing Lugnuts; ML)
16. Perfect Game Field (Cedar Rapids Kernels; ML)
17. L.P. Frans Stadium (Hickory Crawdads; SAL)
18. Bowling Green Ballpark (Bowling Green Hot Rods; ML)
19. Fifth Third Bank Ballpark (Kane County Cougars; ML)
20. Classic Park (Lake County Captains; ML)
21. State Mutual Stadium (Rome Braves; SAL)
22. Perdue Stadium (Delmarva Shorebirds; SAL)
23. Dozer Park (Peoria Chiefs; ML)
24. Lake Olmstead Stadium (Augusta GreenJackets; SAL)
25. CMC-Northeast Stadium (Kannapolis Intimidators; SAL)
26. Ashford University Field (Clinton LumberKings; ML)
27. Community Field (Burlington Bees; ML)
28. Grayson Stadium (Savannah Sand Gnats; SAL)
29. Municipal Stadium (Hagerstown Suns; SAL)
30. Pohlman Field (Beloit Snappers; ML)
The results of the voting are shown in percentages.