Frawley Stadium was chosen over Bright House Field, home of the Clearwater Threshers, in a Best of the Ballparks competition that saw over 70,000 voters participate in the overall voting, with over 13,000 people voting in the final round. The High A voting was an interest mix, as fans needed to choose between standard facilities in the California and Carolina League and the Florida State League ballparks pulling double duty as spring-training facilities.
“Wilmington is a special place and Frawley is a special ballpark,” said Blue Rocks majority owner Dave Heller. “We are grateful to our fans across Delaware and our region who have honored Frawley Stadium as a top ballpark and entertainment venue. This award is great recognition from the most widely respected publication in our industry, and we look forward to celebrating with our fans at our ballpark.”
Frawley Stadium has been home of the Carolina League’s Wilmington Blue Rocks since opening for the 1993 season. With fan-friendly promotions and distinctive mascots like Rocky Bluewinkle, Mr. Celery and Rubble, a Blue Rocks game is a definite experience – and Frawley Stadium is a huge part of that great experience.
“Frawley Stadium offers such a great experience for fans, between the great promotions and the unique mascots,” said Kevin Reichard, Ballpark Digest publisher. “It’s no surprise fans responded with such enthusiasm and voted in Frawley Stadium.”
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 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)
The results of the voting are shown in percentages.