We have another winner in the Best of the Ballparks contest to announce, this time in summer-collegiate facilities: fans chose Kokomo Municipal Stadium, home of the Kokomo Jackrabbits, over Athletic Park, home of the Wisconsin Woodchucks.
The vote pitted old versus new: Kokomo Municipal Stadium debuted last month after a construction season filled with government interference and plenty of questions whether it would open on time. Athletic Park dates back to the WPA days and was home to pro baseball for decades; the late John Henry Moss once ran a Detroit Tigers farm team there. In the end, voters went with the new.
“Kokomo Municipal Stadium bucks the trend in summer collegiate ball of using older ballparks in the sport — a new ballpark is unusual, to say the least,” said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. “But with a broad base of community support, like that shown by business and government leaders promoting this contest, it’s clear Kokomo Municipal Stadium is already a success.”
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. In the end, over 70,000 individuals have voted in the course of the competition.
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 list of the top 32 summer-collegiate ballparks:
1. Warner Park (Madison Mallards; Northwoods League)
2. Cardines Field (Newport Gulls; NECBL)
3. Fleming Stadium (Wilson Tobs; Coastal Plain League)
4. Dunn Field (Elmira Pioneers; Perfect Game League)
5. Wahconah Park (Pittsfield Suns; Futures League)
6. Holman Stadium (Nashua Silver Knights; Futures League)
7. Wade Stadium (Duluth Huskies; Northwoods League)
8. Kokomo Municipal Stadium (Kokomo Jackrabbits; Prospect League)
9. Simmons Field (Kenosha Kingfish; Northwoods League)
10. Lowell Park (Cotuit Kettleers; Cape Cod League)
11. Athletic Park (Wisconsin Woodchucks; Northwoods League)
12. Kiger Stadium (Klamath Falls Gems; West Coast League)
13. Homer Stryker Field (Kalamazoo Growlers; Northwoods League)
14. Clemens Field (Hannibal Cavemen; Prospect League)
15. Carson Park (Eau Claire Express; Northwoods League)
16. Witter Field (Wisconsin Rapids Rafters; Northwoods League)
17. Robin Roberts Stadium (Springfield Sliders; Prospect League)
18. Danville Stadium (Danville Dans; Prospect League)
19. Damaschke Field (Oneonta Outlaws; NYCBL)
20. Mulcahy Stadium (Anchorage Bucs; Glacier Pilots; Alaska Baseball League)
21. Goss Stadium at Coleman Field (Corvallis Knights; West Coast League)
22. Vince Genna Stadium (Bend Elks; West Coast League)
23. American Momentum Bank Ballpark (Brazos Valley Bombers; Texas Collegiate League)
24. Pat Thomas Stadium (Leesburg Lightning; Florida Collegiate Summer League)
25. McKeon Park (Hyannis Harbor Hawks; Cape Cod League)
26. Recreation Field (Vermont Mountaineers; NECBL)
27. Sims Legion Park (Gastonia Grizzlies; Coastal Plain League)
28. Seaman Stadium (Okotoks Dawgs; Western Major Baseball League)
29. Veterans Field (Chatham Anglers; Cape Cod League)
30. Old Mountain Field (Ocean State Waves; NECBL)
31. Murnane Field (Utica Brewers; Perfect Game League)
32. Fraser Field (North Shore Navigators; Futures League)
Figures in the brackets refer to percentage of votes cast.