It was the narrowest margin to date in the Best of the Ballparks voting, as fans chose Melaleuca Field (Idaho Falls Chukars) over Howard Johnson Field (Johnson City Cardinals) in the rookie-level competition.
At the end of the day, five votes separates the two ballparks. We ran through the results three separate times to make sure the results were valid, and they were. In the end, Melaleuca Field received 50.3 percent of the vote, Howard Johnson Field 49.7 percent.
“What a great contest!” said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. “Both teams have passionate fan bases, and they both turned out in force to support their teams and ballparks. In the end, five votes made the difference.”
Melaleuca Field opened in 2007 as the home of the Chukars. The $5.6-million facility replaced McDermott Field.
Here is our ranking of rookie-level ballparks:
1. Dehler Park (Billings Mustangs; PL)
2. Pioneer Park (Greeneville Astros; AppL)
3. Lindquist Field (Ogden Raptors; PL)
4. Melaleuca Field (Idaho Falls Chukars; PL)
5. Burlington Athletic Stadium (Burlington Royals; AppL)
6. Suplizio Field (Grand Junction Rockies; PL)
7. Ogren Park at Allegiance Field (Missoula Osprey; PL)
8. Hunnicutt Field (Princeton Rays; AppL)
9. Centene Stadium (Grand Falls Voyagers; PL)
10. Hunter Wright Stadium (Kingsport Mets; AppL)
11. Calfee Park (Pulaski Yankees; AppL)
12. Bowen Field (Bluefield Blue Jays; AppL)
13. Boyce Cox Field (Bristol Pirates; AppL)
14. Howard Johnson Field (Johnson City Cardinals; AppL)
15. Legion Field (Danville Braves; AppL)
16. Home of the Owlz (Orem Owlz; PL)
17. Kindrick Field (Helena Brewers; PL)
18. Joe O’Brien Field (Elizabethton Twins; AppL)
Results are listed by percentage of votes cast.