It was an interesting first round of voting on fan favorites for former MLB ballparks in our Best of the Ballparks competition, with classics like Ebbets Field, Tiger Stadium and the Polo Grounds moving on in the competition.
All in all, we can’t claim to be surprised about many of the choices made by fans, although there were a few exceptions. We didn’t seed the choices, so the bracketing software set up a few brutal first-round matchups — at least in the eyes of a few commentators. In the end, they weren’t so brutal: fans chose the Polo Grounds over Shibe Park by a huge margin, and fans chose Tiger Stadium over the original Yankee Stadium by a comfortable margin. Both are very defensible choices, but perhaps Yankees and Philly fans were a little overoptimistic about how the rest of the baseball world views their old ballparks. The other unexpected result: Milwaukee’s County Stadium over Shea Stadium. Now, fans either love Shea Stadium or hate it, but we know from experience that the most-shared photos on our @oldballparks Twitter feed are of Shea Stadium — hands down. Those folks decided not to vote, apparently. All the winners and losers are shown in the graphics at the end of this story.
The 32 ballparks on the ballot feature facilities of recent vintage, as well as notable ballparks of the past. It is not a definitive list to former MLB ballparks. We don’t go back to the turn of the century and include ballparks like the Cincinnati Reds’ Palace of the Fans, nor do we include temporary facilities like Colt Stadium, Wrigley Field (LA) or Seals Stadium. (We did make one exception: we included Sick’s Seattle Stadium if only for the extreme nostalgia exhibited by Seattle Pilots fans. They, too, decided not to vote.) Not every one of these ballparks is a classic, and some generate some pretty extreme feelings on both the best/worst sides of the equation. Most are gone, though some (Astrodome, Braves Field, Jack Murphy Stadium, LA Coliseum, RFK Stadium) live on in one form or another.
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). Only one vote from a device or PC counts; you’re welcome to vote over and over and over again, but the system filters out multiple votes from an IP address, so that effort will be for naught. By the way, the MiLB/indy/summer collegiate voting in previous Best of the Ballparks competition was successful, drawing in more than 71,000 voters.
Voting for this round is closed.
We know from marketing/user research stats 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.
Here’s our list of ballparks in the brackets. This is in alphabetical order. The brackets above were randomized; they are not the results of seedings on our part. So there are no upsets in this competition: Just an attempt to determine the old ballparks most treasured by fans. It is, in every sense of the word, a popularity contest.
Arlington Stadium (Texas Rangers)
Astrodome (Houston Astros)
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (Atlanta Braves)
Braves Field (Boston Braves)
Candlestick Park (San Francisco Giants)
Cleveland Municipal Stadium (Cleveland Indians)
County Stadium (Milwaukee Braves/Milwaukee Brewers)
Comiskey Park (Chicago White Sox)
Crosley Field (Cincinnati Reds)
Ebbets Field (Brooklyn Dodgers)
Forbes Field (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Griffith Stadium (Washington Senators)
Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego Padres)
Jarry Park (Montreal Expos)
Kingdome (Seattle Mariners)
LA Coliseum (Los Angeles Dodgers)
League Park (Cleveland Indians)
Memorial Stadium (Baltimore Orioles)
Metrodome (Minnesota Twins)
Metropolitan Stadium (Minnesota Twins)
Municipal Stadium (Kansas City Athletics/Kansas City Royals)
Polo Grounds (New York Giants/New York Mets)
RFK Stadium (Washington Senators/Washington Nationals)
Riverfront Stadium (Cincinnati Reds)
Shea Stadium (New York Mets)
Sick’s Seattle Stadium (Seattle Pilots)
Shibe Park (Philadelphia Athletics/Philadelphia Phillies)
Sportsman’s Park (St. Louis Browns/St. Louis Cardinals)
Three Rivers Stadium (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Tiger Stadium (Detroit Tigers)
Veterans Stadium (Philadelphia Phillies)
Yankee Stadium (1927 original)
Results are listed by percentage of votes cast. This is not a seeded competition: the ballparks were randomly inserted into their brackets and placed by automated software.