We now have an Elite Eight for the next round of voting in the Best of the Ballparks 2016 fan vote for Rookie-level facilities, as a balanced field of Appalachian League and Pioneer League ballparks move on. So you know what to do: Vote!
The vote — as documented in the graphic at the bottom of the page features some blowouts and two amazingly close votes. And the little engine that could — Bowen Field, home of the Bluefield Blue Jays — made it through again to the next round.
The 18 Rookie ballparks comprise some of our favorite small ballparks in all of Minor League Baseball. Small-town stalwarts, these facilities are certainly worth a visit on your part and worthy of attention from any serious baseball fans. There are 18 Rookie-level ballparks; after two rounds, we now have a field of eight, making for the next round of voting.
We began this year’s Best of the Ballparks vote in May with fans asked to choose their favorite Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A affiliated ballparks. The second round saw fans asked to select their favorite independent and MLB ballparks. This final round covers Rookie and Short Season A facilities.
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.
Some notes on the voting. First, votes are filtered by IP address, so we’re limiting folks to one vote. (Feel free to hit that reload as many times as you want, but multiple votes will be filtered out of the final tally.) Second, you don’t need to fill out a full slate: partially filled votes will count, and we want you to vote for as many ballparks as you like. Third: desktop users will see all the choices; tablet and smartphone users will see one choice at a time. (Tablet and smartphone users can move between choices by clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the ballot.) You can vote here:
Voting for this round has ended.
Here is our ranking of Rookie-level MiLB ballparks. The two finalists in last year’s vote, Melaleuca Field and TVA Credit Union Ballpark (formerly Howard Johnson Field), are the honorary top two ballparks in this ranking. As you’ll recall, Melaleuca Field was the winner.
1. Melaleuca Field (Idaho Falls Chukars; PL)
2. TVA Credit Union Ballpark (Johnson City Cardinals; AppL)
3. Dehler Park (Billings Mustangs; PL)
4. Lindquist Field (Ogden Raptors; PL)
5. Pioneer Park (Greeneville Astros; AppL)
6. Burlington Athletic Stadium (Burlington Royals; AppL)
7. Calfee Park (Pulaski Yankees; AppL)
8. Ogren Park at Allegiance Field (Missoula Osprey; PL)
9. Suplizio Field (Grand Junction Rockies; PL)
10. Centene Stadium (Grand Falls Voyagers; PL)
11. Hunnicutt Field (Princeton Rays; AppL)
12. Hunter Wright Stadium (Kingsport Mets; AppL)
13. Bowen Field (Bluefield Blue Jays; AppL)
14. Boyce Cox Field (Bristol Pirates; AppL)
15. Kindrick Field (Helena Brewers; PL)
16. Legion Field (Danville Braves; AppL)
17. Brent Brown Ballpark (Orem Owlz; PL)
18. Joe O’Brien Field (Elizabethton Twins; AppL)
Here are the opening brackets for the Rookie vote:
Click on the image for a larger image.